The idea of mobile reference was first brought to my attention by Alan Gray at Darien who has a nice post on the topic on his blog. He terms the current desk situation as siege warfare.

Note to Alan: I know your extremely busy but please keep sharing the ideas on the blog. Or have Blyberg transcribe them to his.

The topic also seems to be gaining traction in academic libraries with a debate on the topic taking place with the end idea that desks should go away by 2012. There’s some arguments for and against the idea and it didn’t go over smoothly with the audience of reference librarians. There were also concerns that the idea pandered to students.

There’s now even an article on the topic in the chronicle of higher education. There’s a quick response to the article over at Hidden Peanuts. Gypsy Librarian has a response to a similar article about floating reference, with some differences in the way the program was implemented. The idea of reference as cheap security probably won’t go over well in many places.

Whether desks disappear completely or not, I’m not sure. I do like the idea that it is more of a collaboration then authoritative in the pod set-up. It’s probably easiest to sum up the views with that of the ACRL debate: