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reference service is not a common service in Public Libraries towards career
counseling among the Indian perspective. This paper highlighted the scope of popularizing
digital reference services in public library. Availability and accessibility of
digital reference resources are also mentioned in this article which will be helpful
for public librarians to extend reference services to the users. It discusses
about the primary opinion, elements of digital reference services and gives in
ingoing form, the advantages, disadvantages, and some details of popular digital
reference services carried out by several libraries and commercial


 Reference Services, Digital
Reference, Digital Reference Tools, Public Library, Career Counseling program.

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Introduction: Libraries are changing. There’s been an exponential
growth of resources; main reason of this growth is Internet. There are new
researchers with new needs and expectations. Libraries have the opportunity to
build new services and go where the users are. As libraries are changing, the
one of most important service which is reference service and its tools are
changing rapidly.

1.1)Career Counselling: Career formation is a nonstop method.
Everybody is anxious about their career, especially in the primary stage of life.
In this present situation where there are so many career options current
students find it very labored to select the right career option and at the same
times which prefer the safer option to their won interest. Career counselling environs
scientifically promoted aptitude and personality tests. Human receptivity is endless
and can never be measured. Every person has different characteristics and has
their own strengths and weaknesses. The key is to identify these unique
qualities through career counselling.

1.2)Digital Reference: According to William A. Katz (1969), “If the users will not come to
the library, the library must go to the users”. This can be guiding principle
of reference service. Reference sources specially designed to provide information
in a convenient form. Digital reference refers
to Internet-based expert answering services. In such a service, a user
typically poses a question to a digital reference service through a web form,
e-mail or a chat interface. An expert (such as a scientist or librarian) uses this
input to construct an answer that is both passed back to the user as well as
used in some knowledge base or enhancement to a digital library collection.
There is a growing idea of research and development in digital reference, and
digital reference services are being implemented within the context of digital

of Digital Reference Service-

A digital reference service depends
on the following basic elements:


The User

The interface (web form; e- mail; chat;
video etc.)

E-resources (including electronic or CD
–based resources; web resources; local digitized material etc.) as well as
print resources

The information professional

Objectives of the study:

The objectives of this study are:

To know about popular reference services in digital era.

To know the importance of career counseling service among the job
seekers in their career development and growth.

How digital reference services get the popularity among the job seekers?

How public library is working to provide career guidance service through
digital environment?

What is the role of IPLM for career guidance services?

Find out the strength and limitation of career counseling service in
digital era for public libraries.


3.       Review of related literature:

(2009),”Professionalizing career guidance practitioner competences and
qualification routes in Europe.” In this paper the author has shows that the
professional skills of library staff build an important contribution to the
quality of career guidance services. This report proves that professional
training provision for such staff is highly variable between countries and
sectors in Europe.


(2008) has highlighted on the satisfaction of job seekers in the resource and
services of libraries. This article published in the journal “SRELS Journals of
Information Management” which describe the importance of instruction and
methods of library orientation programs. In an academic library it is important
to guide the users for utilize the resources to the maximum extent possible.
Library orientation programs are too much valuable for the libraries in the changing
digital scenario.


and Moly (2009) discussed on the topic of “Career Guidance Service in College Libraries:
a proposed model”. They show that the concept of career counseling service
which is centuries old but it too much useful in the contemporary higher
education environment owing to the impact of globalization and technological
advancements. The UGC and State Higher Education Directorates have assigned
importance to career guidance and established career guidance cell or centre in
colleges and universities.







24/7 Reference services

Ask Me

It is a free service where a
user simply asks a question and gets answers from the experts.

Reference Desk

ReferenceDesk allows electronic queuing of
patrons,co-browsing & conferencing

It is a free web based reference service that
is provided with the help of subject experts

Google Answer

A successful model for virtual reference.


It is a fee-based web reference service where
user can asked a question to experts.

It is a free information service on the web
that allows the user to search & retrieve information from Encyclopedia
Britannica & other web resources


MyLibraryU wants to
connect YOU to new, free learning opportunities.


Netlibrary,an OCLC initiative is one of the
world’s leading provider of e-books.

Internet Public Library

An extensive collection guide.

The official website for pathfinder reference

Los Angeles Public Library

A new, experimental project
that lets you ask questions and
get answers,


CLEVNET library
consortiums’s Know-It-Now Services is a collaborative virtual reference
service from an assistance of 31 public libraries in the Los Angles area.

