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Article
Publication date: 9 January 2017

Jenny Bossaller, Christopher Sean Burns and Amy VanScoy

The purpose of this paper is to use the sociology of time to understand how time is perceived by academic librarians who provide reference and information service (RIS).

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to use the sociology of time to understand how time is perceived by academic librarians who provide reference and information service (RIS).

Design/methodology/approach

This study is a qualitative secondary analysis (QSA) of two phenomenological studies about the experience of RIS in academic libraries. The authors used QSA to re-analyze the interview transcripts to develop themes related to the perception of time.

Findings

Three themes about the experience of time in RIS work were identified. Participants experience time as discrete, bounded moments but sometimes experience threads through these moments that provide continuity, time is framed as a commodity that weighs on the value of the profession, and time plays an integral part of participants’ narratives and professional identities.

Research limitations/implications

Given that the initial consent processes vary across organizations and types of studies, the researchers felt ethically compelled to share only excerpts from each study’s data, rather than the entire data set, with others on the research team. Future qualitative studies should consider the potential for secondary analysis and build data management and sharing plans into the initial study design.

Practical implications

Most discussions of time in the literature are presented as a metric – time to answer a query, time to conduct a task – The authors offer a more holistic understanding of time and its relationship to professional work.

Social implications

The methodology taken in this paper makes sense of the experiences of work in RIS for librarians. It identifies commonalities between the experience of time and work for RIS professionals and those of other professionals, such as physicians and software engineers. It suggests revising models for RIS, as well as some professional values.

Originality/value

This paper contributes a better understanding of time, understudied as a phenomenon that is experienced or perceived, among RISs providers in academic libraries. The use of secondary qualitative analysis is an important methodological contribution to library and information science studies.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 73 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 13 August 2019

Kyle M.L. Jones and Amy VanScoy

The purpose of this paper is to reveal how instructors discuss student data and information privacy in their syllabi.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to reveal how instructors discuss student data and information privacy in their syllabi.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors collected a mixture of publicly accessible and privately disclosed syllabi from 8,302 library and information science (LIS) courses to extract privacy language. Using privacy concepts from the literature and emergent themes, the authors analyzed the corpus.

Findings

Most syllabi did not mention privacy (98 percent). Privacy tended to be mentioned in the context of digital tools, course communication, policies and assignments.

Research limitations/implications

The transferability of the findings is limited because they address only one field and professional discipline, LIS, and address syllabi for only online and hybrid courses.

Practical implications

The findings suggest a need for professional development for instructors related to student data privacy. The discussion provides recommendations for creating educational experiences that support syllabi development and constructive norming opportunities.

Social implications

Instructors may be making assumptions about the degree of privacy literacy among their students or not value student privacy. Each raises significant concerns if privacy is instrumental to intellectual freedom and processes critical to the educational experience.

Originality/value

In an age of educational data mining and analytics, this is one of the first studies to consider if and how instructors are addressing student data privacy in their courses, and the study initiates an important conversation for reflecting on privacy values and practices.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 75 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2015

Amy VanScoy and Solveig Beyza Evenstad

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview and evaluation of interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) for the library and information science (LIS…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview and evaluation of interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) for the library and information science (LIS) community, as this method has only recently been used for exploring experiences of various phenomena related to LIS.

Design/methodology/approach

IPA is discussed within the phenomenological tradition. Two examples of recent IPA studies are examined in parallel to show application of the IPA method. Issues and challenges of applying IPA to LIS research questions are discussed.

Findings

IPA is an alternative phenomenological method, adding to the repertoire of qualitative methods used for LIS research. It was an effective method for exploring experience among information professionals: it was equally suitable for studying reference and information service work for academic library professionals and burnout experience for information and communication technology workers.

Originality/value

Only a few LIS studies have used IPA and no discussion or evaluation of the method has been published for this field. This paper provides a discussion of the method for LIS researchers interested in this emerging phenomenological method.

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2005

Sarah L. Johnson

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291

Abstract

Details

Library Review, vol. 54 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article
Publication date: 3 November 2020

Christine Fena

This article aims to help music librarians and other information professionals effectively understand and support communities of choral directors and other groups…

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to help music librarians and other information professionals effectively understand and support communities of choral directors and other groups dependent on networking and serendipitous information encounters. In addition, through discussion and comparison of theories of information behavior, research articles and analysis of events and experiences, the article encourages thoughtful and practical applications of information behavior research.

