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Global 24x7 Digital Reference Service

A national research library needed to develop a new program that integrates resources from libraries from around the world to provide online “ask a librarian” services to patrons anywhere, anytime. 

Synfusion worked closely with libraries from several countries to develop a viable concept of operations. We next developed an architecture for managing membership and librarian profiles, routing inquiries in real-time to libraries in the network that had resources to fulfill the inquiry and capturing question-and-answer sets to provide instant responses where appropriate. We also facilitated several interactive town halls with hundreds of librarians who discussed and voted on service features, membership and routing policies, and pricing models. 

Once the key tenets of the program were in place, Synfusion worked with the national library’s management team and systems development partner to define workflows and information architecture to design and build the services platform. 

The global digital reference service has been a complete success. It quickly became a valued service to libraries. In fact, as membership grew, so did the extent and value of its services. The reference service was spun off by the national library and it continues to operate today as a successful commercial offering.


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