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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2000

Ha‐lin Chiu

Academic libraries experience a common problem in promoting their reference services – users hesitate to ask questions because they are not sure whether the librarians are obliged…

446

Abstract

Academic libraries experience a common problem in promoting their reference services – users hesitate to ask questions because they are not sure whether the librarians are obliged or even capable to answer them. Using survey data from Hong Kong, this study revealed that reference librarians were ranked poorly against other sources of help for academic questions. However, those students who perceived reference librarians as knowledgeable, friendly, polite, modern, and supportive felt seeking help from them was useful, not embarrassing, and likely to be productive and convenient. Further, students who considered reference librarians professionally oriented felt more positively about approaching them for help. This study suggests reference librarians may have an image problem. To enhance their services to users better, they need to convince them that they are able to help by eliminating any misconceptions concerning their ability and professionalism.

Details

OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1065-075X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 September 2003

Alice Kawakami and Pauline Swartz

This article describes the first of a series of assessments examining discrete areas of the service, needed to evaluate a digital reference program. The University of California…

2401

Abstract

This article describes the first of a series of assessments examining discrete areas of the service, needed to evaluate a digital reference program. The University of California, Los Angeles, began the first stage of a planned comprehensive evaluation with an assessment of competencies designed to reveal gaps in training that would be the starting point for a revised training program. The objectives of the first assessment were to isolate librarian‐error from user‐error, software‐error and network‐error. This assessment is the first piece of wide‐ranging evaluation that will involve all staff in the process of crafting best practices for digital reference service.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 1991

Paul Frantz

In the literature of librarianship, the education of a reference librarian has, on the whole, meant two things. First, it has referred to the theoretical and/or practical training…

Abstract

In the literature of librarianship, the education of a reference librarian has, on the whole, meant two things. First, it has referred to the theoretical and/or practical training in reference services that a student receives in library school. Second, it has meant the training, or lack of it, the new librarian receives in making the transition from library school to the reference desk. What reference education has not meant, to judge by the literature, is the ongoing training or professional development a working reference librarian might receive on the job.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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 amount…

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

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 8 August 2017

Terri Summey

To explore the feasibility of utilizing the Bar-On mixed model of emotional–social intelligence as a framework for the competencies and traits needed for reference and information…

Abstract

To explore the feasibility of utilizing the Bar-On mixed model of emotional–social intelligence as a framework for the competencies and traits needed for reference and information services librarians. Through a survey of the literature, the author created a baseline list of competencies, which was compared and contrasted with the abilities, traits, and competencies that comprise the Bar-On model of emotional–social intelligence. The author conducted a pilot study with a small group (n = 10) of reference and user services librarians who took the EQ-i 2.0. The competencies and traits of reference and user services librarians identified in the literature compare favorably with those measured by the EQ-i 2.0. Overall, a majority of the participants (70%) obtained a total score on the EQ-i 2.0 in the mid or high range. Composite scales with the highest overall mean scores were decision-making and self-perception. Subscales with the highest scores included the following: impulse control, self-actualization, social responsibility, problem solving, and reality testing. As a pilot study, it was conducted using a small population of academic reference and user services librarians. Further research should be conducted utilizing a larger population of reference and user services librarians or librarians who have been recognized as exemplary in reference librarianship. The findings of this study could assist pre-service and in-service reference and user services librarians in further developing their emotional–social intelligence competencies and abilities by identifying areas where improvements could occur.

Abstract

Details

Advances in Librarianship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-12024-618-2

Abstract

Details

Advances in Librarianship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-007-4

Book part
Publication date: 3 June 2008

Jennifer K. Sweeney

This study investigated the skill development of academic reference librarians. It has been assumed that skill develops over time through experience, yet workplace competencies…

Abstract

This study investigated the skill development of academic reference librarians. It has been assumed that skill develops over time through experience, yet workplace competencies are currently described without reference to level of expertise. Drawing on the literature of occupational sociology, the Dreyfus model is an experiential, developmental model rather than a trait or talent model, allowing the holistic exploration of skill change through analysis of reference situations as contextualized and social phenomena. Three aspects of change in skill level were investigated: the shift from reliance on rules and abstract principles to the use of real experience to guide action; the growth in ability to discern relevant information from noise in complex situations; and the increase in engaged, involved performance out of initial detachment. Analysis of interview narratives with 17 reference librarians and two reference assistants suggests that the Dreyfus model is applicable to reference skill development with some differences. Skill characteristics were discerned at four levels: beginner, competent, proficient, and expert. Observed skill criteria in the narratives were used to reorganize the mixed skill levels presented in the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) Professional Competencies for Reference and User Services Librarians.

Details

Advances in Library Administration and Organization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-7623-1488-1

Article
Publication date: 17 July 2023

Khurram Shahzad and Shakeel Ahmad Khan

Motivation of the employees is extensively considered as an antidote for the overall success of the organizations. This study primarily aims to investigate the impact of…

Abstract

Purpose

Motivation of the employees is extensively considered as an antidote for the overall success of the organizations. This study primarily aims to investigate the impact of motivation on the job performance of university librarians in Pakistan.

Design/methodology/approach

Quantitative research design followed by a survey method under an extended theory of motivation was applied. Data were collected from 123 professional librarians of 79 university libraries in Punjab province, Pakistan. The study tested hypotheses having used regression statistical test through Statistical Package for Social Sciences Software (Version 26).

Findings

Results of the study revealed that motivation (intrinsic and extrinsic), the expectation of benefits, satisfaction of meta needs and challenging situations have a strong positive impact on the optimum job performance of university librarians.

Practical implications

This research has theoretical implications for the researchers and practical insights for human resource managers to get maximum outcomes for organizational development. The results of the study may be generalized to the university libraries of other countries having similar socio-economic and cultural situations.

Originality/value

This study developed a framework based upon empirically tested hypotheses that might be used as drivers for different motivation practices to augment employees’ commitment to the organizations.

Details

Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9342

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 November 2016

Aditi Bandyopadhyay and Mary Kate Boyd-Byrnes

Academic libraries are experiencing numerous changes in their services due to high demands for digital resources and changes in users’ information needs and expectations. Many…

6324

Abstract

Purpose

Academic libraries are experiencing numerous changes in their services due to high demands for digital resources and changes in users’ information needs and expectations. Many academic library users give preferences to Google, Google Scholar and other search engines on the internet when they search for information. As reference transactions are decreasing in many academic institutions, this paper aims to investigate the continuing need for mediated reference services in the technology-driven environment in academic libraries.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors have conducted a literature review to document and analyze the current trends in reference services in academic libraries. They have examined the relevant published literature through a series of reflective questions to determine whether the demise of mediated reference services is imminent in academic libraries. While this literature review is by no means an exhaustive one, the authors have provided a fairly comprehensive representation of articles to synthesize an overview of the history, evolution, and current trends of reference services in academic libraries.

Findings

This paper clearly demonstrates the importance of human-mediated reference services in academic libraries. It reinforces the need for skilled, knowledgeable professional librarians to provide effective and efficient reference services in a digital environment.

Practical implications

This paper provides a comprehensive overview of current trends in reference services in academic libraries and analyzes the merits and demerits of these trends to establish the need for mediated reference services in academic libraries. The arguments used in this paper will be useful for library and informational professionals as validation for the need to hire skilled, knowledgeable reference librarians to provide reference services in a digital environment.

Originality/value

This paper critically looks at the current trends and practices in reference services through the published literature to determine the future need for mediated reference services in academic libraries. It offers important insights to demonstrate why professional librarians’ skills, knowledge and expertise are essential to provide efficient reference services in the digital age.

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