Ditching the Desk?

At the ALA Midwinter Conference in Seattle, one of the RUSA Discussion Groups talked about the idea of eliminating the reference desk and moving to other forms of assisting users.  Naturally, this topic attracted a crowd (150+) and lead to some stimulating discussions.  I would like to hear what readers of the RUSA blog have to say on this issue.

Do you think that a physical reference desk is going to be obsolete?  Why or why not?

If the physical desk goes away, what type of service will replace it (if any)?

What steps have you already taken in moving toward the next iteration of reference service?

Enter RUSA's Frugal Librarian Contest and Win a Free Lunch!

Do you have any tips for helping ALA conference goers stretch their travel dollars?  Email your advice to Diane Zabel (RUSA Past President)  by May 15, 2007 (send  tips to dxz2@psu.edu with the subject heading Frugal Librarian) The RUSA Executive Committee will select the most creative and practical cost cutting strategy.  The winner is awarded a free lunch with incoming RUSA President David Tyckoson at the 2007 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.   Tips will be compiled and posted on the RUSA Blog prior to the conference.