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"ASK" - An National Campaign for Reference?
"ASK" - An National Campaign for Reference?
"ASK" - An National Campaign for Reference?
"ASK" - An National Campaign for Reference?
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"ASK" - An National Campaign for Reference?

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The results of a Library Research Service 60 - Second Survey boiled down. How important is reference? What is the future of reference? Should reference be promoted in a national campaign? These …

The results of a Library Research Service 60 - Second Survey boiled down. How important is reference? What is the future of reference? Should reference be promoted in a national campaign? These questions are answered by librarians.

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  • 1. “ASK” – A Nationa Campa “ al aign for R Reference e? ED3/110.1 10/No. 279 Septem mber 23, 2009 9In a w world where unreliable aauthorship annd What is an LRS 60-Seco n ond Survey?review scholar wed rship are in a mixed bag just a In the style of an online readers poll, th 60- e he Second Su urvey format is short and to th point. By heGoog search aw gle way, what ro should th library ole he definition, the survey can be answered in a minute ncomm munity play in providing information acquisition or less. Naarrow by intent, 60-Second Su , urveysand ddiscernment? capture the perceptions a knowledge e and e of respond dents on a single timely topic. The onlineInspir by a disc red cussion from the Dig_Re listserv, m ef surveys ar distributed electronically via email, re a listservs, b blogs, etc. Resu are reporte briefly on ults edLRS conducted a 60-Second Survey in la 2008 d ate the LRS bl and in more detail in Fast Facts. log e tand a arian-assiste reference services asked if libra edshould be promoted. If so, sh hould a library organizat tion promote reference, perhaps with an e h“ASK campaign (similar to A K” ALA’s “READ campaign The surv also included questions D” n)? veyto meeasure opinion on the sig gnificance o reference a virtual reference. A of and Almost 1,5000librar employees responded and over 560 of them s ry s d shared their views and id deas withcomm ments.Prommoting ReferenceResppondents ove erwhelmingly agreed (92 y 2%) that the library profe ession should do more t toprom mote referenc services ( ce (see Chart 1). A handful of respond dents (3%) sa that aid ence service should no be promot at all. T remainin 5 percent responded trefere es ot ted The ng thatthey a not sure whether ref are e ference serv vices should be promote ed. Chart 1: Th Promotio of Refere he on ence Services Do you think the e library profe ession should d do more to promote refe erence  services? Sho sional library organization launch a national campaig ould a profess gn  pro omoting referrence servicess? 92% Yes Y 83% % 3% No 6% % 5% % Dont Know 11% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Fast Facts – Recent Statiistics from the Library Resear Service rch Colorado State Library • Colorado De o y epartment of Edducation Library & Information Scie ence Program • Morgridge Co ollege of Education • Universit of Denver ty © 2009 • P Permission gran nted to reprodu for nonprofit purposes uce
  • 2. ED3/110.1 10/No. 279 Septem mber 23, 2009 9The idea of a proofessional or rganization laaunching a nnational cam mpaign to pro omote refereencegarneered slightly less but still substantial support, wit over eight out of ten ( th t (83%)respo ondents in fa avor (see Ch 1) of suc an effort. Just over tw hart ch wenty (6%) s said that aprofe essional orga anization sho ould not laun a reference campaig and the r nch gn remainder (11%)said t they “don’t know.” kPublic library employees wer most likely to be in fav of the ide of a profe re y vor ea essional nization starting a refereorgan ence campaign, with 87 percent indic cating suppo ort.Resppondents from academic libraries we somewha less likely to favor a c c ere at y campaign, w with78 pe ercent in suppport.Many comments substantiate the respo y ed ondents’ suppport of a nat tional campa aign forrefere ence. The small percen s ntage of dissenting respoondents opin that libra ned arians are bu usyenough with in-peerson, phone, chat, and email refereence; there i no need to promote th is o heirservic ces. Others lamented th reference desks are too often s hatstaffe by under- ed -trained empployees, whic they cons ch sider a “This is a vital effor Re- s rt.predicament that puts limitati t ervice they decree as crit ions on a se tical. branding reference e rians as "super librar r searc chers" ought to be oReference as a Critical Ser C rvice job # for the #1As on would anticipate, the survey resu show the value place in ne ults e ed profeession.”refere ence service with 1,473 (99%) of th 1,494 res es 3 he spondentsviewing librarian- -assisted seaarching as a necessity. Over half of those respo f ondents (51%)say th assisted searches are greatly ne hat eeded (see CChart 2). On seventee responde nly en entsclaim that libra med arian-assiste reference services are not needed (1%). ed e d Chart 2: How grea is the nee for librar at ed rian-assiste search ed service in today’s informati es ion environment? Gre eatly Needed d 51% Degree of Need Needed d 4 48% Not Needed d 1% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 4 50% 60% Percent tage of Resp pondents Fast Facts – Recent Statiistics from the Library Resear Service rch Colorado State Library • Colorado De o y epartment of Edducation Library & Information Scie ence Program • Morgridge Co ollege of Education • Universit of Denver ty © 2009 • P Permission gran nted to reprodu for nonprofit purposes uce
