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ASIDIC Las Vegas 18 March, 2008 “Sometimes content can be sacrificed for format” How People Get Their Information Presented by: Lynn Silipigni Connaway,

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Presentation on theme: "ASIDIC Las Vegas 18 March, 2008 “Sometimes content can be sacrificed for format” How People Get Their Information Presented by: Lynn Silipigni Connaway,"— Presentation transcript:

1 ASIDIC Las Vegas 18 March, 2008 “Sometimes content can be sacrificed for format” How People Get Their Information Presented by: Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Ph.D. Senior Research Scientist

2 Libraries Provide systems and services to meet the information needs of differing groups Largest groups Baby boomers Cohort #1 Cohort #2 Millennials Screenagers

3 Who Are They? Baby Boomers Actual “boom” in births occurred between s - Time of prosperity 1960s & 1970s - Time of social upheaval Comprise largest part of workforce (45%)

4 Who Are They? Baby Boomers Cohort #1 Born Experimental Individualists Free spirited Social cause oriented Cohort #2 Born Less optimistic Distrust of government General cynicism

5 Information Perspectives Baby Boomers Value authoritative information Involved in information seeking Value library as place Use technology as tool Personalized service

6 Who Are They? Millennials Millennials / NextGens / EchoBoomers / Gen Y Born between 1979 & – 80 Million Generational divide year olds By 2010 will outnumber Baby Boomers

7 Who are they? Screenagers Youngest members of “Millennial Generation” Term coined in 1996 by Rushkoff Used here for year olds Affinity for electronic communication

8 Information Perspectives Millennials Information is information Media formats don’t matter Visual learners Process immediately Different research skills

9 Information-seekers’ Preferences IMLS-funded projects How individuals find information to meet their needs Why information seekers do not choose to use library services first for their information needs How libraries can develop services and systems to meet the needs of information seekers

10 Sense-Making the Information Confluence: The Whys and Hows of College and University User Satisficing of Information Needs

11 Baby Boomers: Convenient & Authoritative “Yeah, well, actually I was going to be different and not say Google. I do use Google, but… [I also] use two different library homepages… and I will go into the research databases… do a search there and then I will end [up]… limiting myself to the articles that are available online.” “[Google] is user friendly… library catalog is not.” “…before I came to the library to use the MLA database, I did a Google search and it turns out that there is a professor at Berkeley who keeps a really, really nice and fully updated… page with bibliographic references.” “I'm suspicious of people who are publishing on-line because usually the peer review is much less rigorous.” “I'm not trust(ing) everything that's on the Internet…”

12 Baby Boomers: Did not use the library “If I have a student mention a book and I'm not familiar with that book, Amazon.com gives me a brief synopsis, … reader reviews of the book, so it's a good, interesting first source to go to for that kind of information.” “…before I came to the library to use the MLA database, I did a Google search and it turns out that there is a professor at Berkeley who keeps a really, really nice and fully updated… page with bibliographic references.”

13 Millennials: Convenient & Quick “Also I just go ask my dad, and he'll tell me how to put in a fence, you know? So why sort through all this material when he'll just tell me” “…you need to know which database with abstracting, indexing… Google, I don't have to know, I go to one spot.” “…first thing I do, is, I go to Google… I don't go into the [library] system unless I have to because there's like 15 logins, you have to get into the research databases. Then it takes you out of that to [the local consortium]…” “I had the Google tool bar, tool bar on my browser. I don’t even have to go to a search engine anymore. I mean it is literally one tab down…”

14 Millennials: Did not use the library “The library is a good source if you have several months.” “Hard to find things in library catalog.” “Tried [physical] library but had to revert to online library resources.” “Yeah, I don't step in the library anymore… better to read a 25- page article from JSTOR than 250- page book.” “Sometimes content can be sacrificed for format.”

