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Article
Publication date: 20 March 2017

Lili Luo

The purpose of this paper is to generate awareness of and interest in the photovoice method, and help librarians to be more creative in examining user needs, perceptions…

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1089

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to generate awareness of and interest in the photovoice method, and help librarians to be more creative in examining user needs, perceptions and behavior and be more effective in conducting outreach to user communities.

Design/methodology/approach

Photovice is a qualitative method that combines visuals and narratives in exploring community issues. This paper reviews the photovoice method and discusses its implications in engaging library user communities.

Findings

Photovoice is rarely used in library research and practice and only three published studies reported the use of this method. The three studies were reviewed in this paper to offer ideas regarding the potential application of this method in the library profession.

Originality/value

This paper provides an overview of an innovative method and contributes new ideas to library outreach and user engagement.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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Article
Publication date: 2 September 2013

Lili Luo, Yuan Wang and Lifeng Han

The purpose of this paper is to present a study about a successful, award-winning online video marketing project at an academic library in China, hoping to shed light on…

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20252

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a study about a successful, award-winning online video marketing project at an academic library in China, hoping to shed light on how to most effectively employ social media in libraries' marketing campaigns.

Design/methodology/approach

The study examined the different aspects of the library's online video marketing project, including project preparation, video production, distribution and promotion, and evaluation of students' perception of this project via survey questionnaires. Factors that contributed to its success were also analyzed.

Findings

Four factors that contributed to the success of the library's video marketing project were identified: base video content on the real campus life, reflecting what students experience in their everyday activities; convey content in a humorous, light-hearted, and refreshing style; employ social media to share content and engage the target audience; and partner with students.

Practical implications

The paper helps interested librarians develop a more grounded understanding of how video sharing sites can be effectively and efficiently used as a marketing platform and how to successfully create their own video marketing campaigns.

Originality/value

One significant weakness in library marketing literature is the lack of empirical studies analyzing the details of creating an online video marketing campaign. This paper helps fill that void, and contributes to the growth of the knowledge about library marketing using innovative technologies.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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Article
Publication date: 4 February 2014

Lili Luo

The aim of this paper is to provide an in-depth examination of the use and non-use of text reference service among library users, seeking to evaluate the service from…

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2479

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to provide an in-depth examination of the use and non-use of text reference service among library users, seeking to evaluate the service from library users' perspective and hence enhance the professional understanding of the best practices of text reference service.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey study was conducted among library users, examining user demographics, user's texting behavior, user awareness of text reference service, and users' use or non-use of the service.

Findings

Findings suggest that the majority of library users have not used the service and their non-use is primarily attributed to their lack of awareness. Users who have used the service report a high degree of satisfaction and appreciate the convenience, ease of use and speediness of the service.

Practical implications

The paper helps interested libraries develop an enriched view of texting's affordance as a reference service venue and thus make more informed decisions in successfully implementing the service.

Originality/value

Text reference is the most recent reference development and it does not have a large body of literature. Current reports are primarily of a single library's experience and rarely investigate users' experience with text reference service. This paper fills the void in the literature by presenting a thorough study of text reference service from the user's point-of-view.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 42 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Article
Publication date: 16 August 2011

Lili Luo

The purpose of this paper is to present a detailed depiction of the text reference environment and its affordance, and suggest strategies to help librarians adhere to the…

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2292

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a detailed depiction of the text reference environment and its affordance, and suggest strategies to help librarians adhere to the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) behavioral guidelines in text reference service.

Design/methodology/approach

The author reviews the current text reference literature as well as conducts qualitative and quantitative analysis of reference services provided by My Info Quest, the USA's first collaborative text reference service.

Findings

Two models of text reference service are uncovered: mobile device based and computer application based. The considerations for developing a service are primarily defined as relating to budget, staffing, and usability. Text reference is characterized as somewhere between synchronous and asynchronous, increasing in volume, and mostly concerned with short, straightforward questions and answers. These factors all influence adherence to RUSA guidelines for behavioral performance of reference librarians, but are not insurmountable.