  • 3. ED3/110.1 10/No. 279 Septem mber 23, 2009 9Librarians concur that referen services are needed but are r nce s d, “I believe that there are three key e ethey cconsidered critical to the survival of libraries? J c e Just under points to library survivo o orship: youth services to establish beehaviors;two-thirds (65%) of the respo ondents agre that refere ee ence reading ccelebration; an reference ndservic are very important to the surviva of libraries and one- ces y o al s services. Each is a leg of the stool gthird (33%) feel th are impo hey ortant (see CChart 3). On 2 percen nly nt supportin healthy libra ng aries.” spondents claimed that reference seof res ervices are n importan not ntto the survival of libraries. e Chart 3: How critical are reference services to the w e o surviival of libraries? Very Im mportant 65% Degree of Importance Im mportant 33% Not Im mportant 2% 0% % 10% 20% 30 0% 40% 50% 60% 70% Percentag ge of Respon ndentsVirtual Referenc ceResp pondents bel lieve that vir rtual referenc will be an ce n “It is the in-person service that p providesintegral complem ment to in-person intervie ews in the fu uture the opportunity fo the most efficient, e orof libr rarian-assist searchin (see Char 4). Eight o of ted ng rt out me eaningful, and t thorough support andten (880%) respon ndents agree that virtual reference w be e will insstruction . . . w while at the sam time mean immportant tool going forwa but it wil never repla ard, ll ace defining the dyna amic and rich social- educational comm munity that is th hein-person referen interview Less tha one in ten (7%) nce ws. an n libr rary. Virtual refference is a dis stantrespo onded that all reference would soon be done in a a sec cond to the rea thing!” alvirtua environme and fewe than half t al ent, er that many (3 3%)think virtual reference is a fad d. Fast Facts – Recent Statiistics from the Library Resear Service rch Colorado State Library • Colorado De o y epartment of Edducation Library & Information Scie ence Program • Morgridge Co ollege of Education • Universit of Denver ty © 2009 • P Permission gran nted to reprodu for nonprofit purposes uce
  • 4. ED3/110.1 10/No. 279 Septem mber 23, 2009 9 Chart 4: Do you think virtu reference services a the u ual are future of library ref f ference? Yes s, but in‐person n  will be needed w 80% Ye es, all referencee  will be virtual w 7% No, its a fad d 3% Dont know w 10% 1 0% 10% 20% 30 0% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80 0% 90%Many comments left by respo y ondents regard virtual re eference as an essential serviceprovid by librar ded ries. Other c comments ssuggest that existing virtual “Soometimes I wishrefere ence tools are clunky an do not pro nd ovide proper patron feed r dback libr rarians would s stopin the timely man e nner necessa to compl ary lete success reference sful tryi to out goog ing gletransactions. Some commen indicated a hopeful a nts d attitude that Go oogle. Let it go!technnology will ad dvance and bring about better tools in the future e. Foc on how we can cus e tea people to ach sea arch smarter.”Surpprising Resu ults?The idea that libr rarians consider referenc to be a va ce aluable serv vice comes a no surpris as se.The rreal story lies in the fact that a strong majority of librarians w f would like to see aprofe essional libra organizat ary tion launch a campaign to promote r reference seervices, whic chthey v view as a cr ritical functio of libraries The overw on s. whelming reesponse shows that libraariansare in nterested in sharing their thoughts o how librar on ries might ad dvance the p public’sawareeness and utilization of librarian-ass u sisted inform mation acquissition.“We need to meet ou users where they are, not w ur where we wish they were. Ma people nev set foot into a any ver olibrary anymore, but they could use our assistance in sorting thr y e rough all of the garbage that is floating aroun on s ndthe Intternet to locate the reliable, authoritative info e ormation. Without marketing our services, w without making thepublic aware of what we have to off them, how c they know just how much we can help t t ffer can w h them?” ABOOUT THIS ISSU UE Autho Sean Lambo or: orne – DU-LRS Research Fellow S Library Re esearch Service ▪ 201 East C Colfax Avenue, Suite 309 ▪ De enver, CO 8020 03-1799 Phone 303.866.6900 ▪ E-mail: LRS@LRS.or ▪ Web site: w P : rg www.LRS.org Fast Facts – Recent Statiistics from the Library Resear Service rch Colorado State Library • Colorado De o y epartment of Edducation Library & Information Scie ence Program • Morgridge Co ollege of Education • Universit of Denver ty © 2009 • P Permission gran nted to reprodu for nonprofit purposes uce

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