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Journal Cover Reference Services Review
  [SJR: 1.599]   [H-I: 16]   [31 followers]  Follow
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 0090-7324
   Published by Emerald Homepage  [312 journals]
  • Learning from Faculty Voices on Information Literacy: Opportunities and
           Challenges for Undergraduate Information Literacy Education
    • Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 3, August 2016.
      Purpose The study investigates faculty conceptions of information literacy (IL) in a digital information landscape by examining faculty definitions of information literacy 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 information literacy. 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 information literacy. A majority of studies published focus instead on librarian conceptions and practice.
      Citation: Reference Services Review
      PubDate: 2016-07-01T12:37:42Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-11-2015-0047
  • Studying the impact of blended learning that uses the online PBwiki guided
           by activity theory on LIS students' knowledge management
    • Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 3, August 2016.
      Purpose This research paper explores the impact of using wiki activities to support a blended learning course (70% in-class and 30% PBwiki activities) on the knowledge management of Library and Information Science (LIS) students compared to 100% 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 hours (70%) of in-class learning and 1 hour (30%) of wiki-based learning activities each week. The control group’s experience was 100% 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 principals of activity theory (technological level, individual level, community level) 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: 2016-06-30T12:13:15Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-09-2015-0040
  • Building Bridges: Outreach to International Students via Vernacular
           Language Videos
    • Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 3, August 2016.
      Purpose This paper describes 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 for international students in the early stages of their academic life in the U.S., 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: 2016-06-30T12:13:13Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-10-2015-0044
  • Teaching the Reference Interview through Practice-Based Assignments
    • Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 3, August 2016.
      Purpose This study explores the effectiveness and learning outcomes of two reference interview assignments—one in which students worked with a family member or friend, and “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 LIS faculty, as well as library directors and reference managers who might offer training to staff.
      Citation: Reference Services Review
      PubDate: 2016-06-30T12:13:11Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-04-2016-0025
  • Keeping your options open: A review of open source and free technologies
           for instructional use in higher education
    • Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 3, August 2016.
      Purpose Technologies for teaching abound, but many of them are proprietary systems and softwares 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: 2016-06-30T12:13:09Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-05-2016-0033
  • Ideas You Can Use
    • Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 3, August 2016.

      Citation: Reference Services Review
      PubDate: 2016-06-30T12:13:07Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-06-2016-0040
  • Using the Instructional Design Process in Tutorial Development
    • Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 3, August 2016.
      Purpose Librarians need to find 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 tutorials for upper-level business students. Findings Students valued the interactive nature of the Guide on the Side 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 Guide on the Side 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: 2016-06-30T12:13:05Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-12-2015-0050
  • Changing the face of reference and user services: adoption of social media
           in top Ghanaian academic libraries
    • Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 3, August 2016.
      Purpose Social media allows collaboration, participation and sharing in libraries with users. The purpose of this research 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 employed 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: 2016-06-30T12:13:03Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-01-2016-0001
  • Understanding Library Users’ Preferences and Expectations of Online
    • Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 3, August 2016.
      Purpose Online help and tutorials are an important part of library services, yet they are often studied in specific contexts and disciplines such as 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 We 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. We performed content analysis of survey responses. 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 pointed to reliance by participants on expert help, even when online help was available. Originality/value Based on the results, we identified users’ behavioral preferences, attitudes, and expectations towards library help channels and online help content. We 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: 2016-06-30T12:13:02Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-12-2015-0054
  • Learning Commons Reference Collections in ARL Libraries
    • Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 3, August 2016.
      Purpose This paper explores the changing role of the reference collection in learning commons at ARL member libraries. Design/methodology/approach A 15 question survey was sent to managers at academic research libraries with membership in the Association of Research Libraries (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: 2016-06-30T12:13:00Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-02-2016-0014
  • Student bibliographies: charting research skills over time
    • Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 3, 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: 2016-06-30T12:12:59Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-12-2015-0053
  • Peer Reference Assistants in a Small Liberal Arts College: Case Study.
    • Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 3, August 2016.
      Purpose The purpose of this case 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 While 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; it empowers students to provide in-depth independent reference services for their peers and faculty.
      Citation: Reference Services Review
      PubDate: 2016-06-30T12:12:57Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-11-2015-0048
  • Are Reference Pop-up Widgets Welcome or Annoying? A Usability Study
    • Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 3, 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 % 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 percent 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: 2016-06-30T12:12:55Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-11-2015-0049
  • Impact of web-scale discovery on reference inquiry
    • Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 3, 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 utilized 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% 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% increase in volume, post-EDS implementation. Question levels I-III all saw declines in volume ranging from 45% to 14%, respectively. 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 utilize 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: 2016-06-30T12:12:53Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-11-2015-0046
  • Guest editorial
    • Pages: 78 - 80
      Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 2, Page 78-80, June 2016.

