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E-Valuating Virtual Viewpoints: User, Non-User, and Librarians Perspectives on Live Chat-Based Reference. Marie L. Radford, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Ph.D. Senior Research Scientist, OCLC.

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slide1

E-Valuating Virtual Viewpoints: User, Non-User, and Librarians Perspectives on Live Chat-Based Reference

Marie L. Radford, Ph.D.

Associate Professor,

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Ph.D.

Senior Research Scientist, OCLC

Panel: E-Valuating E-Reference: Transforming Digital Reference through Research and Evaluating

ASIST Annual Meeting

October 24-29 2008

Columbus, OH

slide2

Seeking Synchronicity: Evaluating Virtual Reference Services from User, Non-User, and Librarian Perspectives

$1,103,572 project funded by

Institute of Museum and Library Services

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

OCLC, Online Computer Library Center, Inc.

Four phases:

Focus group interviews

Analysis of 850 QuestionPoint live chat transcripts

Online surveys

176 VRS librarians

184 VRS non-users

137 VRS users

Telephone interviews

283 Total

critical incident technique
Critical Incident Technique
  • Flanagan, 1954
  • Qualitative technique
  • Focuses on most memorable event/experience
  • Allows categories or themes to emerge rather than be imposed
online survey ci questions
Online Survey CI Questions

Librarians & Users

Think about one experience in which you felt a chat reference encounter achieved (or did not achieve) a positive result

Non-users

Think about one experience in which you felt you achieved (did not achieve) a positive result after seeking library reference services in any format

interpersonal communication analysis results
Interpersonal Communication Analysis: Results

Relational Facilitators

Interpersonal aspects of chat conversation that have apositiveimpact on librarian-client interaction & thatenhancecommunication.

Relational Barriers

Interpersonal aspects of chat conversation that have anegativeimpact on librarian-client interaction & thatimpedecommunication.

relational theory approach to interpersonal communication
Relational Theory & Approach to Interpersonal Communication

Every message has dual dimensions – both content & relational

(Watzlawick, Beavin, & Jackson, 1967)

librarians positive result ci n 142
Librarians: Positive Result(CI N=142)

Number %

  • Both Relational & 85 60%

Content

  • Primarily Content 54 38%
  • Primarily Relational3 2%
librarians positive result ci n 1421
Librarians: Positive Result(CI N=142)

Relational Themes*

Number %

  • Attitude 69 49%
  • Relationship quality 33 23%
  • Familiarity 3 2%

*The percentages do not total to 100% because each CI can be coded into more than one theme

librarians positive result ci n 1422
Librarians: Positive Result(CI N=142)

Content Themes*

Number %

  • Providing information 120 85%
  • Providing instruction 49 35%
  • Demonstrating knowledge 14 10%
  • Convenience/multi- 10 7%

tasking/ time or money

saving

*The percentages do not total to 100% because each CI can be coded into more than one theme

librarians negative result ci n 124
Librarians: Negative Result(CI N=124)

Number %

  • Primarily Relational53 43%
  • Primarily Content 40 32%
  • Both Relational & 31 25%

Content

librarians negative result ci n 1241
Librarians: Negative Result(CI N=124)

Relational Themes*

Number %

  • Attitude 67 54%
  • Relationship quality 28 23%
  • Impact of technology 7 6%
  • Approachability 1 1%

*The percentages do not total to 100% because each CI can be coded into more than one theme

librarians negative result ci n 1242
Librarians: Negative Result(CI N=124)

Content Themes*

Number %

  • Lack of information 64 52%
  • Lack of knowledge 15 12%
  • Task unreasonable 1 1%

*The percentages do not total to 100% because each CI can be coded into more than one theme

users positive result ci n 129
Users: Positive Result(CI N=129)

Number %

  • Primarily Content 79 61%
  • Both Relational & 33 26%

Content

  • Primarily Relational 17 13%
users positive result ci n 1291
Users: Positive Result(CI N=129)

Content Themes*

Number %

  • Providing information91 71%
  • Convenience/multi- 36 28% tasking/time saving/

money saving

  • Providing instruction14 11%
  • Demonstrating knowledge7 5%

*The percentages do not total to 100% because each CI can be coded into more than one theme

users positive result ci n 1292
Users: Positive Result(CI N=129)

