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Preserving Pedagogy in Online Reference Joanne Smyth & Patricia Johnston UNB Libraries, Fredericton, N.B. Canada Internet Librarian International, London,

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Presentation on theme: "Preserving Pedagogy in Online Reference Joanne Smyth & Patricia Johnston UNB Libraries, Fredericton, N.B. Canada Internet Librarian International, London,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Preserving Pedagogy in Online Reference Joanne Smyth & Patricia Johnston UNB Libraries, Fredericton, N.B. Canada Internet Librarian International, London, UK March 18, 2002

2 The Reference Interview: Tangible Components Non-verbal Skills: Gestures Posture Tone of voice Facial expression Eye contact From: Jennerich, E. & Jennerich, E. (1987). The Reference Interview as a Creative Art. Littleton, CO: Libraries Unlimited.

3 The Reference Interview: Tangible Components Verbal Skills: Remembering Avoiding premature diagnoses Reflecting feelings Restating/paraphrasing Using encouragers Closure From: Jennerich, E. & Jennerich, E. (1987). The Reference Interview as a Creative Art. Littleton, CO: Libraries Unlimited.

4 The Reference Interview: Intangible Components Success Isolation Style From: Jennerich, E. & Jennerich, E. (1987). The Reference Interview as a Creative Art. Littleton, CO: Libraries Unlimited.

5 LIVE (Library Information in a Virtual Environment) Synchronous, online reference service Chat + collaborative browsing Using LSSI software (all the bells and whistles) Transcripts automatically ed at close of each session

6 Challenges to Pedagogy in Online Reference User characteristics The ‘culture’ of the Internet The role of the librarian

7 User Characteristics High expectations/low patience 1 Associate Internet with ease of use 2 Individualistic, egalitarian 3 Autonomous self-learners 3 1 Francoeur, S. (2001). An analytical survey of chat reference services. Reference Services Review 29(3), Smith, K.R. (2000). Great expectations, or, where do they get these ideas? Reference and User Services Quarterly, 40(1), Wilson, M. (2000). Evolution or entropy? Changing reference/user culture and the future of reference librarians. Reference and User Services Quarterly, 39(4),

8 ‘Culture’ of the Internet No hierarchy, no supplicant/gatekeeper roles 1 ‘Modified context’ leads to miscommunication and hostile communication, and yet reduces the importance of these 2 1 Wilson, M. (2000). Evolution or entropy? Changing reference/user culture and the future of reference librarians. Reference and User Services Quarterly, 39(4), Burkell, J. & Kerr, I. (2000). Electronic miscommunication and the defamatory sense. Canadian Journal of Law and Society, 15(1),

9 Role of the Librarian No longer holding the “franchise as sole proprietors of information at the reference desk” 1 Feeling pressure to perform at speed of Google 1 Wilson, M. (2000). Evolution or entropy? Changing reference/user culture and the future of reference librarians. Reference and User Services Quarterly, 39(4),

10 LIVE Librarian’s Perspective

11 LIVE User’s Perspective

12 Our Observations (So Far) Users are patient, co-operative. Librarians are relaxing, as they become familiar with the venue. We can teach in this forum. Online reference is not just for quick answers. Only 57% of sessions include a reference interview.

13 UNB Libraries Service Summary Serves University of New Brunswick and Saint Thomas University UNB has 9,782 f/t and 2,533 p/t students STU has 2,208 F.T.E. Students

14 LIVE Summary of Service Oct. 22 – Dec. 6, 2001 Days of service: 28 Number of calls: 46 Average call duration: 12:42 Thank rate: 60%

15 LIVE Question Types Reference: Ready reference 4 Specific search 22 Research 8 Policy/procedural: Access instructions 11 Library policy 7 Directional: Physical 1 Web sites 0

16 ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards 1. Determine the nature and extent of information needed 2. Access needed information effectively and efficiently 3. Evaluate information and sources critically and incorporate into knowledge base and value system 4. Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose 5. Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and access and use information ethically and legally Association of College and Research Libraries. (2000). Information literacy competency standards for higher education. Chicago, IL: ACRL.

17 IL Standards Addressed in LIVE

18 Comparing ACRL Standards: LIVE and Baruch College* *Francoeur, S., & Ellis, L.A. (2001) Information Competency Standards in Chat Reference. Paper presented at the 2001 Virtual Reference Desk Conference, Orlando, Fla.

19 Common Trends Standards #1 and #2 are most commonly addressed –Determine information need –Access information

20 Common Trends Standards #3 and #4 are seldom addressed –Evaluating and incorporating information –Using information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose –These do not necessarily take place in the library

21 Common Trends Standard #5 is occasionally addressed –We regularly co-browse licensed databases with students in LIVE, and must explain the procedure for logging in to our proxy server –Many students inquire about citation styles

22 Can Online and Face-to-face Reference Be Compared? No great difference between question types. Cottrell and Eisenberg (2001) used Eisenberg-Berkowitz Information Problem Solving Model (IPS) (Big 6) to analyze face-to-face reference in an academic setting.

23 IPS Stages 1. Task definition 2. Information-seeking strategies 3. Location and Access 4. Use of Information 5. Synthesis 6. Evaluation Cottrell, J. & Eisenberg, M. (2001). Applying an information problem-solving model to academic reference work: findings and implications. College and Research Libraries 62(4),

24 Comparing IPS Stages and ACRL Competencies IPS Stages Task Definition Info-seeking strategies Location & Access Use of Information Synthesis Evaluation ACRL Standards 1. Determine information need 2. Access information 3. Evaluate & incorporate information 4. Use information for specific purpose 5. Understand info. use, use ethically & legally

25 Comparing Online and Face-to- face Reference Topics frequently addressed include: Task definition, problem definition Developing a search strategy Locating and accessing information

26 Comparing Online and Face-to- face Reference Topics rarely addressed include: Information use, analysis, incorporation Synthesis and application Evaluation

27 Conclusions The medium does not change the user, the question, or the process. Higher-level stages are not a part of the reference desk’s sphere of operations, but may be addressed through formal bibliographic instruction. Reference interview is still essential.


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