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Technological Advances in Reference Work

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Presented by Marian Ramos at PAARL’s National Summer Conference on the theme "Superior Practices and World Widening Services of Philippine Libraries", held at Dao District, Tagbilaran City, Bohol, 14-16 April 2010

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Technological Advances in Reference Work

  1. 1. Superior Practices and World Widening  Services of Philippine Libraries PAARL National Summer Conference  14‐16 April 2010 Tagbilaran City, Bohol Technological Advances in Reference Work
  2. 2. Overview Changing nature of reference Virtual reference services Developments in virtual reference services Ingredients of great virtual reference services Roles of reference librarians Privacy Conclusion Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 2
  3. 3. [1/2] User’s Feedback on Reference “ Good service, “It was friendly folks. wonderfully helpful to be I like the able to flashing chat contact a box, so I can librarian do other stuff quickly and while waiting” easily from my desk.” Source:(Kaske, 2003) Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 3
  4. 4. [2/2] User’s Feedback on Reference “The process was extremely responsive, answered all my questions and thus saved me a lot of time in my research process.” “This service rocks!” Source:(Kaske, 2003) Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 4
  5. 5. [1/2] Changing Nature of Reference Information technologies have facilitated traditional reference process and made it more effective Reference service stretches far beyond the walls of the library Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 5
  6. 6. [2/2] Changing Nature of Reference 24/7 Ask-a-Librarians through virtual reference 24/7 access to electronic resources via library website With ICTs, accessing and using the library is more convenient and less threatening Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 6
  7. 7. [2/2] Changing Nature of Reference New models of reference to meet different generational user needs Additional points of service Still personal service although not necessarily face-to-face Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 7
  8. 8. [1/4] Factors Driving Change Shrinking budgets – Strategies • Trimming hours • Merging departments • Consolidating service points • Hiring freezes • Use of fixed‐term appointments • Hiring entry‐level rather than experienced  librarians Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 8
  9. 9. [2/4] Factors Driving Change The Millenials – Almost 70 million people were born between 1977 & 1994 – Characteristics • Visually oriented • Easily bored • Very demanding • Used to having the best of every thing • Tech savvy Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 9
  10. 10. [3/4] Factors Driving Change The Millenials and libraries – Desire instant gratification – Are achievement oriented – Expect to be rewarded on own merit – Multitaskers – Expect nomadic, anytime, anywhere communication Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 10
  11. 11. [4/4] Factors Driving Change Technology – High-speed wireless access to Internet – Circulating laptops in the library – Use of personal digital assistants (PDA) – Web 2.0 tools Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 11
  12. 12. Responses to the New Information Environment Virtual reference services Web portals/gateways Searchable frequently asked questions (FAQ) databases Online tutorials Roving reference Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 12
  13. 13. [1/2] Virtual Reference Services is reference service initiated electronically, often in real-time, where patrons employ computers or other Internet technology to communicate with reference staff, without being physically present (RUSA, 2004) Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 13
  14. 14. [1/2] Virtual Reference Services Communication channels used frequently – chat, videoconferencing, Voice over IP (VoIP), co-browsing, e-mail, Second Life (SL) – instant messaging (IM), blogs, podcasting, wikis, tagging, and Social Networking Sites (SNS) Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 14
  15. 15. [2/2] Virtual Reference Services Use of electronic sources in seeking answers is NOT of itself virtual reference Virtual reference queries are sometimes followed-up with telephone, fax, in-person and regular mail interactions, even though these modes of communication are not considered virtual Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 15
  16. 16. Virtual Reference Services Model Syn- chronous/ Wiki Asyn- Blog chronous Information Services Direct IM Reference Library Instruction Services Podcasting Virtual Reference SNS Services Video Online Reference Sources Selection Conferencing Indirect email Reference Services Provision the Bibliographies, etc Web form Chat Reference Sources Evaluation VoIP SMS Second Life Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 16
  17. 17. Framework of Virtual Reference Services RS 1.0 Reference Librarian Users RS 2.0 RS 2.0 Reference Librarian Users Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 17
  18. 18. Reasons for Virtual Reference Increase your library’s visibility and Web presence (not just library’s website!) Make your library the first choice for high-quality reference service Reach new patrons Serve patrons where they are Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 18
  19. 19. [1/2] Advantages vs Disadvantages Advantages Disadvantages Immediate Additional assistance for staff remote users Less flexible Real time VRS schedule is better than Lack subject email for expertise conducting No visual or reference auditory cues interview Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 19
  20. 20. [2/2] Advantages vs Disadvantages Advantages Disadvantages Remains Less anonymous interactive Awareness of Typing is slow the library Some logoff among the user before you community finish answering Slow communications Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 20
  21. 21. Developments in Virtual Reference Services Asynchronous digital reference – Patron submits a question and the librarian responds at a later time – Examples: Email, Web Form Synchronous digital reference – Patron and librarian communicate in real time – Examples: Chat, Voice over IP, Video Conferencing, SMS, IM Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 21
  22. 22. Tools for Virtual Reference Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 22
  23. 23. [1/3] Who’s Doing Virtual Reference Services? 1999 150 academic libraries, 45% offered VRS (Janes, Carter and Memmott, 1999) 122 ARL Libraries, 96% provided VRS (L. Goetsch, 1999) 2000 140 academic libraries, 45% offered VRS (MD White, 2000) 2001 121 ARL Libraries, 29% provided real time reference (Tenopir and Ennis, 2001) Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 23
  24. 24. [2/3] Who’s Doing Virtual Reference Services? 2010 176 US libraries offer SMS reference services 10 US libraries provide VoIP or Voice over IP Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 24
  25. 25. [3/3] Who’s Doing Virtual Reference Services? 2010 Libraries using IM Asia & Oceania- 21 US - In the Philippines, 5 academic libraries and 1 Canada- 47 public library are using IM RS, namely: Middle East- 2 ADMNU ADNU Europe- 21 CEU DLSU Manila Africa- 1 QC Public Library UP Diliman Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 25
  26. 26. Commercial Instant VS [1/2] Chat Messaging Pros Pros You can check to see if the other Installed user librarian is signed base on Familiar to users Keeps statistics Encourages repeat No software download use via buddy list (sometimes) Alerts until patron Perceived as is picked up friendly and One public identity informal to multiple staff Easy to get identities is started and use transparent Patrons do not need to register with commercial entity Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 26
  27. 27. Commercial Instant VS [2/2] Chat Messaging Cons Cons Unstable Shift change Not as intuitive unclear to users not Stats are kept already familiar manually with virtual Administration-side reference configuration can be difficult Librarian-side Alerting is not configuration always alertful can be difficult Spam/viruses Patrons must register with commercial entity (ex. AOL) Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 27
  28. 28. Popular IM Services Meebo ICQ RefChatter gTalk Jabber LibraryH3lp MSN AIM Yahoo Plugoo Gaim Digsby Trillian Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 28
  29. 29. Chat Service Agents and Vendors Multiple online Software vendors agents 24/7 Reference Cisco DOCUTEK Lucent Information eGain Systems Inc. Netagent Questionpoint LivePerson LivePerson HumanClick LSSI Library WebAgent Systems & Services Webline Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 29
  30. 30. Short Messaging Service (SMS) A service available on most digital mobile phones Permits people to send short messages between – Mobile phones – Other handheld devices – Landline telephones Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 30
  31. 31. Curtin University’s SMS [1/2] Users: Curtin students and staff with a text-enabled mobile phone Scope: 1 SMS equals 160 characters per hour Cost : 25 cents (Aus$) per message to Curtin Library service (standard rate for SMS sent to anyone) Report on findings: 200+ queries in 6 months 87% received during library opening hours 71% were explanatory type of reference questions Patron feedback: – Easy to use (4.2 out of 5) – 100% of clients did not have any problems – 92% claimed they would use it again Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 31
  32. 32. [2/2] Curtin University’s SMS Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 32
  33. 33. [1/3] Video Conferencing Librarians and users are able to see each other in one window of the monitor through a camera Web sites or other electronic resources can be displayed in another window on the monitor Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 33
  34. 34. [2/3] Video Conferencing UC Irvine Science Library (1997): Provided the service to medical students who are working in a computer lab, one hour a day, mostly on Medline searching Apple VideoPhone Kit (software, camera, microphone, color conferencing capability, Internet, Timbuktu Program) Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 34
  35. 35. [3/3] Video Conferencing UC Irvine Science Library (1997) Audio, video,chat window, whiteboard Students’ comments – Excited about this high-tech – Wanted document delivery of full-text articles Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 35
  36. 36. Video Conferencing Softwares A combination of chat software, audio and video applications 2 kinds of software – Software for writing classes – Software for businesses to hold conferences Examples Daedalus Microsoft NetShow GroupWise Microsoft NetMeeting Web Publisher Reilly WebBoard Norton Connect Net Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 36
