Information Seeking & Reference Services
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Information Seeking & Reference Services Presentation Transcript

  • 1. & REFERENCE SERVICES Information Seeking Laura Jakubowski & Lauren Shopp LIS 204 –St. John’s University
  • 2. Information Seeking When an individual needs information, three things take place: Information need – recognizing that what you know is inadequate to answer the problem at hand Information seeking – the process by which you find knowledge to address the problem at hand Information behavior – how you go about seeking information to address the problem at hand
  • 3. Information Seeking & PLE When thinking about information needs, seeking, and behaviors, keep in mind that most people operate under Zipf’s Principle of Least Effort (PLE): When performing tasks, people will use a method that requires the least • effort. To do so, people often return to previous, surefire methods in order to • accomplish tasks as quickly as possible. In information-seeking, this leads to people returning to the same sources for answers. People tend not to go to the library for information because it is seen as a • place requiring effort.
  • 4. Information Seeking & PLE As a result of PLE: We can fail to seek out objective information. Instead, • we go to friends, family, coworkers, etc. We rarely use formal sources. Due to an overwhelming amount of information, “having • information” is not the same as “being informed.” The problem lies not in acquiring data but interpreting it. When there is this much information available, • information seeking is never-ending!
  • 5. Reference Services
  • 6. Reference Service Definition: Personal assistance provided by  members of the reference staff to library users in pursuit of information; a PERSONAL and INTERACTIVE service Note: Service to users, AKA Reference  Service, is considered to be one of the three functions libraries have…
  • 7. Four Objectives of Reference Service INSTRUCTION past: teaching those who never used a library before how to use a library present: teaching library users new tools, resources, and technologies that exist in today’s society
  • 8. Four Objectives of Reference Services QUESTION-ANSWERING past: users came in with specific questions and librarians helped them find the answer present: librarians answer questions that are much broader and inexact
  • 9. Four Objectives of Reference Services READERS’ ADVISORY past: guiding users to “good” works considered to be morally and spiritually uplifting present: recommending specific resources that best fit the users’ needs
  • 10. Four Objectives of Reference Services READERS’ ADVISORY When helping readers find what they might enjoy reading, librarians use various techniques and programs, such as: {face-to-face encounters, reading discussion groups, book lists, book displays, merchandising, weblogs [earlyword.com], email}
  • 11. Four Objectives of Reference Services MARKETING & PROMOTION past: mere act of helping people (interaction) was a means of promoting the library present: librarians continue to promote and build goodwill for their librarians by remaining accessible and helpful
  • 12. The Reference Interview Process the librarian follows to determine the user’s needs Five areas critical to reference success…
  • 13. The Reference Interview Approachability environments that encourage questions 1. Interest in questions being asked 2. Listening/Inquiry paying attention; clarifying questions 3. Searching for a response to the question(s) 4. Follow Up checking to see if need was fulfilled 5.
  • 14. Reference Service Tools -Shifted from physical sources, aka “reference books,” to a computer with an Internet connection -Storage/Reproduction Tools -- technologies that provide access to information not necessarily available in the library (examples: photocopier, printer, videotape/DVD) -Communication Tools -- technologies that allow librarians to reach out to users not physically in the building (examples: email, telephone, fax machine)
  • 15. Reference Service Tools The CORE of reference services is the PERSONAL interaction between the user and the librarian (this remains the same even as tools, information sources, communication technology, and communities change).
  • 16. Meeting User Needs With Technology • Librarians are uniquely positioned to best take advantage of how technological trends can benefit users. Because they are equipped with the skills to find and evaluate the best sources of information, librarians can leverage technologies to meet people’s needs. • In order to meet needs, librarians must also be able to best determine which technological solution to use to address a patron problem or issue.
  • 17. Meeting User Needs With Technology • Choosing one technology is the hard part. There are many out there: • Blogs • Wikis • Social Networking • RSS Feeds • Podcasts • IM • Flickr • Vodcasts
  • 18. Examples of Library 2.0 • Seattle Public Library Blog - Shelf Talk • Brooklyn Public Library Kids, Teens, and Parents microsite • MIT’s “Help Yourself” website • Boston Public Library’s “What Will I Read Next?”
  • 19. The Best Googlers • Librarians are the best Googlers because they know how information is organized, indexed, and abstracted. They are able to use that knowledge to best determine how information should be presented.
  • 20. Reference Services Traditional & Web 2.0
  • 21. Targeted User Services Targeted audiences: how the library reaches out to specific user groups Homebounder/Home Delivery Service * Aimed at helping older adults suffering from a disability receive library books and materials through the mail Children’s Book Lists * Organized reading lists by age/grade found throughout children’s room
  • 22. Targeted User Services Targeted audiences: how the library reaches out to specific user groups Suffolk Homework Help * Students grades K-12 with a library card can access tutors 2 pm - 11 pm, 7 days a week
  • 23. Web 2.0 User Services Today, traditional reference services are being somewhat eclipsed by simple, easy-to-use online tools. Some are powered by libraries, who send out information about new library books NYPL: New Fiction/Mystery Newsletter
  • 24. Web 2.0 User Services Some are user-generated, and allow users to view others’ books/tags to help choose what they will read next: - GoodReads.com - BookJetty.com