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Legal Reference Services Quarterly

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While the reference interview remains the vehicle whereby librarians are able to understand the information needs of users in order to assist them, the ways in which the reference interview is conducted have changed with time and technology. This chapter provides a brief history of the evolution of the reference interview, from the face-to-face transaction to the current trends of e-mail and chat software mediated reference interviews, and examines application of these current trends in virtual reference services. While the methods of conducting the reference interview have certainly changed, the ultimate goal of meeting the information needs of the user remains constant. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.