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Library Research Round Table ALA Annual Conference Anaheim, CA June 26-July 2, 2008 I Find What I Need Behaviors and Information-Seeking Preferences of.

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Presentation on theme: "Library Research Round Table ALA Annual Conference Anaheim, CA June 26-July 2, 2008 I Find What I Need Behaviors and Information-Seeking Preferences of."— Presentation transcript:

1 Library Research Round Table ALA Annual Conference Anaheim, CA June 26-July 2, 2008 I Find What I Need Behaviors and Information-Seeking Preferences of Non-Users of Virtual Reference Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Ph.D. Senior Research Scientist, OCLC Marie L. Radford, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Jocelyn A. DeAngelis Williams Ph.D. Candidate, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Timothy J. Dickey, Ph.D. Post Doctoral Researcher, OCLC

2 Seeking Synchronicity: Evaluating Virtual Reference Services from User, Non-User, & Librarian Perspectives Funded by IMLS, Rutgers, OCLC Project duration 10/1/2005-3/30/2008 Four phases I.Focus group interviews* II.Analysis of 850 QuestionPoint transcripts III.496 online surveys* IV.283 telephone interviews* * Interviews & Surveys with VRS Users, Non-users, & Librarians

3 Phase I: Focus Groups 4 Focus Groups (40 non-users interviewed): 3 with Screenagers (rural, suburban, & urban) 1 with college students (graduate) 2 with VRS librarians 2 with VRS users (college students & adults)

4 Phases III & IV: Surveys & Interviews 184 Online Surveys: Majority female & Caucasian Public library users outnumber school & academic library users More suburban than urban or rural Most years old 107 Telephone Interviews: Majority female & Caucasian Public library users outnumber school & academic library users More suburban than urban or rural Most years old

5 Two Theoretical Perspectives Goffman (1959, 1967) Impression Management Ritual nature of human interaction Facework & Facethreat Watzlawick, Beavin, & Jackson (1967) Every message has dual dimensions Content = Information (What) Relational = Interpersonal aspects (How to interpret)

6 Libraries Today M eet the information needs of differing groups Largest groups: Baby boomers ( ) Cohort #1 (Born 1946 – 1954) Cohort #2 (Born 1955 – 1964) Millennials (1979 – 1994) Screenagers (Born )

7 Non-user Behaviors and Information-Seeking Preferences Research Questions: How do non-users of VRS meet information needs? Why do they choose resources other than VRS? What features attract them to these other resources? What might influence them to try VRS?

8 Major Findings Non-user Behaviors and Information-Seeking Preferences

9 How Do Non-users of VRS Meet Information Needs? The Internet Google Wikipedia

10 How Do Non-users of VRS Meet Information Needs? People (Phone to) Family members Friends Teachers/Professors Experts in field/subject area

11 How Do Non-users of VRS Meet Information Needs? Librarians Value of FtF interaction Librarians expertise

12 Why do Non-users Choose Resources Other than VRS? Privacy/Security Concerns Prefer a known librarian Not some psycho serial killer

13 Why do Non-users Choose Resources Other than VRS? Trustworthiness & Accuracy Librarian might... be chatting with too many people not be a specialist withhold information knowingly

14 Why do Non-users Choose Resources Other than VRS? Independence Prefer to do own search Use the Internet No librarian necessary

15 What Features Attract VRS Non-users to Other Resources? Convenience, convenience, convenience Working from home At night or on weekends Millennials especially value convenience

16 What Features Attract VRS Non-users to Other Resources? Convenience & staying home To be honest with you, I dont like to walk to the library. (NTI-109)

17 What Features Attract VRS Non-users to Other Resources? Convenience & impatience Work under deadlines Cannot wait

18 Reasons for Non-use of VRS Boomers & Millennials Do not know Service availability (the single greatest factor!) Librarian can help 24/7 availability Satisfied with other information sources

19 Reasons for Non-use of VRS Boomer concerns… Their own Computer literacy & Typing speed Complexity of chat environment

20 What is Important for VRS Success? Accuracy of answers/information Especially value specific information requested Librarians Knowledge of sources & systems Positive attitude Good communication skills

21 Some Concerns with VRS Can VRS blend convenience & quality? Quality of interaction Librarians willingness to market & help Personalized help

22 What Might Influence Non-users to try VRS? The Library can be Inconvenient Limited hours Limited collection Depth Breadth Resources hard to use

23 What Might Influence Non-users to try VRS? Libraries are associated with BOOKS Books arent convenient to retrieve from the library Libraries are QUIET For studying

24 What Might Influence Non-users to Try VRS? Creative marketing Promote full range of reference options Reassure that chat is safe Build positive relationships 1 person at a time Regardless of format FtF Phone Online

25 Future Directions for Study Data collection completed Analyses nearly completed Studying critical factors by participants age & other demographics Increasing, merging, & crossing-over from one mode to another (FtF, Phone, Chat, , etc.)

26 References Flanagan, J. C. (1954). The critical incident technique. Psychological Bulletin, 5, Goffman, E. (1967). Interaction ritual, essays on face-to- face behavior. Garden City, NY: Doubleday. Goffman, E. (1959). The presentation of self in everyday life. Garden City, NY: Doubleday Anchor. Rushkoff, D. (1996). Playing the future: What we can learn from digital kids. NY: Harper Collins. Watzlawick, P., Beavin, J., & Jackson, D. D. (1967). Pragmatics of human communication. NY: Norton.

27 End Notes This is one outcome from the project, Seeking Synchronicity: Evaluating Virtual Reference Services from User, Non-User, and Librarian Perspectives, Marie L. Radford & Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Co-Principal Investigators. Funded by IMLS, Rutgers University and OCLC. Special thanks to Patrick Confer, Heather Lea Moulaison, Andrea Simzak, Jannica Heinstrom, Lisa Rose-Wiles, and David M. Dragos. These slides available at project website:

28 Questions & Comments Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Ph.D. Marie L. Radford, Ph.D.


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