Full Record – Author

Ref Type: Journal Article

Authors: Desai,Christina M., Graves,Stephanie J.,

Title: Cyberspace or face-to-face: The teachable moment and changing reference mediums

Publication Full: Reference & User Services Quarterly

Year: 2008 Volume: 47 Issue: 3

Start Page: 242 Other Pages: 255

Descriptors: REFERENCE services (Libraries), LIBRARY orientation, ELECTRONIC reference services (Libraries), ASKA services, INSTANT messaging, ONLINE chat groups,


This article considers the teaching role of reference librarians by studying the teachable moment in reference transactions, and users' response to that instruction. An empirical study of instruction was conducted in both virtual and traditional reference milieus, examining the following three services: Instant messaging (IM), chat, and face-to-face reference. The authors used the same criteria in separate studies of all three services to determine if librarians provided analogous levels of instruction and what factors influenced the likelihood of instruction. Methodologies employed included transcript analysis, observation, and patron surveys. Findings indicated that patrons wanted instruction in their reference transactions, regardless of medium, and that librarians provided it. But instructional techniques used by librarians in virtual reference differ somewhat from those used at the reference desk. The authors conclude that reference transactions, in any medium, represent the patron's point-of-need, thereby presenting the ideal teachable moment. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]; Copyright of Reference & User Services Quarterly is the property of American Library Association and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)


M3: Article; Desai, Christina M. 1; Graves, Stephanie J. 2; Affiliations: 1: Reference and Instruction Librarian, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. 2: Humanities Reference Librarian, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Source Info: Spring2008, Vol. 47 Issue 3, p242; Thesaurus Term: REFERENCE services (Libraries); Thesaurus Term: LIBRARY orientation; Thesaurus Term: ELECTRONIC reference services (Libraries); Thesaurus Term: ASKA services; Thesaurus Term: INSTANT messaging; Thesaurus Term: ONLINE chat groups; Number of Pages: 13p; Illustrations: 1 chart, 4 graphs. Document Type: Article

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Retrieved Date:January 1, 1970

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Issn Isbn: 10949054