Research limitations/implications

More research is needed to better understand user experience with text reference service.

Practical implications

This paper provides ideas to help libraries effectively establish text reference service.

Originality/value

The paper presents a detailed set of considerations for libraries that are considering launching text reference service. It also outlines behavioral expectations for librarians providing that service.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 15 February 2008

Lili Luo

This paper aims to provide a holistic view of the current practice of chat reference evaluation and to suggest a framework that could help reference practitioners evaluate…

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3129

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide a holistic view of the current practice of chat reference evaluation and to suggest a framework that could help reference practitioners evaluate chat reference services in multiple contexts.

Design/methodology/approach

A thorough review of the literature on chat reference evaluation is conducted and the evaluation studies are grouped by their evaluative perspective and measures. Based on the literature review, a framework of perspectives and measures for chat reference evaluation is proposed.

Findings

Chat reference evaluation has incorporated a number of new elements that do not exist in desk reference evaluation. All the evaluation perspectives and measures reported in chat reference literature are incorporated into a final framework except for one variable – “cost‐effectiveness” – which lacks the support of empirical studies in the literature.

Practical implications

The analytical review of the literature provides a holistic view of how chat reference is being measured for its value to both libraries and users, thus furthering the professional understanding of chat reference performance in the library environs. The framework of evaluation perspectives and measures resulting from the literature review is applicable in multiple chat reference contexts and can be customized to serve different evaluation purposes. In turn, this framework gives chat reference evaluators a clear idea of what to look at and how.

Originality/value

This paper fills the need to provide reference practitioners with both a critical view of current chat reference practice, and a tool that could help them design and develop a chat reference evaluation project.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 36 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2010

Lili Luo and Lori Bell

This study seeks to identify the benefits, challenges and effective methods of implementing and managing a collaborative text reference service.

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2107

Abstract

Purpose

This study seeks to identify the benefits, challenges and effective methods of implementing and managing a collaborative text reference service.

Design/methodology/approach

The study employs the case study approach to examine the practice of the first nation‐wide collaborative text reference service My Info Quest and evaluate the effectiveness of the organization and operation of this collaboration.

Findings

Findings of the study indicate that librarians participating in My Info Quest are generally satisfied with the service organization and operation. However, more work is needed in the area of schedule accountability, communication and sustainability.

Originality/value

My Info Quest is the first collaborative text reference service in the nation. Through the detailed depiction and evaluation of My Info Quest's experience, the paper can help interested libraries to gain a better understanding of how to establish a collaborative text reference service and what challenges they will be facing.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 38 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Article
Publication date: 2 November 2015

Lili Luo and Viscount B. Buer

This paper aims to provide a detailed discussion of a large-scale library reference evaluation study conducted at the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) in Ghana. The…

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1244

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide a detailed discussion of a large-scale library reference evaluation study conducted at the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) in Ghana. The study seeks to evaluate the reference service from the user perspective, focusing on how users use and perceive the service.

Design/methodology/approach

Self-administered survey was used as the data collection instrument. One thousand questionnaires were distributed to library users in a three-week period, and the response rate was 63.7 per cent.

Findings

The reference service had a high non-use rate of 42.6 per cent, which was primarily attributed to library users’ self-sufficiency and lack of awareness of the service. The top three motivations for library users to use the reference service were class assignments, personal interests and using library facilities. Although their overall altitude was positive, users felt that reference librarians were more successful at exhibiting customer service qualities than performing tasks related to identifying users’ information needs and searching/locating relevant information to fulfill the needs.

Practical implications

The knowledge gained from this study will deepen the understanding of how the reference service is utilised and perceived by library users and offer insights on how to enhance the services to optimise the user experience.

Originality/value

This study yields an enriched view of reference service provision in the African context. Its findings will help other academic libraries in Africa successfully plan and implement their own reference evaluation efforts and ultimately encourage more evidence-based library practices in the developing world.