15 Seeking Synchronicity: Evaluating Virtual Reference Services from User, Non-User, & Librarian Perspectives

16 Non-User (Screenagers): Stereotypes and Independence “Because, I mean, once they do their famous point, it’s just like… you don’t want to go near them again.” “I wouldn’t really trust my librarian. I trust Google.” “Plus I think the IMing kind of gives it a cold feeling to it… when you can actually sit and talk to someone face-to-face you kind of can see if they care or not…”

17 Non-User (Screenagers): Security, Accuracy, and Speed “I don’t usually like to talk to like people I don’t know on the Internet.” “I’m not going to go get tutored on the Internet by somebody… who might be some psycho serial killer out there when I could get personal help from my home and people in my community.” “A librarian’s trying to do like 15 of those conversations at once they’re going to mix up replies…” “I don’t really want to take the time actually to type out, like explaining what I’m doing, what I need it for, what type of sources I need.”

18 Non-User (Millennials): Preference for Face-to-Face “Just generally, I would talk to somebody in person.” “I prefer to interact with a librarian that I know.” “I would just go, um, to the library website…” “I go to Google Scholar as well and Inquestia.com which I belong to.”

19 Non-User (Millennials): Privacy and Technology Concerns “And there could be a chance that [the librarian might say] ‘This guy’s teaching these classes and he doesn’t know this?!’” “I was worried that in some way, you know, if the Department would get a report about what questions [I was asking], you know what I mean…” “Would the connection be good enough to facilitate real-time chat?”

20 VRS Users (Millennials): Convenience and Independence “I’d rather go two feet to my computer than a couple of miles to the library.” “I always want to do everything myself – I don’t want help.”

21 “It’s helpful to have another person looking for you so you get twice as much information – which is quicker.” “…they know how to do it and know where to look and you don’t necessarily know.” VRS Users (Millennials): Collaboration

22 VRS Users (Millennials): Personalized Service “I was on the site at 2 or 3 in the morning and it felt personalized.” “Instead of having to write everything down… you have the transcript of the conversation and all the links from the conversation in a permanent .”

23 Users (Boomers & Millennials): Ability to Multi-Task Moderator: “Okay, so there’s some consensus on that that it allows you to multitask?” Multiple Participants: “Yes.”

24 VRS Users (Millennials): Distrust “To me it wasn’t that much more than any other search engine.” “I’m not sure how much attention the person… was paying attention to the actual question or the key words in the actual question.” “…they were just Googling stuff as far as I could see.” “I feel like I get better results when I’m, like with the person.”

25 Two Views Users Highly value Librarian’s attitude & personal qualities Some value interpersonal aspects more than receipt of information Librarians More likely to value content, transfer of information Also value relationship qualities (but to a lesser degree)

26 Interpersonal Communication Analysis: Results Relational Facilitators Interpersonal aspects of the chat conversation that have a positive impact on the librarian-client interaction and that enhance communication. Relational Barriers Interpersonal aspects of the chat conversation that have a negative impact on the librarian-client interaction and that impede communication.

27 Facilitators – Differences Millennials (n=296) vs. Adults (n=76) Lower averages (per transcript) Thanks 59% (175) vs. 75% (57) Self Disclosure 42% (125) vs. 63% (48) Closing Ritual 38% (111) vs. 50% (38) Lower averages (per occurrence) Seeking reassurance 56% (166) vs. 68% (52) Polite expressions 30% (90) vs. 33% (25) (n=372 transcripts)

28 Facilitators – Differences Millennials (n=296) vs. Adults (n=76) Higher averages (per occurrence) Agree to suggestion 64% (188) vs. 47% (36) Lower case 43% (126) vs. 16% (12) Greeting Ritual 24% (70) vs. 16% (12) Admit lack knowledge 20% (58) vs. 7% (5) Interjections 20% (58) vs. 7% (5) Slang 9% (27) vs. 3% (2) (n=372 transcripts)

29 Barriers – Differences Millennials (n=296) vs. Adults (n=76) Higher averages (per transcript) for: Abrupt Endings 37% (109) vs. 28% (21) Impatience 4% (13) vs. 1% (1) Rude or Insulting 3% (9) vs. 0 (n=372 transcripts)

30 Multiple Demands on the Library Traditional Library Environment Baby Boomer PreferencesMillennial Preferences Requires patienceWant it now Largely text based Visual, audio, multi-media Learn from the expert Figure it out for myself Logical, linear learning Multi-tasking MetasearchFull text ComplexitySimplicity

