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Virtual Windows: Observing Chat Reference Encounters through Transcript Analysis Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Ph.D., Marie L. Radford, Ph.D. Lawrence Olszewski,

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Presentation on theme: "Virtual Windows: Observing Chat Reference Encounters through Transcript Analysis Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Ph.D., Marie L. Radford, Ph.D. Lawrence Olszewski,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Virtual Windows: Observing Chat Reference Encounters through Transcript Analysis Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Ph.D., Marie L. Radford, Ph.D. Lawrence Olszewski, Ph.D. 19 IAPS International Conference September 11-16, 2006 Alexandria, Egypt

2 Morphing Idea of Library Proliferation of digital libraries –Virtual Reference Services (VRS) –Electronic collections User Preferences –Sources Internet –Electronic sources Humans –Parents –Colleagues/Friends –Professors –Interface design Google-like Amazon

3 Privacy and Confidentiality Traditional reference (FtF and Telephone) –Anonymity and privacy assumed VRS –Verbatim transcripts allow unobtrusive research opportunities –Transcripts provide physical evidence of session

4 Privacy and Confidentiality Known identity of user –Authenticate and improve service –Identify repeat user –Send follow-up information Nature and subject of query –Sensitive questions Medical Legal Personal situations –Confidentiality of all queries should be respected

5 Evaluation of VRS Sustainability of VRS –Factors that influence selection and use of VRS –Behavior of users and librarians in VRS sessions –User and librarian perceptions of satisfaction

6 Seeking Synchronicity: Evaluating Virtual Reference Services from User, Non-User, and Librarian Perspectives $1,103,572 project funded by: –Institute of Museum and Library Services $684,996 grant –Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and OCLC Online Computer Library Center $405,076 in kind contributions

7 Seeking Synchronicity: Evaluating Virtual Reference Services from User, Non-User, and Librarian Perspectives Project duration 10/1/2005-9/30/2007 Four phases: I.Focus group interviews* II.Analysis of 1,000+ QuestionPoint transcripts III.600 online surveys* IV.300 telephone interviews* *Interviews & surveys with VRS users, non-users, & librarians

8 Seeking Synchronicity: Evaluating Virtual Reference Services from User, Non-User, and Librarian Perspectives Identify what individuals say they do – Focus group interviews – Online surveys – Telephone interviews Identify what individuals actually do – Transcript analysis

9 Phase II: 24/7 Transcript Analysis Generated random sample – July 7, 2004 through June 27, 2005 – 263,673 sessions – 25 transcripts/month = 300 total 256 usable transcripts – Excluding system tests and technical problems

10 6 Analyses –Geographical Distribution Library receiving query Library answering query – Type of Library – Type of Questions Katz/Kaske Classification – Subject of Questions Dewey Decimal Classification – Session Duration – Interpersonal Communication Radford Classification

11 n=255

12 n=238

13 n=256

14 n=273

15

16

17

18

19 Service Duration Mean Service Duration: 13:53 Median Service Duration: 10:37

20 Transcript Reading Positive VRS experience –Duration = 1 hour 11 minutes –Academic User –Question – Boston drug company - diabetes –Relational Work –Enthusiastic user –Helpful librarian Less than positive VRS experience –Duration = 39 minutes –Middle school or high school student –Question – physics – car acceleration –Poor reference work –Extreme negative closure

21 Positive Transcript Example UWhere can I find the leading drug companies in boston doing diabetes treatment / prevention R&D? LI can probably give you a few sources to get started, but I may wind up referring you to a business and/or medial librarian specialist. LLet's start witht eNortheastern library web page... Uok great thanks

22 LOK. I'm going to try the "co-browse" option -- that might let us see the same information at once...(if it's working!) Uwonderful Lsince what you want to find are drug companies, I'll try to get you into a busienss database... Uperfect thank you LSorry, I thought there was a way you could search by sic code and get a ranked list of companies in a certian code. U thats alright, seemed liek you were on the right track Positive Transcript Example

23 Negative Transcript Example U Which way is ur car accelerating when youre thrown forward after hitting another bumper car? LIs this a homework question. LI'm not an expert on driving so I really can't answer that Ucan u find a website or something LI'm not sure what you are asking.

24 Negative Transcript Example U…hello? LI really don't understand how I can answer that for you. Ucan i hav another librarian LThe information you gave you me does not help me find any resources to help you.

25 Focus Group Interviews Reasons for Using VRS Convenient Efficient More reliable than search engines & free Allows multi-tasking follow-up & provision of transcript Pleasant interpersonal experience –Librarian on first name basis – more personalized Less intimidating than physical reference desk –Feel comfortable abruptly ending session

26 Focus Group Interviews Reasons for not using VRS Graduate students –Fear of Bothering librarian Looking stupid & advisors finding out –Questions may not be taken seriously –Potential technical problems –Bad experiences in FtF influence expectations of VRS Screenagers –Virtual stalkers (psycho killers) –Not finding a trusted librarian –Unsure of what to expect

27 Focus Group Interviews Challenges for Users & Non-Users Speed and technical problems Delayed response time Librarians are not in users libraries –Fear of no subject expertise Fear of overwhelming librarian

28 Focus Group Interviews Suggestions from Users & Non-Users Inclusion of multiple languages Access to subject specialists Better marketing and publicity –Information on how to connect and use VRS –Reassurance that users will not bother librarians – the library wants the service to be used Faster technology Improved interface design –More color –More attractive

29 Service Implications Sustainability of VRS –Encourage repeat use Protect privacy and anonymity –Encryption programs –Anonymity Button –Opt-out after registering –Opt-in only for necessary information –Sales/Homework Help models Build interpersonal relationships –Disclose first name - trusted librarian –Positive relational communication –Trade-offs in service Personal service vs. personal disclosure –Follow-up capability vs. anonymity –Amazon-like services vs. protection of personal information

30 Conclusions Current service models do not address privacy issues –Millennial generation wary of virtual environments Remote communication poses less interpersonal risk than FtF Positive interpersonal communication imperative for VRS success Many users appreciate convenience and immediacy of VRS

31 Next Steps Conduct –Two additional focus group interviews – VRS users –Online survey & telephone interviews with VRS Users Non-users Librarians Analyses –Gender –User Type Child/Young adult Adult Unknown

32 End Notes This is one of the outcomes from the project Seeking Synchronicity: Evaluating Virtual Reference Services from User, Non-User, and Librarian Perspectives, Marie L. Radford and Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Co-Principal Investigators. Funded by IMLS, Rutgers University and OCLC, Online Computer Library Center. Project web site: onicity/ onicity/

33 Questions Marie L. Radford, Ph.D. Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Ph.D. Lawrence Olszewski, Ph.D.


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