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June 2008, Week 1


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Betsy Hageman <[log in to unmask]>
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Betsy Hageman <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 4 Jun 2008 08:58:06 -0400
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Apologies for cross-posting...  

Come see the latest in reference research at the 14th Annual New
Reference Research Forum, presented by the RUSA RSS Research and
Statistics Committee.  The forum features 3 different presentations of
research in progress, focusing on topics of significance to the
development of reference and user services.


The 14th Annual New Reference Research Forum

@ALA Annual 2008 Anaheim, California

Sunday, June 29, 2008, 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Where: HYATT Grand A





1) "The READ Scale (Reference Effort Assessment Data) Project:
Qualitative Statistics for Meaningful Reference Assessment, A Report on
the National Study"


Current methodologies for data gathering of statistics do not adequately
reflect the effort / knowledge / experience / skill / value-added
service of reference staff.  The READ Scale (Reference Effort Assessment
Data) was developed as a tool in an attempt to gather unrecorded
qualitative 'value-added' data associated with the reference
transaction.  A national study was conducted to test the viability of
the READ Scale as an adaptable / adoptable tool at diverse institutions
and determine its effectiveness and practical applications in reference
librarianship, and acquire data to support or disprove to its use in the
modern context of the statistics / assessment  / measures / recognition
of value-added service related to reference work.



Dr. Bella Karr Gerlich, Associate Professor, Associate University
Librarian, Library & Instructional Technology Center, Georgia College &
State University


Ms. G. Lynn Berard, Principal Librarian, Engineering and Science,
Carnegie Mellon University




2) "Does Size Matter?  Examining Trends in the Provision of Remote
Reference Services in Academic and Public Libraries"


This study examines the state of remote reference services being offered
in public and academic libraries in the United States, including the use
of technologies such as email, chat, instant messaging (IM), and Rich
Site Summary (RSS).  The results will be compared between public and
academic libraries and among size categories as well.  Data analysis is
complete for the public libraries in the sample.  Initial findings
indicate significant differences in reference media offerings based on
the size of service populations in public libraries.  The academic
library data gathering has also been completed, and data analysis is
underway to determine if similar service differences by size occur in
academic libraries.



Eileen G. Abels, Ph.D., Associate Professor, College of Information
Science & Technology, Drexel University


Denise E. Agosto, Ph.D., Associate Professor, College of Information
Science & Technology,

Drexel University


Lorri Mon, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Florida State University, College
of Information




3) "Problems, Processes, and Judgments: User Expectations of Online
Reference Service"


If we can understand why they come to VR, then we can both hone the
service and attract additional users by more tightly targeting our
service developments.  This study triangulates three bodies of data:
5,293 selected Internet Public Library email queries over a period of 31
months, all 402 of an academic library's chat reference transactions
over a period of five months, and all 170 of an academic library's email
reference queries over 39 months.  The queries are artifacts of user
expectations; these disparate data sources provide insight into user
expectations across geographical, chronological, and organizational
boundaries. Each of these questions was examined to identify, wherever
possible, two key elements of the user's expectation of the reference
transaction: (a) characteristics of the assistance that librarians could
provide and (b) characteristics of the use to be made of that
assistance.  The analysis characterizes user expectations in terms of
the nature of the aid users expect to receive and in terms of the kind
of information problem they expect to be able to solve.



Lynn Westbrook, Assistant Professor, School of Information, University
of Texas