Saturday, June 23, 2007

ALA 2007 - Library Research Round Table Research Forum, part two

In the second segment of this session, Laurie Bonnici (Drexel), Lynne Watson (Florida State) presented on "Other place as library". What they were interested in was do "other places" compete with libraries (using Oldenburg’s “Third Place” (1989) as their theoretical framework).

They used unobtrusive observation between 4/2006 – 8/2006 and a web based survey in February 2007 as their methods.

They presented some of the demographics from their survey and one of those was generation: 1 silent, 12 boomers, 12 x’s, 90 millennials.
Only 3% of the respondents to the survey given in the coffee house were using library resources but 3% also said they would like assistance with using library resources.

Most of their respondents stayed in the library between one and five hours (50% roughly).

Some of their reasons for not using the library:
- have a computer at home/work
- takes too long & pay to print
- internet service is poor
- no wifi
- have wireless laptop, don’t need to go to the library

In the library café most get coffee and move to the library (50%+).

They went through this presentation so fast that I only got about half of their points, need to look to see if they publish this somewhere (proceedings?).

Finally, Marie Radford (Rutgers), Lynn Silipigni Connaway (OCLC) presented the results of a multi year (10/05 – 9/07) project looking at virtual reference. Four phases: focus groups, analysis of live chat reference interviews, online surveys, telephone interviews. I’m not sure what their research question was, from the discussion I think that it has to do with the success of virtual reference transactions and, specifically, the success when the librarian clarifies the user’s query as compared to when the librarian doesn’t do so. [Query clarification = reference interview.]

Their results are available on the web at OCLC in a URL that ended with /synchronicity.

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