22nd Annual Reference Research Forum

2016 ALA Annual Conference - Orlando, FL

The Research Process of First-Year Students
Presenter: Laura Hibbler, Brandeis University

As librarians, we often provide instruction to students at the early stages of the research process and do not have the opportunity to see the steps that students take next. Even when we do have the opportunity to see the end product of a student's research, the student's paper or project may reveal little about ways that the student's research focus shifted over time and which parts of the research process caused frustration. This presentation will describe findings from a study that involved interviewing first-year students at three different points while they were working on a research paper. By interviewing students over the span of the time that they were working on their research essays, the librarian was able to ask students to reflect on the steps they had taken and students were able to provide a more complete picture of their research process.

Container Collapse!: How Students Determine Identity and Credibility of Digital Resources
Presenter: Tara Tobin Cataldo, University of Florida

What does it mean to be format agnostic and what role does it play in a student's determination of credibility of digital information? Our three-year, IMLS-funded research project explores this phenomenon with students from 4th grade to graduate school using age-appropriate science inquiry examples. The research team has created a new methodology for observing and studying information-seeking behavior in a simulated online environment. This presentation outlines our project, demonstrates the simulations, and discusses the study's implications for all librarians, educators and online information providers. We seek your feedback and welcome lively dialogue.

Research Consultations and Dweck's Theories of Intelligence
Presenter: Amanda L. Folk, University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg

Reference interactions, particularly research consultations, are informal teaching and learning opportunities in which librarians aim to help patrons develop information literacy skills and locate relevant information. Few studies, however, focus on understanding patrons' motivations for consulting a librarian for help in order to explore whether or not these patrons are simply seeking to locate the relevant information or if they want to learn about the research process more generally through interactions with a librarian. Carol Dweck identified the fixed and incremental theories of intelligence, which could affect how patrons navigate the research process, including if they will seek help from a librarian and what they intend to take away from that interaction. This study seeks to determine if students who make appointments for research consultations with a librarian at small regional campus of a public research university subscribe to a particular theory of intelligence as defined by Carol Dweck, in order to provide evidence that can be used to inform reference practice and information literacy instruction.