Lankes has joined an advisory board for an IMLS project at Rutgers University. From the project abstract:
Rutgers University School of Communication, Information and Library Studies and OCLC Online Computer Library Center will research and evaluate the sustainability and relevance of virtual reference services (VRS). VRS are human-mediated, Internet-based library information services. The increasing use of VRS by the public has increased the demand on libraries to provide reference services online, and this project aims to improve libraries’ ability to respond to the demand. The project will develop a theoretical model for VRS that incorporates interpersonal and content issues and will make research-based recommendations for library staff to increase user satisfaction and attract nonusers. It will also make recommendations for VRS software development and interface design and produce a research agenda for user-centered VRS.