Manchester Business Answers 24/7: A case study in providing online enquiry support at an academic library

Mark Greenwood, Karen Bradshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The Manchester Business School (MBS) library service of the John Rylands University Library at the University of Manchester has a wide variety of customers, some of whom are not in a position to visit the library buildings frequently. Manchester Business Answers 24/7 is an online enquiry-type service to help them get the most out of a large range of e-resources and, crucially, the expert specialist knowledge of library staff. It is based around a searchable database of frequently asked questions and answers. For any online service, technology is important: we have adopted the 'Business FAQ' system from the University of Pennsylvania library. We focus on a service perspective, as our experience is that two general service issues are more important than technology. The first is service definition: how users will understand what the new service can do for them. The second is the service monitoring and improvement process: this is essential for deciding how to develop the service based on how it has actually been used rather than on the assumptions of service providers. © The Author(s), 2009.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-189
Number of pages7
JournalBusiness Information Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2009


  • Academic libraries
  • Business FAQ
  • Business research
  • Business school libraries
  • Business schools
  • Enquiry service
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • John Rylands University Library
  • Manchester Business School
  • Online reference
  • Reference service
  • Specialist research


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