Details

Library Review, vol. 64 no. 8/9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article
Publication date: 11 May 2012

Lili Luo and Emily Weak

This paper aims to describe management and operational considerations for collaborative text reference services.

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1564

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to describe management and operational considerations for collaborative text reference services.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted in‐depth interviews with members of the My Info Quest (MIQ) management team. The paper reports on the interviews in the context of MIQ's operations as the first US nationwide, collaborative text reference service.

Findings

MIQ is a non‐hierarchal organization that relies on frequent communication, enthusiastic and dedicated member librarians, and a collective sense of commitment. Challenges and lessons from MIQ's operations are discussed in the following areas: policies and procedures, staffing, service software, training, marketing, communicating and problem solving, and overall project operation.

Research limitations/implications

This paper examines collaborative text reference service only from the management perspective. Future research should investigate other aspects of collaboratively providing text reference service.

Practical implications

This paper will help libraries implement and manage collaborative text reference services. Ultimately it will contribute to the development of best practices for text reference service.

Originality/value

Text reference is the most recent reference development and it does not have a large body of literature. Current reports are primarily of a single library's experience. This paper reports on collaborative service provision. It is the only article to date that examines collaborative text reference service from the management perspective.

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Book part
Publication date: 11 August 2014

Emily Weak and Lili Luo

In the past decade, library literature has witnessed a spate of studies documenting different aspects of Collaborative Virtual Reference Services (CVRS) and a significant…

Abstract

In the past decade, library literature has witnessed a spate of studies documenting different aspects of Collaborative Virtual Reference Services (CVRS) and a significant amount of valuable information is spread across numerous individual reports. With the support of the Institute for Museum and Library Services, the authors of this chapter undertook a synergistic effort to examine these studies and identify the popular governance models as well as shared challenges and benefits. They conducted a supplementary survey of librarians with personal experience working in CVRS. The authors found that while collaborative structures are myriad, many utilize similar staffing and management strategies. Benefits of CVRS include shared staffing responsibilities, the extension of service hours, professional and community development, access to specialists, and mitigating the risks of a new service, while challenges include answering local questions, cultural differences, and software and technology problems. The literature on CVRS primarily focuses on single collaborations. While these in-depth examinations are valuable, they cannot provide a “big picture” of how libraries may work together to provide a service. As budgets shrink and ICT-facilitated connections grow, collaboration is an option to which many libraries are turning to for the provision of reference as well as other services. The quality of such collaborations may be improved by considering the lessons presented in this chapter, resulting in better service.

Details

Mergers and Alliances: The Operational View and Cases
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-054-3

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Article
Publication date: 15 August 2008

Lili Luo

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of how reference service is provided in the 3D virtual world, Second Life (SL), and to further the professional…

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2881

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of how reference service is provided in the 3D virtual world, Second Life (SL), and to further the professional understanding of the newest reference “frontier” and its impact on the library reference world.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey study was conducted to examine the nature and practice of reference service provided by volunteer reference practitioners in SL. Different aspects of SL reference were studied, including types of reference questions, types of reference sources, communication methods, reference competencies and differences between SL reference and real life reference.

Findings

The paper reveals that, as an independent service point, the SL reference desk serves mostly SL‐related information needs and reference librarians rely heavily on their personal knowledge to answer users' questions. One distinct feature of the SL reference desk is its social nature. It functions both as a place for social gathering and a place for information and reference service.

Practical implications

This study investigates various aspects of SL reference service and introduces the new reference development to a larger audience. Findings from this study will help practitioners who are interested in adopting new technologies in reference work obtain a thorough understanding of SL reference and its value to their respective communities, and hence, design better virtual services for users.

Originality/value

This study is the first study to systematically examine reference activities in SL and present in‐depth views on the nature and practice of SL reference.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 36 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

Keywords

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