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Journal Cover Reference Services Review
  [SJR: 1.546]   [H-I: 21]   [32 followers]  Follow
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 0090-7324
   Published by Emerald Homepage  [312 journals]
  • Editorial
    • Pages: 218 - 218
      Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 3, Page 218-218, August 2016.

      Citation: Reference Services Review
      PubDate: 2016-08-03T12:33:40Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-06-2016-0040
  • Changing the face of reference and user services
    • Pages: 219 - 236
      Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 3, Page 219-236, August 2016.
      Purpose Social media allows collaboration, participation and sharing in libraries with users. The purpose of this study is to examine the response of academic librarians in Ghana to the use of social media in reference and user services. Design/methodology/approach It is a quantitative study that used the Likert type of questionnaire in soliciting the views of academic librarians from six public and private universities in Ghana on their knowledge and use of social media in providing reference and user services. Findings The findings of the study indicate that majority of academic librarians are knowledgeable and use social media for both personal and work-related purposes. They, however, lack adequate skills to use the array of social media tools to make remarkable difference in service delivery. For this reason, they find the traditional mode of service delivery a comfort zone. Practical implications Higher education policy makers in Ghana and elsewhere would find the results useful in decisions on the types of social media tools to use in universities and colleges. Originality/value The study provides in-depth analysis of the impact of social media on reference and user services in Ghanaian libraries, which is deficient in literature. It also recommends change in policy direction and training to whip up interest in librarians to use social media.
      Citation: Reference Services Review
      PubDate: 2016-08-03T12:33:05Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-01-2016-0001
  • Learning from faculty voices on information literacy
    • Pages: 237 - 252
      Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 3, Page 237-252, August 2016.
      Purpose This paper aims to investigate faculty conceptions of information literacy (IL) in a digital information landscape by examining faculty definitions of IL in the context of undergraduate education, as well as faculty perceptions of, and expectations for, undergraduate IL knowledge and abilities. Design/methodology/approach This is a qualitative research study with 24 semi-structured interviews of faculty in different disciplines at a large public research university in Toronto, Ontario. Findings Faculty view IL as fundamentally intertwined with other academic literacies and as central for the successful pursuit of much undergraduate academic research work including developing autonomous, engaged learners. Faculty place special emphasis on fostering higher-order cognitive skills, especially developing a questioning disposition and the ability to evaluate, contextualize and synthesize information sources. Faculty see considerable scope for improvement of undergraduate IL capabilities, and a large majority see a role for themselves and librarians here. Practical implications Findings of this and other studies align well with core elements in the new IL guidelines and frameworks for higher education both in North America and the United Kingdom. This includes highlighting a need for a strong faculty role in shaping IL in higher education in the future, a need for a holistic lens in developing multiple academic literacies, an emphasis on high-order cognitive abilities and a recognition of the importance of affective dimensions of learning IL. Originality/value This paper fills a gap in the literature where there is an absence of studies, especially of a qualitative nature, which explore faculty conceptions of IL. A majority of studies published focus instead on librarian conceptions and practice.
      Citation: Reference Services Review
      PubDate: 2016-08-03T12:32:13Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-11-2015-0047
  • Student bibliographies: charting research skills over time
    • Pages: 253 - 265
      Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 3, Page 253-265, August 2016.
      Purpose The purpose of this study is to compare two bibliography assignments completed after one-shot library instruction to determine which research skills first-year students retain over the course of a semester. Design/methodology/approach A rubric was developed for citation analysis of student-annotated bibliographies and final bibliographies. Each assignment was scored on a three-point scale, and four criteria were assessed: the quality of sources used, variety of sources used, quality of annotations (for first assignment only) and citation accuracy. Findings Students scored highest on the quality of sources used in both assignments, although there was a statistically significant decline in overall scores from the first assignment to the second. Students had the most difficulty with writing annotations, followed closely by citation accuracy. Students primarily cited journal articles in their annotated bibliographies and reference sources in their final bibliographies. Website use increased notably from one assignment to the other. Originality/value This research is unique in its analysis of two separate bibliography assignments completed by first-year students over the course of a semester. It is of interest to librarians teaching one-shot library instruction or any librarian interested in assessing the research skills of first-year students.
