May 17, 2022

Conference Paper: Information “Lost and Found” – New Models for Library Reference Service

The following paper will be presented at the upcoming World Library and Information Congress, 78th IFLA General Conference and Assembly that will take place in Helsinki this August.


Information “Lost and Found” – new models for library reference service


Rauha Maarno
Editor-in-Chief for the HelMet Web Library Helsink, FInland


78th IFLA General Conference and Assembly Web Site


The paper discusses the transformation of library reference service in the context of public libraries: from information repository to knowledge platform. The subject is approached with everyday experiences from the Helsinki City Library’s web reference service, the question and answer (Q&A) -site Ask Anything which has been operating since 2001. The service, with over a million web visits per year, has an active web community and regularly appears in the programming of two local radio stations. A renewed version of the web service based on open-source software will be released in August 2012.

Direct to Full Text Paper (6 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.