Face It!  Reference Work and Politeness Theory Go Hand In Hand  Prof. Alan W. Aldrich,   Instructional Services Librarian ...
Evaluation of reference:  Accuracy  vs. customer satisfaction S.S. Green (1876) Reference has content and  interpersonal d...
Radford 1993:  Librarians and users’ views of content vs. relational dimensions <ul><li>Librarians  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>...
What have we learned? <ul><li>We know  how  librarians need to behave in a reference interview…  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>to ...
What have we learned? <ul><li>Why not? </li></ul><ul><li>Library research on the reference process… </li></ul><ul><li>“ co...
Politeness theory is a  rational system. <ul><li>Calculate the potential face threat of any utterance or act. </li></ul><u...
Autonomy (negative) face is the desire for unimpeded action. <ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asNk3fzJjFE   </li></ul>
Autonomy (negative) face L.  Hi, what’s up? P.  Is this where we come for more information? L.  Yeah. What can I do for yo...
Solidarity (positive) face is the need to connect with and feel valued by others. <ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A...
Solidarity (positive) face L.  Hi. P.  I’m really glad you’re here. I could use some help with my paper.  L.  Well, what c...
Speaker options for managing face threatening acts… <ul><li>Blunt or bald performance of the act. </li></ul><ul><li>Use so...
How to be polite? <ul><li>Specificity principle = the politest strategy is one that orients to the face threat of the pers...
Threats to autonomy face <ul><li>“ We” orientation. </li></ul><ul><li>Having to ask for, or being offered, help. </li></ul...
Threats to solidarity face <ul><li>“ I” orientation. </li></ul><ul><li>Any appearance of criticism or rejection. </li></ul...
Which face orientation is being displayed here? <ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iitf7la-Wsw   </li></ul>
How would you respond? <ul><li>Hi. Now I hate not being able to find this kind of thing on my own, but I’ve been looking f...
<ul><li>To enhance all aspects of reference, concentrate on the interpersonal. Become aware of how you use language. Recog...
Acknowledgements <ul><li>The presenters would like to gratefully acknowledge the participation of the following “face perf...
The presenters <ul><li>Alan W. Aldrich, Assistant Professor </li></ul><ul><li>I.D. Weeks and Lommen Health Science Librari...
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Face It! Reference Work And Politeness Theory Go Hand In Hand, Acrl 09

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This slideshow is a presentation on reference communication and politeness theory from the Association of College & Research Libraries Conference (Seattle, WA, 2009).

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  • Face It! Reference Work And Politeness Theory Go Hand In Hand, Acrl 09

    1. 1. Face It! Reference Work and Politeness Theory Go Hand In Hand Prof. Alan W. Aldrich, Instructional Services Librarian Prof. Carol A. Leibiger, Information Literacy Coordinator University of South Dakota
    2. 2. Evaluation of reference: Accuracy vs. customer satisfaction S.S. Green (1876) Reference has content and interpersonal dimensions S.S. Green (1876) Reference has content and interpersonal dimensions Crowley (1968) accuracy studies “ 55% rule” Durrance (1989) patron satisfaction studies “ willingness to return” Green (1876) reference has content and interpersonal dimensions Gers & Seward (1985) accuracy increased by attention to quality of interpersonal communication with user
    3. 3. Radford 1993: Librarians and users’ views of content vs. relational dimensions <ul><li>Librarians </li></ul><ul><ul><li>user attitude </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information and knowledge base (content) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>relationship quality </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Users </li></ul><ul><ul><li>librarian attitude </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>relationship quality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>approachability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>information and knowledge base (content) </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. What have we learned? <ul><li>We know how librarians need to behave in a reference interview… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>to increase accuracy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and ensure user satisfaction with the interpersonal dimension. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We don’t know why. </li></ul>
    5. 5. What have we learned? <ul><li>Why not? </li></ul><ul><li>Library research on the reference process… </li></ul><ul><li>“ consist[s] primarily of helpful advice to librarians and suggestions that certain kinds of research ought to be undertaken” </li></ul><ul><li>rarely describes work that goes beyond the exploratory level </li></ul><ul><li>“ has been undertaken in the absence of a clear theoretical framework , and, as a result, it is difficult to assess and integrate with other work.” </li></ul><ul><li>-Harris & Michell, 1986, 86-87 </li></ul>
    6. 6. Politeness theory is a rational system. <ul><li>Calculate the potential face threat of any utterance or act. </li></ul><ul><li>Adjust what you say to others. </li></ul>
    7. 7. Autonomy (negative) face is the desire for unimpeded action. <ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asNk3fzJjFE </li></ul>
    8. 8. Autonomy (negative) face L. Hi, what’s up? P. Is this where we come for more information? L. Yeah. What can I do for you? P. Well, my professor sent me here for more information for my paper. And it’s supposed to be scholarly, but I found some, and apparently that’s not good enough. So I’m here for more. L. So your professor wants more sources, or (.) more scholarly sources, or… P. Um, I think he said more scholarly sources. L. Okay. Well, what’s your paper on?
    9. 9. Solidarity (positive) face is the need to connect with and feel valued by others. <ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-xvUN93pcY </li></ul>
    10. 10. Solidarity (positive) face L. Hi. P. I’m really glad you’re here. I could use some help with my paper. L. Well, what can I do for you? P. Uh, well I’m doing a research paper on Piaget’s influence on the education system today and I’m having trouble finding sources. L. Oh I think we can find lots of sources. Let’s start with some of the education databases. P. Okay.
    11. 11. Speaker options for managing face threatening acts… <ul><li>Blunt or bald performance of the act. </li></ul><ul><li>Use solidarity politeness strategies. </li></ul><ul><li>Use autonomy politeness strategies. </li></ul><ul><li>Use off-record strategies. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t perform the act at all. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brown & Levinson, 1987, 60 </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. How to be polite? <ul><li>Specificity principle = the politest strategy is one that orients to the face threat of the person with whom you are interacting. </li></ul><ul><li>-Holtgraves, 2005, 76-77 </li></ul>
    13. 13. Threats to autonomy face <ul><li>“ We” orientation. </li></ul><ul><li>Having to ask for, or being offered, help. </li></ul><ul><li>Receiving directives or commands. </li></ul><ul><li>Receiving requests for action. </li></ul><ul><li>Questions, especially closed-ended ones. </li></ul><ul><li>Criticism implying behavior has to change. </li></ul><ul><li>Requests for personal information. </li></ul>
    14. 14. Threats to solidarity face <ul><li>“ I” orientation. </li></ul><ul><li>Any appearance of criticism or rejection. </li></ul><ul><li>Appearing or being made to feel ignorant. </li></ul><ul><li>Statements that (appear to) contradict the patron. </li></ul><ul><li>Expressions of disagreement. </li></ul><ul><li>Requests for personal information. </li></ul>
    15. 15. Which face orientation is being displayed here? <ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iitf7la-Wsw </li></ul>
    16. 16. How would you respond? <ul><li>Hi. Now I hate not being able to find this kind of thing on my own, but I’ve been looking for like two hours, and I got class in twenty minutes and that I need a scholarly article. </li></ul><ul><li>a) Sit down, let’s see what we can find.” </li></ul><ul><li>b) What kind of article do you need? </li></ul><ul><li>c) Boy, I really hate it when I am under that kind of pressure. </li></ul>
    17. 17. <ul><li>To enhance all aspects of reference, concentrate on the interpersonal. Become aware of how you use language. Recognize and orient to the patron’s face needs. Adjust your language choices accordingly. </li></ul><ul><li>Face It! Politeness theory and reference go hand in hand. </li></ul>
    18. 18. Acknowledgements <ul><li>The presenters would like to gratefully acknowledge the participation of the following “face performers”: </li></ul><ul><li>Negative face……………………….Brandi Ovied </li></ul><ul><li>Positive face………………………..Melani Johnson </li></ul><ul><li>Mystery face……………………….Nick Woltman </li></ul><ul><li>No face was harmed during this study. </li></ul>
    19. 19. The presenters <ul><li>Alan W. Aldrich, Assistant Professor </li></ul><ul><li>I.D. Weeks and Lommen Health Science Libraries, University of South Dakota </li></ul><ul><li>Alan.Aldrich@usd.edu, 605-677-6614 </li></ul><ul><li>Carol A. Leibiger, Associate Professor </li></ul><ul><li>I.D. Weeks and Lommen Health Sciences Libraries, University of South Dakota </li></ul><ul><li>C.Leibiger@usd.edu, 606-677-6089 </li></ul>

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