      Citation: Reference Services Review
      PubDate: 2016-08-03T12:32:43Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-12-2015-0053
  • Impact of web-scale discovery on reference inquiry
    • Pages: 266 - 281
      Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 3, Page 266-281, August 2016.
      Purpose The purpose of this study is to examine shifts in the volume and complexity of reference questions received at a small liberal arts college following the implementation of a Web-scale discovery service. Design/methodology/approach Researchers used the Warner model of reference classification to review and classify reference questions from the academic year prior to the implementation of EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) and the academic year following EDS implementation to evaluate the change in volume of questions and complexity. Findings Research findings are significant as they document a 34 per cent decline in overall volume of reference activity following the integration of a Web-scale discovery service into the research process. Notably, the question category rated as the highest level of reference complexity (level IV) registered an 18.5 per cent increase in volume, post-EDS implementation. Question levels I-III all saw declines in volume ranging from 45 to 14 per cent. Research limitations/implications Limitations of the study relate to multiple librarians having recorded questions as they were received by reference services and, as a result, some variation in transaction description should be expected. The concurrent deployment of a Web-scale discovery service and an integrated link resolver made delineation of the respective impact of each tool difficult. Practical implications Libraries contemplating the integration of a Web-scale discovery service into the research process will be able to use the research analysis to contemplate service redesign in advance of discovery implementation. The research results support additional training of reference personnel to service higher levels of in-depth inquiries. A redesign of reference services incorporating a tiered reference model using proactive chat with referrals to library faculty for in-depth research consultations is recommended. Originality/value After a literature review of relevant research, the researchers discovered few similar studies. As a result, this analysis will be of significant value to the library profession.
      Citation: Reference Services Review
      PubDate: 2016-08-03T12:32:18Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-11-2015-0046
  • Are reference pop-up widgets welcome or annoying? A usability study
    • Pages: 282 - 291
      Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 3, Page 282-291, August 2016.
      Purpose The purpose of this study is to investigate user reaction to pop-up chat widgets for possible use as a promoter of online reference services in libraries. Design/methodology/approach Librarians at three different campuses of the Pennsylvania State University interviewed ten students at each campus. Librarians used a script to ask students to respond to various library websites and the potential utility of a pop-up widget. Students also responded to a sample chat widget and were asked to evaluate the timing of its appearance on the page. Findings All participants indicated on a timeline their preferred time for a pop-up to appear on a web page. Only 16 per cent of study participants had used the “Ask a Librarian” reference service from its current access point as a linked button on the libraries’ web pages. However, 83 per cent indicated that they would be more likely to use the Ask service if the widget appeared on the screen. Originality/value This research is unique, as there are no other studies in the library literature that explore pop-up chat widgets.
      Citation: Reference Services Review
      PubDate: 2016-08-03T12:32:27Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-11-2015-0049
  • Peer reference assistants in a small liberal arts college: case study
    • Pages: 292 - 308
      Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 3, Page 292-308, August 2016.
      Purpose The purpose of this study is to demonstrate how to create and sustain a successful mentoring program for reference student assistants in the liberal arts environment. The study delineates student training, program assessment and the impact on reference practice in a way that can be used at other institutions considering implementing a similar initiative. Design/methodology/approach This case study is written by professionals who have been deeply engaged in initiating, running and assessing the program. It presents the value of the program in an unbiased and objective manner by including the voices of the student mentees themselves reflecting on the experience. Findings The mentorship program has proven to be worthwhile and rewarding in equal measures to both the mentees and reference librarians working with our future successors. It serves an important role in inspiring and encouraging library student workers to become interested in academic librarianship as a career choice and it prepares them to be successful students in library and information science graduate programs. Originality/value Although the discussion of training reference student assistants per se is not rare in the library literature, this particular program is unique in several ways: its main intent is to mentor students who are interested in pursuing librarianship as a career goal; it occurs in the context of a liberal arts college rather than in a larger university setting, especially those offering degrees in information and library science; and it empowers students to provide in-depth independent reference services for their peers and faculty.
      Citation: Reference Services Review
      PubDate: 2016-08-03T12:32:35Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-11-2015-0048
  • Using the instructional design process in tutorial development
    • Pages: 309 - 323
      Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 3, Page 309-323, August 2016.
      Purpose This paper aims to explore innovative ways to integrate business information literacy and database instruction into courses that require in-depth research. Design/methodology/approach This paper outlines the use of the instructional design process to effectively develop specialized Guide on the Side (GotS) tutorials for upper-level business students. Findings Students valued the interactive nature of the GotS tutorials and appreciated that the instruction was at point of need. Research limitations/implications This paper describes one librarian’s journey of creating interactive tutorials with the instructional design process. It is a starting point for other academic librarians looking to embed tutorials in courses. Originality/value GotS is an interactive tutorial software and librarians are looking for effective ways to incorporate online tutorials into their information literacy instruction.
      Citation: Reference Services Review
      PubDate: 2016-08-03T12:33:34Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-12-2015-0050
  • Building bridges: outreach to international students via vernacular
           language videos
    • Pages: 324 - 340
      Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 3, Page 324-340, August 2016.
      Purpose This paper aims to describe librarians’ efforts in reaching out to international students through vernacular language videos at both the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Oregon. The videos were created to help international students familiarize themselves with the new library environment and to stimulate their interest in the future exploration of library resources and services. Design/methodology/approach This paper discusses the challenges of providing effective support to international students in the early stages of their academic life in the USA, explains the rationale for using vernacular language videos as a means of outreach to international students, outlines the factors considered in designing the videos that helped achieve the outreach goals and reviews promotion needs and assessment methods for evaluating the effectiveness of the videos. Findings Using online videos in native languages as a means to extend the reach of the libraries to international students is seen as useful and practical. Feedback from students and library colleagues shows positive reaction to the videos and provides encouragement for further outreach efforts to international students. Practical implications The strategies and experiences detailed here are easily adaptable to other institutions of higher education committed to developing outreach programs for international students. Originality/value The novelty of this case study is the librarians’ sophisticated thinking in developing vernacular language videos as a means of outreach to international students. The video project presented in the paper can function as an inspiring example for institutions preparing for the expected large influx of international students.
      Citation: Reference Services Review
      PubDate: 2016-08-03T12:33:59Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-10-2015-0044
  • Studying the impact of blended learning that uses the online PBwiki guided
           by activity theory on LIS students’ knowledge management
    • Pages: 341 - 361
      Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 3, Page 341-361, August 2016.
      Purpose This research paper aims to explore the impact of using wiki activities to support a blended learning course (70 per cent in-class and 30 per cent PBwiki activities) on the knowledge management of library and information science (LIS) students compared to 100 per cent in-class learning. Design/methodology/approach In the 2015 academic year, the researcher compared an experimental group (41 students) and a control group (41 students). Instruction of the experimental group was based on combining 2 h (70 per cent) of in-class learning and 1 h (30 per cent) of wiki-based learning activities each week. The control group’s experience was 100 per cent in a physical classroom without the use of a wiki. The researcher used a t-test to compare the means of the control and experimental groups in achievement tests and the students’ attitudes based on principles of activity theory (technological, individual and community levels) at 0.05 alpha levels. Findings The principal results of the study are that students in the experimental group perform better than those in the control group on the achievement test, learning tracks and attitudes. Learning tracks analysis shows that students in the experimental group had greater participation in different topics of discussion in the PBwiki than did the control group. The first topic discussed by students in the wiki is related to exam revision, and the second topic is related to the course content. Originality/value This research paper is useful for readers, parents, students and schools to explore the effectiveness of PBwiki activities to support blended courses in LIS education.
      Citation: Reference Services Review
      PubDate: 2016-08-03T12:34:13Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-09-2015-0040
  • Understanding library users’ preferences and expectations of online
    • Pages: 362 - 374
      Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 3, Page 362-374, August 2016.