  37. 37. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Since 2003 IM services have voice components, MSN Messenger, AOL IM, Yahoo Messenger Provides free or low-cost talk on internet – Negative - call other Internet users using the same software program – Positive - make calls to land and cellular- based phones for a modest fee New programs – Skype, Google Talk Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 37
  38. 38. VoIP: Skype Allows people to talk and IM for free using PC-to- PC connections Connections require someone else to have Skype software Users are identified through names instead of numbers Skypers use headsets and microphones attached to the computers Soon to offer video and other communication services Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 38
  39. 39. VoIP: gTalk Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 39
  40. 40. Virtual Worlds Users of a virtual world are represented by an avatar, a 3D version of a character that may be a humanoid or an animal Virtual worlds can be reality based, fantasy based or mix Elements: shared space, graphical user interface, immediacy, interactivity, socialization or community Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 40
  41. 41. [1/4] Virtual World: Second Life (SL) In 2006, Alliance Library System in Illinois was the first library system to make major inroad in the virtual world of SL; called Info Island Now Info Archipelago comprising over 40 libraries Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 41
  42. 42. [2/4] Virtual World: Second Life (SL) Second Life is a 3D virtual world that contains both elements of fantasy and reality Has a strong social community Created by Linden Labs in 2003 Over 14 millions of accounts created Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 42
  43. 43. [3/4] Virtual World: Second Life (SL) In SL, communication is primarily accomplished through chat and IM Chat is text-based communication and anyone within a 20 virtual meter radius can “hear” or read, what is being typed IM is used for private communication Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 43
  44. 44. [4/4] Virtual World: Second Life (SL) Residents can create objects, allowing them to construct whatever environment they wish Why SL in libraries? – “to truly serve their users in the best possible way, they have to be somewhere and everywhere” Janes, 2000 Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 44
  45. 45. E-mail and Web Form Describe the services offered Include types of questions it handles, or does not handle Frequent checking of mailbox Response time Confidentiality Priorities Statistics are kept Service can be evaluated Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 45
  46. 46. [1/2] Searchable FAQs Databases 24/7 access to search FAQs database which contains reference questions and answers Self-service web-based with simple search interface and link from the library webpage Eliminate redundancy in answering basic questions Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 46
  47. 47. [2/2] Searchable FAQs Databases Reduce staff numbers and hours required for a chat/IM and e-mail service 35% wanted the FAQ to be automatically searched when a question was received 15% wanted access to stored FAQs (Shaw and Spink, 2009) Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 47
  48. 48. Social Networking Sites (SNS) Facebook – Use as a library marketing tool – Current awareness services – Venue to receive and answer reference questions Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 48
  49. 49. Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 49
  50. 50. Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 50
  51. 51. Online Tutorials Design to users who might be reluctant to ask for face- to-face assistance 24/7 access Disadvantages – Users must be highly motivated – Obviously removed from a social context Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 51
  52. 52. Collaborative Virtual Reference Services Extend hours of coverage of participants to 24/7 Cooperation and collaboration, informal or network arrangement Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 52
  53. 53. [1/3] Ingredients for Great VRS Goals – Goals give shape, and purpose. They lead us in the direction of measurable accomplishments and success. Policies – Have policies reflect competencies – Policies should explain why it’s necessary to perform certain steps – Make sure policies are understood! Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 53
  54. 54. [2/3] Ingredients for Great VRS Competencies – Librarians should have a clear understanding of “know how’s” – Technical skills – Reference interview – Resources at your fingertips – Subject specialists – How much is too much? Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 54
  55. 55. [3/3] Ingredients for Great VRS Training Assessment Communication – Create a staff web page to post policies, training documents, meeting – Engage staff in discussions that focus on characteristics of successful online reference transaction Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 55
  56. 56. [1/2] Reference Staff Proactive Neutral in Knowledgeable their opinion Well-trained about the active information listeners provided Able to Multi-tasker respond to all Able to write inquiries concise messages Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 56
