24th Annual Reference Research Forum

2018 ALA Annual Conference - New Orleans, LA

Reframing Reference Through Participatory Visual Methods
Presenter: Eamon Tewell, Long Island University

How can academic librarians improve reference services for marginalized students? How can research into these questions center students' ideas and lived experiences? This study uses Photovoice, a participatory method that combines photography, interviews, and discussion to create change regarding an issue. Attendees will gain insight into how 11 students from historically marginalized backgrounds seek information in their everyday activities, learn about students' recommendations, and potential implications for the development and redesign of reference services.

Reference on Demand: Testing an 'Uber Reference' Service in an Academic Library
Presenter: Brian D. Moss, Universitiy of Kansas

In an effort to overcome students' reluctance to approach library staff, we have begun testing an "Uber Reference" model that allows patrons to summon library staff to group study areas within the library. This presentation will present the findings of a pilot study within a large academic library, examining the effectiveness of this on-demand reference service. The presentation will conclude with suggestions for how other libraries can implement their own on-demand reference services, drawing upon the lesson learned through this pilot study.

You Didn't Say 'Hola': What Happens When the Reference Script is Altered
Presenters: Julie Marie Frye, Indiana University and Maria Hasler Barker, SamĀ  Houston State University

Grounded in a Critical Theory framework (Habermas, 1984), we used conversation analysis (Schegloff, 2007) to examine 20 hours of digitally-recorded reference desk activity at a public library in a US-Mexico border city. This study contributes to an understanding of how the reference initiation type can affect the efficiency and effectiveness of bilingual transactions. Our findings illuminate cross-cultural communicative differences for scholars and practitioners who seek to improve bilingual patron comfort in libraries.