Collaborative Digital
Reference Service

This is a project of the
Library of Congress to provide professional reference service to researcher
at any time anywhere.


of Public Libraries in Career Guidance in Digital Era:

Public libraries are providing essential career
support services for job seekers. Public Libraries are offering career services (i.e., career
advice, career programming, career author presentations, hosting community
events, etc.) to teen or adult patrons. Public
Libraries are working as a laboratory for patrons seeking guidance materials.

5.1)The status of Career Guidance
in Public Libraries of India: Many public libraries in India are adding new career books and resources
to their existing collection. In different state of India are introducing
career counselling programs for their users with the collaboration of different


5.1.1) West Bengal Govt. launch
Career Guidance service: From the year 1999-2000 the State
Government of West Bengal has introduce career Guidance service in a new form
in State Central Library, Kolkata Metropolitan Library, Uttarpara Joykrishna
Public Library and in all of the Government and Government Sponsored District
Libraries. From 2000-2001 financial
Year Career Guidance Service has been extended upto the level of Town/
Subdivisional Libraries. Government has also provided fund for establishment of
career guidance services to some of the Rural/Primary Unit Libraries on the
basis of their performance. Students, jobseekers, people from different category
of life who are in search of different careers can have their desirable
books/document in these sections.

5.1.2) IPLM and Amritsar District Library launch Career Guidance
service: On 12th October, 2017, the Amritsar
District Library with the collaboration of Indian Public Library Movement
(IPLM) and M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) introducing the Career
Guidance service for users. IPLM partnered with Map My Career to start this
service in more than 50 public libraries.


5.1.3) Kaushal
Kendras (KASE): Kerala
Academy for Skills Excellence is a Skill Development Mission of Government of
Kerala. Kaushal Kendras are set up at different villages in Kerala to provide
world class training through Digital service, Language Lab and Career
Counselling to the youth community of that are. It started on 2nd
December of 2016, as the State Skill Development Mission. It is a non profit
making organization. Currently 6914 candidates have been trained by this organization.
The organization’s partners are ICA, Eram Group, N.S.D.C. (National Skill
Development Corporation), Sadhbhavan, AIMRI etc.

5.1.4) INELI
(India and South Asia): MSSRF,
supported of IPLM and NASSCOM Foundation organised the phone-in-programme on
career guidance on 15th May 2017 at 10 am. Both users and non
users shall get participate to this programme. Users of library who have
completed their Higher Secondary exams can seek current information on various
career options. The librarians shall put in motion the students in their
respective libraries to participate in this programme. 

Problems in

In this study, so many
problems have been marked which disclose the reasons behind the failure of
providing effective digital reference services to users for career counselling
programme in public libraries in India. These are:

Ø  Lack of
financial support from the authorities  and other organization to provide infrastructure
for users;

Ø  Lack of
experience in the field of public libraries to work in digital environment;

Ø  Lack of
job mindedness of the public libraries;

Ø  Lack of
knowledge regarding the information requirements of job seekers;

Ø  Lack of
trained professionals for career counselling services;

Ø  Lack of
knowledge of online chat software like IRC, MOO, IM etc;

Ø  Unavailability
of software in vernacular languages;

Ø  Lack of
staffs in public libraries in India;


Some Digital Tools for Career Guidance


Name of Digital Tools

of Digital Tools




of Digital Tools

of Digital Tools

Career Advice Tips & Info






reference services are being provided by public libraries in order to provide
personal assistance to local or remote users of the library using modern
Internet technologies. These new types of reference services in the digital era
as a benison, these enable them to seek information independently. In India, especially
in the public library (rural/sub divisional library), digital reference
services are not a popular services. Rural communities are unable to use
Information Communication Technologies. On the other hand however those
libraries are unable to provide such services due to lack of proper expertise. Currently
in India it is seen that the Govt. aided public libraries don’t have any web
site. However, there are so many areas of research that remain still untouched
such as:

Information seeking behavior of job seekers;

Everyday life career information seeking (ELIS) of people;

c) Open
source digital reference software that may handle vernacular languages;

Cataloguing, classification and other type of technical processing jobs for the
digital resources such as CDs, DVDs., E-Books, Career oriented news paper in
digital format etc;

Information retrieval system for job seekers;

in the digital environment for job seekers.

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