  57. 57. [2/2] Reference Staff Able to deal Treat patrons’ with stress and and demanding colleagues’ user online Must possess communication interpersonal as private and skills confidential Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 57
  58. 58. [1/2] Roles of Reference Librarians The filterer responding to repeated and trivial questions An answerer concentrating on more complicated questions Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 58
  59. 59. [2/2] Roles of Reference Librarians The administrator ensuring smooth service operations, adding answers to the FAQ database, creating user accounts, and performing other technical tasks A coordinator defining and implementing policies and procedures, and initiating service improvement Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 59
  60. 60. [1/4] Privacy in Virtual Reference Virtual reference communications between patrons and library staff should be private except as required by law Data gathered and maintained for the purpose of evaluation should protect patrons’ confidentiality (RUSA, 2004) Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 60
  61. 61. [2/4] Privacy in Virtual Reference It is recommended that patrons’ personal identifiers, such as name, e-mail, etc. be stripped from transaction records. Stripped records may be maintained for statistical and evaluative purposes Libraries need to develop retention schedules and privacy policies for their virtual reference transactions (RUSA, 2004) Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 61
  62. 62. [3/4] Privacy in Virtual Reference Patrons should be advised whether a record of the transaction will be retained, and what, if any, personal information will be stored with the transaction log Privacy policies and transcript retention schedules should be publicly available (RUSA, 2004) Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 62
  63. 63. [4/4] Privacy in Virtual Reference Reference transactions may be used in the creation of databases and FAQs but care should be taken to maintain the privacy of patrons and the confidentiality of patrons’ inquiries Data gathered and maintained for training purposes and for publicizing the service should also protect patron confidentiality (RUSA, 2004) Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 63
  64. 64. [1/2] Conclusion Books are for use Every reader his book Save the time of the reader Use technology intelligently to enhance service Protect free access to knowledge Library is a living organism, adopt change Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 64
  65. 65. [2/2] Conclusion “Digital reference is just one tool, and, like every other tool, it has its place, its strengths, and its weaknesses. It is no more "THE answer" to all reference transaction needs than any other tool.” Technology is evolving – virtual reference will look different in the future Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 65
  66. 66. “the user is not remote, it is the library  that is remote from the user.” ‐ (Lipow, 1999) Digital reference matters but it will not if we: do it badly do it alone do it only one way do it in secret do it too slowly or from a position of fear - Joe Janes Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 66
  67. 67. Bibliography ALA. (2004). Guidelines for implementing and maintaining virtual reference services. Chan, Diana. (2005). Virtual reference service : an overview. Fritch, John W. (2001). The emerging reference paradigm : a vision of reference services in a complex information environment. Library Trends. 50(2) :286-300 Godfrey, Krista. (2008). A new world for virtual reference. Library Hi Tech, 26(4) : 525-539 Kern, M. Kathleen. (2009). Virtual reference best practices : tailoring services to your library. USA: ALA Luo, Lili. (2008). Reference service in Second Life : an overview. Reference Services Review, 36(3) : 289-300 Online reference from Library success: a best practices wiki. Wikipedia. Accessed 4 April 2010 Pfahl, Carla Steinberg. (2005). Best practices in online reference services. Shaw, Kate and Spink, Amanda. (2009). University library virtual reference services : best practices and continuous improvement. Australian Academic & Research Libraries, 40(3) : 192-205 Singh, Diljit. (2004). Reference services in the digital age. Paper presented at the Conference on Library Management in the 21st Century at the Ateneo de Manila University, 29-30 March 2004 Tajer, Pegah.(2009). Reference service 2.0 : a proposal model for reference services in Library 2.0. Presented in the 7th International CALIBER 2009, India. 26 February 2009 Zabel, Diane. (2005). Trends in reference and public services librarianship and the role of RUSA : part one. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 45(1) :7-10 Zabel, Diane. (2005). Trends in reference and public services librarianship and the role of RUSA : part two. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 45(2) : 104-107 Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 67
  68. 68. Thank You for Your Attention Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 68
  69. 69. Contact Information Miss Marian S. Ramos Reference Librarian The University Library UP Diliman Tel : 981.8500 loc 2861 Email : msramos@up.edu.ph updgenref@gmail.com Technological Advances in Reference Work 15 April 2010 69

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