The purpose of this article is to explore location-based questions as a weakness of virtual reference consortia and discuss how to mitigate related issues. Content analysis of how both local and non-local academic librarians responded to location-based questions provides insight into considerations academic libraries must make when participating in a virtual reference consortia. Unobtrusive testing analyzed the local knowledge assumption that non-local librarians have difficulty answering questions about libraries beyond their own. The results from these two methods indicate academic librarians have some difficulties providing responses to library location-based questions and a discussion on overcoming this weakness is included.

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Published in portal: Libraries and the Academy, v. 12, no. 4, p. 355–370.

The author's peer-reviewed version is available for download.

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