      Citation: Reference Services Review
      PubDate: 2016-06-28T10:02:08Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-04-2016-0027
  • Health literacy: a natural role for librarians
    • Pages: 81 - 84
      Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 2, Page 81-84, June 2016.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to introduce the articles in the special theme issue. Design/methodology/approach This paper provides some background and context on health literacy. Findings Health literacy is a critical constellation of skills. Librarians’ abilities and expertise are well-suited to contributing to the improvement of health literacy for various populations in various settings. Librarians are actively engaging in a wide variety of health literacy initiatives in collaboration with other professionals and organizations. Practical implications Specific examples of how librarians are contributing to health literacy are described. Social implications Lack of health literacy is associated with poor health outcomes and increased health costs. Multiple organizations, think tanks and government agencies have called for addressing disparities in health literacy. Originality/value This paper provides an overview and introduction to the special issue on health literacy.
      Citation: Reference Services Review
      PubDate: 2016-06-28T10:02:17Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-04-2016-0026
  • Hispanics and public libraries
    • Pages: 85 - 99
      Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 2, Page 85-99, June 2016.
      Purpose The fastest-growing and the largest minority group in the USA, Hispanics are known to have low health literacy because of their limited English proficiency (LEP) and other socio-economic and cultural factors. This paper aims to examine the health information-seeking behaviors of Hispanics in the e-health environment and their use of public libraries as a health information source/service. Design/methodology/approach An interviewer-administered survey was conducted using a semi-structured instrument. The questionnaires inquired about Hispanics’ health information needs, source use and source preference; use of the library for health information needs; and their perceptions and satisfaction about the library’s consumer health information services. A total of 26 Hispanics were recruited from a Hispanic community organization, a public library and an ethnic grocery store in North Carolina. Findings The majority of the participants are foreign born (92.3 per cent) and non-English speakers (84.6 per cent). The internet was the most frequently used source, followed by friends/family, doctors and TV. Eighty-one per cent of the participants were internet users, and most of them (71 per cent) used the internet at home. Only 23 per cent visited a public library to search the internet for health information. Some barriers to using a public library mentioned by the participants include lack of time to visit a library, lack of skills in using the library materials, transportation, LEP, lack of eligibility for a library card, etc. Social implications The findings will be useful for libraries and state/federal health services to evaluate and develop library services suitable for the Hispanics’ consumer health information needs. Originality/value This study is one of a few studies that use an empirical study of a low health literacy ethnic population to examine the possible roles of public libraries in enhancing health literacy.
      Citation: Reference Services Review
      PubDate: 2016-06-28T10:01:37Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-02-2016-0015
  • Health literacy education: the impact of synchronous instruction
    • Pages: 100 - 121
      Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 2, Page 100-121, June 2016.
      Purpose This paper aims to examine the integration of librarian-led health literacy instruction into an undergraduate course, focusing specifically on how the method of instruction impacts learning outcomes and self-reported confidence levels in completing a course assignment. Undergraduate students struggle to critically evaluate online health information in an increasingly diffuse information landscape. Assessing the success of different instructional techniques aimed at building these abilities can guide pedagogical choices and provide new opportunities to increase health literacy skills in a variety of library user populations. Design/methodology/approach A quasi-experimental research design with pre- and post-tests and a participant survey was used to compare one-shot information literacy instruction techniques in two hybrid sections of a kinesiology course. One class received a traditional, face-to-face librarian-led session and the other a synchronous online instructional session through web conferencing. Findings There were no significant differences in student learning between the in-person and online groups. Students in both conditions demonstrated an extremely significant increase from pre-test to post-test scores, suggesting that librarian-led instruction in either format can lead to substantial learning of online health literacy skills. Survey results showed no significant differences in confidence levels following instruction and suggest that both methods of instruction provide a positive learning experience for students. Originality/value This study provides evidence that synchronous online instruction can be as effective as face-to-face instruction in teaching students to evaluate health-related information resources. These findings are valuable for librarians in a variety of settings who are considering providing health literacy education in an online environment.
      Citation: Reference Services Review
      PubDate: 2016-06-28T10:03:46Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-02-2016-0007
  • Promoting health literacy within a graduate-level nutrition curriculum
    • Pages: 122 - 131
      Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 2, Page 122-131, June 2016.
