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Not Dead Yet! Ready Reference in Live Chat Reference. Marie L. Radford Lynn Silipigni Connaway 13 th RUSA New Reference Research Forum ALA Annual Conference.

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Presentation on theme: "Not Dead Yet! Ready Reference in Live Chat Reference. Marie L. Radford Lynn Silipigni Connaway 13 th RUSA New Reference Research Forum ALA Annual Conference."— Presentation transcript:

1 Not Dead Yet! Ready Reference in Live Chat Reference. Marie L. Radford Lynn Silipigni Connaway 13 th RUSA New Reference Research Forum ALA Annual Conference Washington DC June 24, 2007

2 2 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, Inc. $405,076 in kind contributions

3 3 Ready Reference - Alive and Kicking! n=915

4 4 Ready Reference Questions Received by Type of Chat Service n=162 transcripts Consortium (public + academic), 45

5 5 Subject Search Defined (aka Specific Search) A search on a topic. Almost always takes the form of giving the user a document, for example, a list of citations, a book, or a report (Arnold & Kaske, 2005). can you help me find poems by Maya Angelou and criticism on them? (Q230)

6 6 Ready Reference Defined These are the typical ready-reference or data queries that require only a single, usually uncomplicated, straightforward answer...Who? What? When? Why? Where? (Arnold & Kaske 2005). was the european red fox the only fox that was introduced to australia? (T50) Who was Bentonville, NC named after? (T147)

7 7 Policy & Procedural Defined Questions pertaining to the policies or procedures within the library system (Arnold & Kaske, 2005). Can I get summer long term renewals online? How? (T4)

8 8 Holdings Defined Questions about specific holdings of a library in print or digital form (Arnold & Kaske, 2005). Do you have any books on Paris Hilton? (doing a project on her) (T195)

9 9 Research Defined Research questions differ from other inquiries in that most involve trial-and- error searching or browsing (Arnold & Kaske, 2005). Hi, I am trying to find out information on how the Learn Direct initiative was started, the criteria that was set and if local government had to be involved in the first stage. (Q155)

10 10 Inappropriate Defined Questions which are not appropriate for a reference service including personal questions (Radford, 2005). How do I have sex? (T59) Are you naked? (Librarian Online Survey)

11 11 Directional Defined The general information or directional question is of the information booth variety… (Arnold & Kaske, 2005) Where is the 67th street library? Is it on the west or east side? (Q387)

12 12 Readers Advisory Defined Readers Advisory questions are asked by users who want to find books they want to read, usually fiction books to be read for pleasure (Ross, Nilsen & Dewdney, 2002). Hello I am looking for recommendations for the author jonathan kellerman. (T218)

13 13 How accurate are VR librarians/staff for ready reference questions? Do we see the 55% rule in effect? (Hernon & McClure, 1987) Accuracy in VR Ready Reference?

14 14 78% Correct! (141) (36) (3) n=180

15 15 69% Correct with Citation! n=141 (125) (9)(7)

16 16 Incorrect Answers n=36 (27) (3)(6)

17 17 Incorrect ready reference answers that dont have to be… n=36 (27) (3)(6)

18 18 Question on why President John McKinley was assassinated in 1901?

19 19 John McKinley was born in Culpepper County, Virginia in At an early age, his father died and his family moved to Kentucky. In 1800, McKinley began the practice of law in Louisville Kentucky. In 1838, while resident of Florence, John McKinley was appointed the 23 rd Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court by President Martin Van Buren. John McKinley Biography

20 20 sorry i meant william

21 21

22 22 Upon Closer Look… His second term, which had begun auspiciously, came to a tragic end in September He was standing in a receiving line at the Buffalo Pan- American Exposition when a deranged anarchist shot him twice. He died eight days later. BUT THE Users QUESTION REMAINS… WHY???

23 23 This site answers why, but was never sent

24 24 1 Simple Way to Increase Accuracy (from 78% to 90%) Answer specific question asked! Before you push a general info. page… Make sure it has specific & exact answer to users question!

25 25 Cited References Arnold J. & Kaske, N. K. (2005). Evaluating the quality of a chat service. portal: Libraries and the Academy, 5(2), Hernon, P. & McClure C.R. (1987). Library reference service: An unrecognized crisis- a symposium. JAL, 13, Janes, J. (2003). What is reference for? RSR, 31(1), p. 24. Katz, W. A. (1997). Introduction to Reference Work. (7th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. Ross, C.S., Nilsen, K., & Dewdney, P. (2002). Conducting the reference interview: A how-to-do-it manual for librarians. NY: Neal-Schumann. Tyckoson, D. (2003). On the desirableness of personal relations between librarians and readers: The past & future of reference services. RSR, 31(1),

26 26 End Notes This is one outcome from the project Seeking Synchronicity: Evaluating Virtual Reference Services from User, Non-User, & Librarian Perspectives, Marie L. Radford & Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Co-Principal Investigators. Funded by IMLS, Rutgers University and OCLC, Online Computer Library Center, Inc. Special thanks to Jocelyn DeAngelis Williams, Patrick Confer, Timothy Dickey, David M. Dragos, Mary Anne Reilly, Susanna Sabolcsi-Boros, Julie Strange, & Janet Torsney. These slides available at project website:


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