Relational Themes*

Number %

  • Attitude 36 28%
  • Relationship quality 21 16%
  • Impact of technology 1 1%

*The percentages do not total to 100% because each CI can be coded into more than one theme

users negative result ci n 68
Users: Negative Result(CI N=68)

Number %

  • Primarily Content 46 68%
  • Primarily Relational15 22%
  • Both Relational & 7 10%

Content

users negative result ci n 681
Users: Negative Result(CI N=68)

Content Themes*

Number %

  • Lack of information 48 71%
  • Lack of knowledge 8 12%

*The percentages do not total to 100% because each CI can be coded into more than one theme

users negative result ci n 682
Users: Negative Result(CI N=68)

Relational Themes*

Number %

  • Relationship quality 17 25%
  • Attitude 13 19%
  • Approachability 1 1%
  • Impact of Technology 1 1%

*The percentages do not total to 100% because each CI can be coded into more than one theme

non users positive result ci n 154
Non-users: Positive Result(CI N=154)

Number %

  • Primarily Content79 51%
  • Both Relational & 48 31%

Content

  • Primarily Relational2718%
non users positive result ci n 1541
Non-users: Positive Result(CI N=154)

Content Themes*

Number %

  • Providing information 75 49%
  • Providing instruction 35 23%
  • Demonstrating knowledge 21 14%
  • Convenience/multi- 18 12% tasking/time saving/

money saving

*The percentages do not total to 100% because each CI can be coded into more than one theme

non users positive result ci n 1542
Non-users: Positive Result(CI N=154)

Relational Themes*

Number %

  • Attitude 51 33%
  • Impact of FtF assisting 32 21% relationship development
  • Relationship quality 25 16%
  • Impact of phone/Email 5 3% assisting information seeking process
  • Approachability 4 3%
  • Familiarity 1 1%

*The percentages do not total to 100% because each CI can be coded into more than one theme

non users negative result ci n 100
Non-users: Negative Result(CI N=100)

Number %

  • Primarily Content 52 52%
  • Primarily Relational33 33%
  • Both Relational & 15 15%

Content

non users negative result ci n 1001
Non-users: Negative Result(CI N=100)

Content Themes*

Number %

  • Information 60 60%
  • Lack of knowledge 24 24%
  • Instruction 9 9%
  • Task unreasonable 4 4%

*The percentages do not total to 100% because each CI can be coded into more than one theme

non users negative result ci n 1002
Non-users: Negative Result(CI N=100)

Relational Themes*

Number %

  • Attitude 47 47%
  • Relationship quality 24 24%
  • Approachability 3 3%
  • Impact of technology 2 2%

*The percentages do not total to 100% because each CI can be coded into more than one theme

implications librarians
Implications: Librarians
  • Value
    • Delivery of accurate answers/ information
    • Polite, interested users
  • Find rude or impatient users disruptive to chat success
implications users non users
Implications: Users & Non-Users
  • Value
    • Accuracy of answers/information
      • Delivery of specific content
    • Knowledge of sources & systems
    • Positive attitude
    • Good communication skills
  • Younger VRS users
    • Impatient & want info delivered quickly - no fuss
    • Not as concerned as librarians w/ instruction
recommendations
Recommendations
  • Provide
    • Specific info
    • Variety of formats
    • Friendly & courteous service
    • Marketing to non-users
  • User education needed for more realistic expectations
  • Do not force instruction unless wanted
future directions
Future Directions

Online survey results informed 283 telephone interviews

  • Collected more critical incidents
  • Analysis in progress
future directions1
Future Directions
  • Write, write, write!
special thanks
Special Thanks

Rutgers University & OCLC Grant Project Team

Project Managers:

Jocelyn DeAngelis Williams

Timothy J. Dickey

Research Assistants:

Patrick A. Confer

David Dragos

Jannica Heinstrom

Vickie Kozo

Mary Anne Reilly

Lisa Rose-Wiles

Susanna Sabolsci-Boros

Andrea Simzak

Julie Strange

Janet Torsney

end notes
End Notes

This is an updated version of a presentation given at ALISE 2008

This is one of the outcomes from the project

Seeking Synchronicity: Evaluating Virtual Reference Services from User, Non-User, and Librarian Perspectives

Funded by IMLS, Rutgers University, & OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc.

Slides available at project web site:http://www.oclc.org/research/projects/synchronicity/

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