      Purpose This paper describes how two academic health science librarians exposed graduate students to health literacy concepts in a graduate-level nutrition course. This paper aims to present an easy method for librarians to expose students in the health professions to concepts of health literacy. Design/methodology/approach The Information and Health Literacy course is an online course co-taught by nutrition faculty and librarians at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. The librarian-led one-week health literacy module begins with readings that define health literacy and continues with two online discussion board activities. One activity is identifying an example of low health literacy in their personal or professional lives, and the other is using criteria from the readings in their analysis of a consumer health website. Findings Students often comment that prior to taking this course, they had not considered how patients might think about and understand their own health care, but they will now take it into account going forward. Many students also felt that the assignment made them view Web resources for patients differently and with a more critical eye. Originality/value Those in allied health professions like registered dietitians often have direct contact with patients and have the ability to make a significant impact. If students are exposed to health literacy concepts through online activities within the curriculum, they may be more aware of this important concept when working with patients in the future.
      Citation: Reference Services Review
      PubDate: 2016-06-28T10:03:38Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-02-2016-0008
  • A librarian’s role in media effects health literacy
    • Pages: 132 - 143
      Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 2, Page 132-143, June 2016.
      Purpose This paper aims to assess a pediatric media health effects’ toolkit from a health literacy perspective. A secondary aim is to highlight the collaborative role of an embedded librarian. Design/methodology/approach The authors assessed ten items from the toolkit in several formats (text, survey and video) using the following health literacy assessment tools: the Simple Measure of Gobbledygook, the Suitability Assessment of Materials, the Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool for Printed Materials and the Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool for Audio/Visual Materials. Findings Both the toolkit’s readability scores and understandability scores provided a deeper understanding of where improvements to the toolkit need to be made. The review process also highlighted issues with the assessment tools themselves that prevent them from providing a complete analysis of each materials’ readability and suitability. Research limitations/implications This initial assessment of the toolkit will serve as the backbone for additional formative research, revisions and pilot tests, which will be conducted for the toolkit to become a viable, available and usable tool for pediatricians and health-care providers. The insight gleaned from this study serves as an example, for other institutions across fields, of the importance of having professionals, such as librarians, become well-versed in health literacy and offer guidance and insight for the development of health-focused patient materials. Originality/value This project provides further insight into the evolving role of the embedded librarian. As gatekeepers of information with the responsibility of vetting sources, informing the creation of content, and developing resources, the integration of health literacy knowledge is imperative for librarians to further the work of their institutions and aid in the progression of their field.
      Citation: Reference Services Review
      PubDate: 2016-06-28T10:01:07Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-02-2016-0019
  • Health literacy and information literacy: a concept comparison
    • Pages: 144 - 162
      Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 2, Page 144-162, June 2016.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to compare health and information literacy with a focus on how the development of these concepts within two disciplines (nursing and library/information science) impacts librarian/nurse educator shared understanding. Design/methodology/approach This paper uses a modified concept comparison method. The comparison, grounded in two seminal concept analysis articles, identifies common and unique antecedents, attributes and consequences of each concept. Findings Health and information literacy share common antecedents and attributes: literacy, health or information need, comprehension, decision-making and degree of technological competency. Unique to health literacy is an emphasis on interactive communication and unique to information literacy is a focus on discovery and search skills. Research limitations/implications This concept comparison uses a snapshot approach rather than a full literature review. This work suggests further research into health literacy and information literacy as related concepts in the literature and how multidisciplinary concept comparison can be effectively framed. Practical implications Librarians and nurse educators collaborating on complex concepts such as these should use available definitions, and evidence, to reach shared understanding. Librarians are encouraged to communicate with database developers to address questions and inconsistencies in subject headings. Originality/value This paper presents the first concept comparison of health and information literacy using the concept comparison method – an adaptation of concept analysis methods frequently used in nursing literature, developed by Walker and Avant, Rodgers and Knafl and others.
      Citation: Reference Services Review
      PubDate: 2016-06-28T10:01:19Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-02-2016-0013
  • Health information: print materials assessment in public libraries
    • Pages: 163 - 177
      Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 2, Page 163-177, June 2016.
