MLIM6025 Research Plan Name: Yuen Sze Wai Ronda Student Number: 2006977114
Title: The Current Practices of Digital Reference Service in UK & HK Academic Libraries
Digital reference is a service by which library reference service is conducted online, and the reference transaction is a computer-mediated communication.
D igital reference service comprises the following elements:
a. the user of the service
b. the interface (e-mail, web form, chat, videoconference, etc.)
c. the information professional
d. electronic resources (including electronic or CD-based resources, web resources, local digitized material etc.)
My study aims to explore digital reference service in academic libraries in U.K and Hong Kong.
It aims to investigate the current practices of digital reference service of Glasgow University Library, the University of Strathclyde Library and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Library . It provides examples of other universities libraries in UK and H.K.
S tudy P articipants :
To develop description of digital reference service specific to the three academic libraries --- two academic libraries from UK and one University from Hong Kong.
To develop description of digital reference service specific to samples and examples of two areas, UK and Hong Kong.
To compare and contrast the digital reference service implemented by the academic libraries in two areas .
To suggest possible implications for institutions to adopt digital reference service .
To analyze the challenge in academic libraries.
Analyze the current practices of digital reference service in UK and HK
Analyze the development and policy at local level of digital reference service in UK and HK.
Analyze the benefits of digital reference service in academic libraries .
Analyze the success factors for implementing digital reference service in academic libraries .
Analyze the problems and challenges in academic libraries .
Why is this important topic to study ?
Increasing access to resources beyond the library.
Lack of geographic constraints for users.
Increase in complexity of information resources and the need for specialized knowledge.
New options for answering reference questions.
Importance of Digital Reference Service :
How will data be collected and analyzed :
My research will be carried out by qualitative research method and major means of data collection will be in-depth interviews and depth research to examine the current practices of digital reference service .
Furthermore, I will visit the academic libraries and conduct interviews with members of staff to discuss the current state of digital reference service . A list of discussion topics are selected as a guide to p rovide some direction for the interviews.
On the other hand, I will use open-ended questions as well as active listening skills. The open-ended question is designed to collect more rich data and more thoughts. This gives the respondents more freedom to express themselves and they will feel more relax. All the interview session will tape-recorded and fully transcribed. The transcripts are use for future analysis.
Qualitative Research Qualitative research is most appropriate because the study focused on in-depth study of current practices and it allowed the researcher to explore attitudes, perceptions and emotions which are not possible if one had used rigidly defined statistical methods. Moreover, it can capture and analyze the rich responses that were expected from the participant audience.
On the other hand, my study will be carried by case study. T he sources of case study include documentation ( guidelines, reports, library documents, newspapers and articles), library web pages, interviews and reference books. Furthermore, my research is based on the documents and literature review.
Gay, L. R., Mills, G. E., & Airasian, P. (2006). Educational Research: Competencies for Analysis and Applications. Upper Saddle River, N.J. : Pearson/Merrill Prentice Hall