31 What Now? Three Opportunity Areas: Content Access Services

32 1. Content What can information providers do? Tailor content Shape collections More choices Make discovery easy

33 1. Content What information providers are doing today: Network level services Discovery 24x7 access Online content Incorporating more relevant content Enabling user contributed content

34 2. Access What can information providers do? Expand search tools Expose library content through both: Library interfaces Non-library interfaces Provide access – anytime, anywhere

35 2. Access What information providers are doing today: Broadcast & federated search WorldCat Local Partnerships Web services Mobile interfaces

36 3. Services What can information providers do? Integrate physical spaces with virtual services Provide a comfortable environment Support collaboration Update infrastructure Provide media literacy skills Redesign the role of the librarian

37 3. Services What information providers are doing today: Virtual reference Social networking tools Profiles User contributed content Tags Reviews Lists RSS feeds / alerts Recommendations Community tools Collaboration

38 What We Learned Libraries are trusted sources of information Search engines are trusted about the same People care about the quantity and quality of information they find They like convenience and speed They do not view paid information as more accurate than free information

39 What We Learned The image of libraries is… BOOKS Patrons do not think of the library as an important source of electronic information!

40 What can we do? Create a library experience which matches the experience of the web Easy search functionality Integrated library search for all sources Social networking software Recommender service Click-through to online sources Point of need reference services Instant messaging reference services Customizable library portals

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68 University of Washington on WorldCat.org

69 Holdings: Local, Group, Global Summit collections Univ Washington collections WorldCat

70 Detailed record – item held by UW

71 Detailed record – request item

72 Request handled locally

73 Item not held by UW

74 Item not held by UW or Summit

75 Article citations

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77 Conclusion Expectations not isolated Lead the way By understanding them, we can serve everyone better

78 Additional Resources Boomer Nation: The Largest and Richest Generation Ever and how it Changed America, S. Gillon. New York: Free Press, Generations: The History of America’s Future, , N. Strauss & W. Howe. New York: Morrow, Generations at Work, S. Luck. Growing Up Digital, D. Tapscott. Millennial Behaviors and Demographics. Sweeney,R. folders/sweeney/Millennials/Article-Millennial-Behaviors.dochttp://library1.njit.edu/staff- folders/sweeney/Millennials/Article-Millennial-Behaviors.doc Millennial Net Values: Disconnects between Libraries and the Information Age Mindset, R. Mcdonald & C. Thomas. Millennials Rising: The Next Generation, W. Howe & N. Strauss. New York: Random House, Net Generation Students and Libraries, J. Lippincott. In Educating the Net Generation, Educause “Screenagers” and Live Chat Reference: Living Up to the Promise, M.L. Radford & L.S. Connaway. (February, 2007). Scan, 26(6),

79 Special Thanks Rutgers University and OCLC Grant Project Team Marie L. Radford, co-investigator Jocelyn DeAngelis Williams Susanna Sabolsci-Boros Patrick Confer Timothy Dickey David Dragos Vickie Kozo Mary Anne Reilly Julie Strange Jasmine de Gaia, OCLC

80 Notes This presentation is one of the outcomes from the project “Sense-Making the Information Confluence: The Whys and Hows of College and University User Satisficing of Information Needs." Funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Ohio State University, and OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc., the project was implemented by Brenda Dervin (Professor of Communication and Joan N. Huber Fellow of Social & Behavioral Science, Ohio State University) as Principal Investigator; and Lynn Silipigni Connaway (Senior Research Scientist) and Chandra Prahba (Former Research Scientist), as Co-Investigators. More information can be obtained at: state.edu/http://imlsosuoclcproject.jcomm.ohio- state.edu/

81 Notes This presentation is one of the outcomes from the project, “Seeking Synchronicity: Evaluating Virtual Reference Services from User, Non-User, and Librarian Perspectives.” Funded by IMLS, Rutgers University, & OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc., the project is being implemented by Marie L. Radford (Associate Professor, Rutgers University) and Lynn Silipigni Connaway (Senior Research Scientist, OCLC) as Principal Investigators. More information can be obtained at:

82 Questions and Comments Lynn Silipigni Connaway Slides available at project web site:


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