Presentation on theme: "Marie L. Radford, Lynn Silipigni Connaway, &"— Presentation transcript:
1Virtual Rituals: Applying Goffman’s Face-Work to an Analysis of Live Chat Reference Encounters Marie L. Radford,Lynn Silipigni Connaway, &Jocelyn A. DeAngelis WilliamsLRS IVLondon, Ontario, CanadaOctober 10-12, 2007
2Seeking Synchronicity: Evaluating Virtual Reference Services from User, Non-User, and Librarian Perspectives$1,103,572 project funded by:Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS)$684,996 grantRutgers, The State University of New Jersey & OCLC, Online Computer Library Center Inc.$405,076 in kind contributions
3Seeking Synchronicity: Evaluating Virtual Reference Services from User, Non-User, and Librarian PerspectivesProject duration: 2 1/2 Years (10/05-3/08)Four phases:Focus group interviewsAnalysis of 1,000+ QuestionPoint live chat transcripts600 online surveys300 telephone interviews
4Phase II: Transcript Analysis Random sample7/04 to 11/06 (18 months)479,673 QuestionPoint sessions totalAvg. 33/mo. = 850 total, 850 examined746 usable transcriptsExcluding system tests & tech problems
5Face-Work“Much of the activity occurring during an encounter can be understood as an effort on everyone’s part to get through the occasion and all the unanticipated and unintentional events that can cast participants in an undesirable light, without disrupting the relationships of the participants”(Goffman, 1967, p. 41)
6Face DefinedPositive social value person claimsSelf-image in terms of approved social attributes
7Face-Work in Encounters Face is located in flow of eventsFeelings about face reinforced by encountersIf better face is established – feel goodIf expectations not fulfilled – feel bad or hurtNeutral experience – expected, not memorable
8Kinds of Face-Work Rituals – Greetings & Closings Corrective Process – Repair & ApologyAvoidance Process– Prevent Threats to FacePoise – Control EmbarrassmentRitualsRitual Greeting: Librarian – “Hi [user name]. I will start searching for you.”Ritual Closings: Librarian – “I wish I could help with the million dollars! And thank you for using our Ask a Librarian service! If you discover that you have more questions, or if you need more info, please feel free to contact us again. I hope you have a great day too!”Corrective Process: User – “Sorry, typo”Avoidance Process: Librarian – “Don’t worry about typos – I make them too!”Poise: User - “I would like to know if I will be on a mailing list, and if it would be brodcast to the world”
9Face-Work in Chat Reference Goffman provides a powerful way to frame analysis of chat encounters.Face & face-work appear in flow of transcript (event).Analysis identifies instances of face-work.Major categories – see handout.
10Interpersonal Communication Findings Relational FacilitatorsInterpersonal aspects of the chat conversation that have a positive impact on the librarian-client interaction and that enhance communication.Relational BarriersInterpersonal aspects of the chat conversation that have a negative impact on the librarian-client interaction and that impede communication.
11Transcript Examples Positive Face-Work – Relational Facilitators “Size of an Atom”Question Type: Subject SearchSubject Type: Life Sciences; Biology (DDC: 570)Duration: min.Negative Face-Work – Relational Barriers“Mesopotamian Government”Subject Type: History of the Ancient World (DDC: 930)Duration: 27 min.
13Facilitators – Differences Librarians vs Facilitators – Differences Librarians vs. Users Librarian Lower Numbers/OccurrenceCategoryLibrariansUsersAlternate spelling/ abbreviation single words76263Lower case29282Self disclosure38583Thanks103882Praise/admiration149Expressions of enthusiasm2060Punctuation for emphasis87207(n=746 Transcripts)
14Facilitators – Differences Librarians vs Facilitators – Differences Librarians vs. Users Librarian Higher Numbers/OccurrenceCategoryLibrariansUsersInclusion137119Encouraging Remarks/Praise8339Offering Personal Opinion25433Polite Expressions371230Suggesting Strategy in Tentative way5926Ellipsis277207(n=746 Transcripts)
15Barriers – Differences Librarians Vs. Users User Higher Numbers/Average CategoryLibrariansUsersDisconfirming1674Abrupt Endings44243Impatience345Rude or Insulting22Goofing Around224Inappropriate Language17(n=746 Transcripts)
16Barriers – Differences Librarians Vs. Users Higher Numbers/Average CategoryLibrariansUsersLimits Time13Ignores Self Disclosure10Inappropriate Script or Response124Failing to Offer Reassurance266Disclaimer27Ignoring cues User wants more help16Premature or Attempted Closing17Failure to Refer(n=746 Transcripts)
17Future Directions Continue to collect & analyze data Online surveys 200 Librarian surveys completed200 Non-user surveys completed200 User surveys in progressTelephone interviews100 Librarians completed100 Users in progress100 Non-users in progress
18Seeking Synchronicity: End NotesThis is one of the outcomes from the projectSeeking Synchronicity:Evaluating Virtual Reference Services from User, Non-User, and Librarian PerspectivesFunded by IMLS, Rutgers University, & OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc.Special thanks to Patrick Confer, Julie Strange, & Janet Torsney.Slides available at project web site:
19Questions Marie L. Radford, Ph.D. Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Ph.D. Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Ph.D.Jocelyn A. DeAngelis Williams