      Purpose The purpose this study was to determine currency of print health materials readily available in North Carolina public libraries, through a statewide assessment. Two subject areas were examined: health reference and diabetes. Design/methodology/approach In total, 30 randomly selected public libraries were visited and unobtrusive stacks assessments were completed. Some months later, the libraries’ websites were examined for collection development policies, and online catalogs were searched using the keyword diabetes to identify possible discrepancies and additions. Findings For visits, publication dates for reference books ranged from 1899-2014 and the average number of holdings was 10 (range 0-30). The most common reference item, the AMA Family Medical Guide (2005), was available in 6 of 30 libraries. In diabetes collections, publication dates ranged from 1983-2013; the average number of books was nine (range 0-26). The Atkins Diabetes Revolution (2004) was the most common, available in 9 of 30 libraries. Two-thirds of libraries did not have a collection development policy online. Catalog searches revealed 10 titles prior to 1983 and 18 titles (non-cook books) from 2014-2016. Practical implications The study found overall that print health reference books were outdated. In diabetes collections, there were also many outdated items. It appears that regular weeding to assure currency of print health literature is not taking place. Originality/value The study demonstrates that public libraries may not be providing optimal print health information. With unprecedented access, it is imperative that librarians in all types of settings aid in health literacy promotion by assuring access to reliable and timely health information.
      Citation: Reference Services Review
      PubDate: 2016-06-28T10:02:00Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-02-2016-0010
  • A conceptual approach to practitioners’ health information literacy
    • Pages: 178 - 190
      Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 2, Page 178-190, June 2016.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine healthcare professionals’ own health literacy through the lenses of information behavior and evidence-based practice. These practitioners’ health information literacy is critical to client care. Design/methodology/approach This conceptual paper applies general and professional-specific models of information behavior and issues of bias to methods in which healthcare practitioners seek, evaluate and use research information within professional practice. Findings Case examples from library, medical and the broader healthcare literature are used to explore ways in which care professionals’ information behaviors align with or deviate from information behavior models and the role of different types of bias in their information behavior. Adaption of evidence-based practice precepts, already familiar to healthcare professionals, is proposed as a method to improve practitioners’ health information literacy. Originality/value Explorations of “health literacy” have primarily focused on healthcare consumers’ interactions with basic health information and services. The health literacy (and health information literacy) of care practitioners has received much less attention. By gaining a greater understanding of how information behaviors intersect with healthcare practitioners’ own health literacy, the librarians and educators who serve future and current care professionals can offer more informed information literacy instruction, enabling practitioners to provide improved patient care.
      Citation: Reference Services Review
      PubDate: 2016-06-28T10:02:26Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-02-2016-0006
  • Health literacy and libraries: a literature review
    • Pages: 191 - 205
      Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 2, Page 191-205, June 2016.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to assess the involvement of libraries in health literacy programs and initiatives based on a review of the literature. Design/methodology/approach Four databases were searched for papers that described health literacy programs and initiatives within libraries. Findings Several themes of health literacy programs in libraries emerged: health literacy for older adults, underserved populations, the general public, healthcare professionals, and medical students, and patients. Collaborations between libraries and community organizations were frequently used. Practical implications Librarians may use this review to understand the history of health literacy efforts and libraries to inform future programming. This review will contextualize current research on health literacy and libraries. Originality/value Despite the currency and relevance of this topic, there are no literature reviews on health literacy and librarianship.
      Citation: Reference Services Review
      PubDate: 2016-06-28T10:03:10Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-02-2016-0005
  • Improving health literacy: health sciences library case studies
    • Pages: 206 - 214
      Abstract: Reference Services Review, Volume 44, Issue 2, Page 206-214, June 2016.
      Purpose University of Utah has created various partnerships to improve health literacy and health outcomes among patient populations, employees and community members. Health sciences librarians have been key members of these partnerships. This paper aims to describe and share several of these partnerships, including training programs, research efforts and advocacy initiatives, to encourage others to engage in similar activities. Design/methodology/approach Case studies include outreach projects and partnerships to foster health literacy and promote healthy living such as: highly visible information resource provision and associated outreach for patients and families; community health fairs; research on providing point-of-need information for vulnerable community populations; health literacy awareness and resources for professionals; health literacy education for interprofessional students; and a competition for interprofessional students to create health videos to address a variety of topics in multiple languages. Findings Partnerships and outreach efforts lead to improved awareness by institutional personnel of the importance of health literacy. Research on using health literacy to empower patients and increase patient satisfaction can demonstrate how to lower institutional costs and improve guideline compliance, as well out health outcomes. Originality/value Librarians’ instructional skills create personal health educational content for patients and professionals; engaging colleagues to address health literacy lowers health care costs, institutional costs and increases patient compliance and satisfaction.
      Citation: Reference Services Review
      PubDate: 2016-06-28T10:04:19Z
      DOI: 10.1108/RSR-03-2016-0022
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