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Reference services for the deaf and hard of hearing

Michael Saar (Mary & John Gray Library, Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas, USA)
Helena Arthur‐Okor (Mary & John Gray Library, Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas, USA)

Reference Services Review

ISSN: 0090-7324

Article publication date: 15 August 2013

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this article is to investigate how effectively the library meets the research needs of deaf and hard of hearing students. Design/methodology/approach – The study was conducted by an anonymous survey investigating students' use, awareness and comfort level with the library and its resources. The survey was followed up with a small focus group comprised of volunteer deaf and hard of hearing students in the Deaf Studies and Deaf Education program at Lamar University. Findings – A variety of communication options should be available for deaf and hard of hearing patrons to contact librarians for assistance. Librarians need to establish clear and effective lines of communication to ensure these patrons are aware of library services relevant to their needs. Making the effort to establish communication with deaf and hard of hearing patrons encourages their use of the library by demonstrating that the library is interested in serving their needs. Research limitations/implications – This is a review of the literature concerning collaboration and cannot contain every example of library and writing center collaboration. Practical implications – Librarians can use the findings in this article to create a more welcoming environment for their deaf and hard of hearing patrons. Originality/value – There is a scarcity in the library literature of studies examining the research needs of deaf and hard of hearing patrons. This article is of value to librarians looking for ways to better meet these patrons' research needs.

Keywords

Citation

Saar, M. and Arthur‐Okor, H. (2013), "Reference services for the deaf and hard of hearing", Reference Services Review, Vol. 41 No. 3, pp. 434-452. https://doi.org/10.1108/RSR-12-2012-0083

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited