9th Annual Reference Research Forum
June 21, 2003, 1:30 – 3:30 pm
Hilton: Governor’s General Room
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
An Analysis of Sources Used to Answer Reference Questions
Robert Lenholt, Jane Bradford, and Barbara Costello, Stetson University, DeLand, Florida
Are print reference sources are used much less frequently than electronic sources to answer patron queries? To test this hypothesis, reference librarians at the duPont-Ball Library recorded every question asked at the reference desk (except directional and computer/printer problems) and what source or sources were used during two two-month periods during fall 2002 and spring 2003. The authors will discuss the results of their analysis and possible impact on collection development and training.
Trends in Staffing:Paraprofessionals and Librarians Talk about Working the Desk
Jennifer Sweeney, Department of Information Studies, UCLA
Do librarians and paraprofessionals have different perceptions of reference work? This qualitative research project investigated basic aspects of work environments and personal perceptions of reference work in academic libraries. Interviews were conducted with professionals and paraprofessionals who work at reference desks.
What are they asking? An analysis of questions asked at in-person and virtual service points.
M. Kathleen Kern, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Is there a difference in questions asked at the in-person reference desk, chat reference service, email and telephone? Appropriate staffing and training depends on understanding our patrons' information needs at these various points of contact. This study examined 1500 questions received at the Central Reference Services desk during fall and spring semesters 2001-2002.