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual paper uses different theories of information behavior to outline three distinct modes of learning and knowing within communities of choral directors: individual searching, community expertise and serendipitous encounters.

Findings

The choral directing community is one that benefits not only from information support systems that emphasize individual information seeking, but also collaborative networking and serendipitous encounters with other community members. Librarians and other information professionals can best help this group discover new repertoire, plan concert programs, improve rehearsals and support other relevant activities through understanding and helping to provide access to professional music networks and being creative in providing opportunities for serendipitous information discovery.

Originality/value

Little information behavior research and discussion have focused specifically on the information practices of choral directors and how the format and schedule of a professional choral conference illuminate such practices and needs.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 77 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 21 June 2019

Mia Høj Mathiasson and Henrik Jochumsen

The purpose of this paper is to report on a new approach for researching public library programs through Facebook events. The term public library programs refers to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on a new approach for researching public library programs through Facebook events. The term public library programs refers to publicly announced activities and events taking place within or in relation to a public library. In Denmark, programs are an important part of the practices of public libraries and have been growing in both number and variety within recent years.

Design/methodology/approach

The data for the study presented in this paper consists of Facebook events announcing public library programs. In the study of this data, grounded theory is used as a research strategy and methods of web archiving are used for collecting both the textual and the visual content of the Facebook events.

Findings

The combination of Facebook events as data, grounded theory as a research strategy and web archiving as methods for data collection proves to be useful for researching the format and content of public library programs, which have already taken place.

Research limitations/implications

Only a limited number of Facebook events are examined and the context is restricted to one country.

Originality/value

This paper presents a promising approach for researching public library programs through social media content and provides new insights into both methods and data as well as the phenomenon investigated. Thereby, this paper contributes to a conception of an under-developed researched area as well as a new approach for studying it.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 75 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 16 August 2011

Amy Gratz and Julie Gilbert

The purpose of this paper is to investigate student use of the reference desk at a residential college, so that academic libraries can better understand the role of…

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2419

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate student use of the reference desk at a residential college, so that academic libraries can better understand the role of in‐person assistance to meet the information needs of students.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey respondents answered open‐ended questions related to ways they ask for help in the library; data were coded and analyzed for salient trends. Photo diary entries and interviews with smaller groups of students were also used to illuminate findings.

Findings

Students express a need for the kind of help provided by the reference desk in terms of how students use and describe the desk. Usage patterns can also be predicted in terms of class year, gender, and major, indicating a way for the library to provide specific outreach to students who underutilize the reference desk.

Research limitations/implications

The study investigates student use of the reference desk at a single institution. The unique characteristics of the institution might limit the implications that can be drawn from the study's conclusions for institutions that are not residential and do not serve a primarily traditional‐aged college population.

Originality/value

As information and our users move increasingly online, libraries must consider the value of reference desks. Findings at a residential institution demonstrate the value‐added benefit of this service in helping students with their research.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 39 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2021

Paula R. Dempsey

The purpose of this study is to learn what factors liaison librarians in academic research libraries consider in determining whether to refer chat reference patrons to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to learn what factors liaison librarians in academic research libraries consider in determining whether to refer chat reference patrons to subject specialists.

Design/methodology/approach

Subject specialists were asked what policies guided their decisions to refer to a specialist and then assessed unreferred chat session transcripts both within and outside their specializations to determine need for a referral.

Findings

Few respondents were guided by formal policies. Contrary to an initial hypothesis, subject area was not a key factor in referring chat. A broader set of criteria included reference interviewing, provision of relevant resources and information literacy instruction. Respondents valued both the depth that subject specialists can provide to reference interactions and the ability of a skilled generalist to support information literacy.

Research limitations/implications

Findings are most applicable to large, public doctoral universities with liaison librarian programs. Assignment of respondents to subject specialist categories was complicated by their broad range of background and expertise.

Practical implications

The study contributes new understanding of referrals to subject specialists who have potential to guide development of formal referral policies in academic library virtual reference services.

Originality/value

The study is the first empirical examination of chat reference referral decisions.

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