RAIS Reference Roundup February 14

February 14, 2011 Comments Off

Happy Library Lovers Day!  

RAIS rounds up some blog posts and some article links, both new and not so new, about reference services in libraries. 

  • In the editorial of FreePint Newsletter 319 Michelle Manafy notes that mobile user demand might not be as pervasive as LIS staff assume.  

There’s been a good deal of anecdotal evidence that mobile is on the must-have list for users everywhere. However, Neidorf’s presentation – based on her FreePint Research Report: Enterprise Market for Mobile Content as well as her just-released phase two of this mobile research project: FreePint Research Report: User Interest in Mobile Content, which provides the results of end user research on mobile demands, limitations and growth inhibitors in the enterprise – contradicted many common assumptions. 

This article looks at library users’ help-seeking preferences. Do they prefer to go to the reference desk? Do they prefer using virtual reference? It is looking at that type of question.

              If you enjoyed his take on this article his others to do with reference tools can be here.  

Compromised questions are those questions where patrons have assumed too much, are trying to help you out by asking for something that they think you can answer rather than burdening you with all their cares and concerns. Things like “Where do you keep your directories” are classic compromised questions because often the asker thinks that what they need is in a directory but is probably actually a much bigger, much more interesting information need.

Can it be that libraries’ overdependence on digital search and retrieval will be harmful to the thinking process, the basic research methods process, for future generations?

             Verdesca JR., Anthony F. ‘When Access for the “Gimme” World Proves Dismissive of Finesse’, Journal of Access Services, 8:1, 46 – 49.

  •  And how does reference serendipity work in the world of electronic resources? Do we even admit to ourselves let alone our clients the role that serendipity might fill when we answer a reference query? Think serendipity is too vague and too last century?

The reference collection traditionally rewards serendipity by presenting key resources in a compact group. At the University of Manitoba Libraries, reference collection space is at a premium and, increasingly, electronic versions of reference materials are selected for purchase. However, our space saving comes at a cost: Our patrons can’t browse electronic reference materials across various online platforms, and they miss out on potential serendipitous discoveries.

Ford, Lyle , O’Hara, Lisa Hanson and Whiklo, Jared ‘Shelflessness as a Virtue: Preserving Serendipity in an Electronic Reference Collection’, Journal of  Electronic    Resources Librarianship, 21:3, 251 – 262 . 

Doreen Sullivan
RAIS (Vic.) Convenor      
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