FSU SLIS Wk2 Intro to Info Services: Reference Interview
“Reference Interview”LIS 5603, Intro to Information ServicesDr. Lorri Mon, FSU College ofCommunication & Information
Reference InterviewThe basic problem: Questioner is looking for something that s/he doesn’t know and can’t find. How do I find out what it is that s/he doesn’t know?Week 2: We learn about reference questions and doing reference interviews.Assignment: Interviewer F2F; Questioner in chat or IM; write reflective paper
Users and Information Needs – Nicholas Belkin’s ASK – the Anomalous State of Knowledge VISCERAL – Robert Taylor’s model: CONSCIOUS EXPRESSED (“Do you have books on china?”) COMPROMISED FORMALIZEDBelkin, N. J., R. N. Oddy & H. M. Brooks (1982), "ASK for Information Retrieval: Part I.Background and Theory," Journal of Documentation, 38(2): 61-71; Taylor, Robert S. (1962), "TheProcess of Asking Questions," American Documentation, 13: 391-396.
The Need for Question NegotiationProblems Why the Problems?Question too broad (books Just point me to the general on China?) area, I’ll find it myself… – Actual need: vaccines for travel to China • “You’re busy, I don’tQuestion too specific want to bother you.” (where’s Psychology Today?) • “I don’t want to look – Actual need: a specific stupid.” article, but doesn’t have a cite or know about indexes.
Reading for this Week: Dewdney & Ross Patricia Dewdney and Catherine Sheldrick Ross (1998) Negative Closure: Strategies and Counter-Strategies in the Reference Transaction. Reference & User Services Quarterly. 38 no. 2, 151-163.When the reference interaction goes wrong…
Robert Taylor’s Model, 1968 Information Specialist’s “Five Filters” 1 = Determination of Subject 2 = Objective and Motivation 3 = Personal Characteristics 4 = Relationship to File Organization 5 = Anticipated/Acceptable AnswersTaylor, Robert (1968), “Question Negotiation and Information Seekingin Libraries,” College & Research Libraries, May 1968: 178-194.
Open-Neutral-Closed QuestionsOpen and Neutral Questions -(examples) no choices or constraintsCan you tell me more about this?How will you use this information?Closed Questions –(examples) choices, yes/no, constrainedDo you want a book or a journal?Is this for a class assignment?
Reading for This Week: Dervin, Brenda & PatriciaDewdney (1986), "Neutral Questioning: A New Approachto the Reference Interview," RQ, 25(4): 506-513. Neutral Interview Questions • How did you hear of this? • How will you use this? • Where have you looked for this? • What have you found so far? • Please tell me more about your topic. • What else do you know about this? • If I found the perfect book for you, what would it have in it?
The CLOSED QUESTIONS CHALLENGE Let’s Play 20 Questions!Open and Neutral Questions -(examples) no choices or constraintsCan you tell me more about this? NotHow will you use this information? AllowedClosed Questions –(examples) choices, yes/no, constrained OKDo you want a book or a journal? to AskIs this for a class assignment?
And Sometimes, Interviewing Fails Worth remembering – the “imposed query” – it’s not always the users’ questionGross, Melissa & Matthew L. Saxton (2001), "Who Wants toKnow? Imposed Queries in the Public Library," PublicLibraries, May/June 2001: 170-176
ALA RUSA Behavioral Guidelines 1.0 Approachability 2.0 Interest 3.0 Listening/Inquiring 4.0 Searching 5.0 Follow-uphttp://www.ala.org/rusa/resources/guidelines/guidelinesbehavioral
The Six Mandatory Answer Elements 1. “Hello from the Internet Public Library!” (greeting) 2. “Thanks for your question about fish.” (restatement) 3. “Here’s the answer:” (answer) 4. “Here’s the urls, print citations, call numbers” (citing your sources) 5. “I found this information using source with search: keywords” (info literacy: show how you found it) 6. “Please write back if you need more help, and thanks for asking the IPL!” (closing)http://www.ipl.2org http://training.ipl.org/backroom/refvols/students/checklist.html
IPL2 Question Answering You will answer 4 questions (1 “Practice” question and 3 questions from real IPL patrons) To begin: read the IPL Student Start Pages, complete the Quiz, receive your IPL2 login, answer 1 Practice question (following IPL rules) & await IPL2’s feedback (clearance to move on) What Are The Rules? Six mandatory elements (1. greeting, 2. restatement, 3. answer, 4. cite sources, 5. teach the process, 6. closing) Your professionalism (meet the deadline; answer within 24 hrs of claiming – contact Jen or post a followup on delays; only two simultaneous claimed questions; use real research skills – go beyond what users already can do; follow licensed resource rules and IPL2 policies.)IPL2’s Jen Lau Bond: firstname.lastname@example.org QRC: http://qrc.ipl.orgIPL2 Student Start Page http://training.ipl.org/div/backroom/refvols/students/
Putting it all Together:Let’s Answer a Real Question in IPL2!
Tips on Answering IPL2 Questions … managing time, avoiding claim-jumping• Read the question carefully – every part.• Don’t claim unless you’re going to start on it.• First, click UPDATE or use browser “Refresh” (in case someone already Claimed it seconds ago!)• Then, click CLAIM (no more than 2 Claims)• Reevaluate after 20 mins – change strategies• Assume that it will take you at least 15 minutes to compose answer (if not more) Practice Questions: Remember to complete a questionnaire!
What is a Good Answer?• Restates/rephrases the question• Friendly communication• Complete and accurate answer• Never say “we don’t have it” without checking• Never reply off the top of your head – look it up!• Meet the deadline – and faster is better• Maintain objectivity, show both/all sides• Include sources/citations; copy/paste; proofread!• Reasonable number of sources (3 or more)• Show the search and explain use of search toolsAnd open the door - “let me know if this doesn’t meet your needs”
Next Week: Web Searching & EvaluationRead Drabenstott’s article on searching as we begin working on our searching and answering!Also keep in mind this upcoming due date –Sept 17: E-mail brief description of your Research Guide topic – email@example.com (it’s handy to have your topic in mind as we look at different resources you can collect!)