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Education for Digital Reference Don A. Wicks, Ph.D. School of Library & Information Science, Kent State University NORASIST, Kent, OH, April 3, 2003.

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Presentation on theme: "Education for Digital Reference Don A. Wicks, Ph.D. School of Library & Information Science, Kent State University NORASIST, Kent, OH, April 3, 2003."— Presentation transcript:

1 Education for Digital Reference Don A. Wicks, Ph.D. School of Library & Information Science, Kent State University NORASIST, Kent, OH, April 3, 2003

2 Question HOW TO PREPARE STUDENTS TO MEET THE CHALLENGES IN PROVIDING DIGITAL REFERENCE SERVICES?

3 What we are doing at KSU Coursework Projects Faculty Involvements

4 What we are doing: Coursework Direct Instruction: LIS talk about e-ref - sources to use; issues to face; online searching practice the reference interview practice - e.g., IPL assignment in M. Stansbury’s class Workshop: “E -Reference Start-up”

5 What we are doing: Coursework “E-Reference Start Up” Proposed in June 2000 and first taught in Spring 2001 Traditional Reference Service vs. Digital Reference Service (DRS) Definitions and Types of DRS C Individual Non-profit ServiceASKA C Collective Non-profit ServicesVRD, CDRS (QuestionPoint) C Dedicated Non-profit ServicesIPL C Individual LibrariesCLEVENET / OHIOLINK C Commercial Services: FreeASKJEEVES, LOOKSMART, ABUZZ, ALLEXPERTS, ABOUT EXPERTS-EXCHANGE C Commercial Services: For a FeeLIVEADVICE Influences and Issues Planning : A Framework - The AskA Approach (6 planning stages) Management of E-Reference: discussion of many issues

6 What we are doing: Coursework Formats of E-Reference C FAQs C Asynchronous or Web form C Synchronous Chat or Web form C Live Reference: (Video or Voice) Getting Started C Establish guidelines for the service C Resources Needed - (e.g., software packages, training) The E-Reference Interview : Five Approaches (from unplanned to planned approaches) Samples of WEB-BASED REQUEST FORMS Electronic Sources: Collections

7 What we are doing: Coursework Evaluation of E-Reference the sources the service the systems the accessibility (e.g., WAI - BOBBY) Project Design a proposal for an e-ref service using the ASKA model Indirect Instruction

8 What we are doing: Projects Research Papers “Digital Collection Content Analysis” “Characteristics of Electronic Reference Services in Ohio Public Libraries” “The Changing Roles of Reference Librarians in Academic Libraries” “The Effect of the Internet on Reference Service: A Case Study of Schiappa Branch Public Library” Research Projects, Individual Investigations Practicums

9 What we are doing: Faculty Involvement Presentations “The CyberInterview: Reference Interviewing in Digital Reference Environments” – Presented by M. Stansbury & D. Wicks, ALAO, November 2002 Continuing Education Attendance at Conferences, etc. – e.g., Digital Reference Conference Information from these types of events is communicated in class. Students are encouraged to attend functions like this one tonight.

10 What are others doing? Dr. Linda Smith (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) “Education for Digital Reference Services” (Harvard University, August 2002) “..Education for reference work has evolved as the practice of reference has changed. There is still considerable emphasis on the tools, but less emphasis on specific titles and more on search strategy. More emphasis is also being given to the reference interview and the range of reference services.”

11 What others are doing Survey of 25 Schools (33 people) Four Questions: 1. Have you incorporated ““digital reference services”” as a topic in one or more of your courses? 2. Have you taught a Web-based version of one or more reference courses? 3. Has your department/school sponsored any continuing education programs related to digital reference services? 4. What topics and issues do you feel I should address in a white paper on Education for Digital Reference Services? Some attention to DRS in all ref courses; sometimes in non-ref courses Practice in answering questions in e-reference environment (e.g., IPL) Variety of other assignments

12 What others are doing Only 11 Schools offer web-based courses in DRS Few offer continuing ed courses / workshops What Prof. Smith’s UI-UC courses includes: Text chat, ref experience, guests, digital sources, creation of digital sources, electronic journal club, papers on issues Issues identified: Tasks, staffing models, guidelines, frameworks, standards for collaboration, intellectual property, research, communication skills, technical skills, values Recommendations: Transcripts, knowledge bases, manuals, collaboration with vendors

13 How are we doing? Where next? At KSU we do some of what Smith described and miss other approaches. What would you, as practitioners, like us to do to prepare your future co-workers – or to to help you in continuing education? As Smith observes, we are in the early stages of digital reference education.


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