      Purpose Online help and tutorials are an important part of library services, yet they are often studied in specific contexts and disciplines like subject-specific research guides. The objective of this study was to examine users’ common preferences and expectations of library help channels in general and online help in particular. Design/methodology/approach The authors conducted a qualitative survey with 45 library users. The survey asked users how they seek library help, their preferences and expectations of online help, content format and general help channels and later, a content analysis of survey responses was performed. Findings Results showed that survey participants have different prioritizations of library help channels. Half of the respondents preferred conceptual help that emphasizes concepts and underlying principles, while the other half preferred procedural (step-by-step) help or mixed. The survey also indicated reliance by participants on expert help, even when online help was available. Originality/value Based on the results, the authors identified users’ behavioral preferences, attitudes and expectations toward library help channels and online help content. They also discussed the unique challenge of creating online help for libraries, as users have a dynamic range of help-seeking preferences and mixed expectations of help content depending on the context.
      Citation: Reference Services Review
      PubDate: 2016-08-03T12:32:56Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-12-2015-0054
  • Keeping your options open
    • Pages: 375 - 389
      Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 3, Page 375-389, August 2016.
      Purpose Technologies for teaching abound, but many of them are proprietary systems and software that require institutional and individual subscriptions for use. Instructors and librarians in higher education have open source and free options for many types of teaching technologies. While some of these technologies are free to users, open source goes beyond that and makes the source code that runs it available as well. These provide more options to enhance teaching. Design/methodology/approach This paper will provide an overview of the open source landscape and evaluate free and open source technologies of potential use in the college or university classroom. Findings The paper found a number of free and open source tools appropriate for teaching and learning in higher education. These tools may possibly generate savings over proprietary tools, but could have other costs such as additional learning investment or require hosting. Additionally, free and open source technologies provide students with knowledge about tools that they can continue to access after graduation. Libraries have a role in connecting their constituencies to these tools. Originality/value The paper provides descriptive information about a variety of tools for teaching and learning in higher education, as well as examples from the literature of how the tools might be integrated into the classroom and into library instruction.
      Citation: Reference Services Review
      PubDate: 2016-08-03T12:33:43Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-05-2016-0033
  • Teaching the reference interview through practice-based assignments
    • Pages: 390 - 410
      Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 3, Page 390-410, August 2016.
      Purpose This study aims to explore the effectiveness and learning outcomes of two reference interview assignments – one in which students worked with a family member or friend and a “practice-based” assignment in which students were paired with other graduate students working on a class assignment. Design/methodology/approach Students completed reflective essay and submitted a survey rating their perceptions of their patrons’ satisfaction, completeness of the answer and overall success of the transaction. Findings Students in both classes were successful and applied the skills and competencies of the reference interview, but students with the practice-based assignment had a more realistic experience and were somewhat less confident about their performance. Practical implications The study offers some implications and suggestions for a more effective and realistic approach to teaching the reference interview. Originality/value There is a lack of literature on how to teach the reference interview and on the effectiveness of different types of assignments. This study addresses that gap and the results of this study will be of interest to Library and Information Science faculty, as well as library directors and reference managers who might offer training to staff.
      Citation: Reference Services Review
      PubDate: 2016-08-03T12:33:53Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-04-2016-0025
  • Learning commons reference collections in ARL libraries
    • Pages: 411 - 430
      Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 3, Page 411-430, August 2016.
      Purpose This paper aims to explore the changing role of the reference collection in learning commons at Association of Research Libraries (ARL) member libraries. Design/methodology/approach A 15-question survey was sent to managers at academic research libraries with membership in the ARL. Respondents were asked about their learning commons and reference collections. To increase the sample size, the researchers conducted phone interviews with a random sample of individuals from the same target population, utilizing the same questions and generated additional results. Findings Most respondents had or were planning learning commons for their libraries. The role of reference collections varied. Of those who had retained a print reference collection, the majority believed them to be little-used. The researchers believe this may signal an end to a formerly cherished idea: the primacy of the reference collection within a library learning space. Research limitations/implications This study involved a random sample of public service managers at North American ARL academic libraries. While the sample is believed to be representative of the broader population, findings may not be generalizable to all ARL libraries or to other academic libraries. Originality/value Many papers have been written about information or learning commons spaces and their distinctive elements. Others have discussed the changing role of reference collections. This paper is unique in examining the changing role of the reference collection within learning commons spaces.
      Citation: Reference Services Review
      PubDate: 2016-08-03T12:33:26Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-02-2016-0014
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