11th Annual Reference Research Forum

2005 ALA Annual Conference, Chicago, IL

Assessment of Student Learning From Reference Service
Powerpoint Presentation by Jill Gremmels & Karen Lehmann

This study takes evaluation of reference service in academic libraries in a new direction by adding assessment focused on student learning rather than on evaluation of techniques or results.  The challenge of assessment, as presented by regional accrediting associations and others interested in accountability, is for institutions of higher education to prove that students are learning what instructors intend to teach.  Questionnaires administered after instructional reference questions compared the student's self-report of what was learned with the librarian's statement of what was taught.  In addition, the two-year study tested whether students perceived a link to information literacy content from class sessions.

Building DREW: a Data Warehouse for Digital Reference
Powerpoint Presentation by R. David Lankes & Scott Nicholson

Scott Nicholson and R. David Lankes, faculty at Syracuse University School of Information Studies, will present the progress and future of the Digital Reference Electronic Warehouse (DREW) project.  The goals of the DREW project are to: create a schema useful in archiving components of a reference transaction in a standardized manner; work with services to turn their archives into the DREW format; collect, clean, and remove personally identifiable information; create an exploration space for library scientists to create new models, measures, reports, and generalizations about the reference process; and create the infrastructure to allow services to directly benefit from the models the researchers create.    Both librarians and researchers will learn how they can participate in the collaborative DREW project.

CSI Cyberspace: A Multiple Case Study Investigation of the Untimely Demise of Seven Virtual Reference Services
Powerpoint Presentation by Marie L. Radford & M. Kathleen Kern

Chat reference services have come to life on library home pages in a growing trend over the last few years. Many virtual reference projects have been successful and are increasingly viewed as integral parts of reference services. However, it is also a reality that several libraries have started virtual reference services, only to discontinue them in a relatively short amount of time. Using the comparative case study method, this research investigates the reasons why six virtual reference services were discontinued. Data consists of structured interviews with the library decision makers and an analysis of available relevant reports and documents.