Full Record – Author

Ref Type: Journal Article

Authors: Fagan,Jody Condit, Desai,Christina M.,

Title: Communication strategies for instant messaging and chat reference services

Publication Full: The Reference Librarian

Year: 2003 Volume: 38 Issue: 79/80

Start Page: 121 Other Pages: 155

Descriptors: INSTANT messaging, LIBRARIANS, TELEMATICS, LIBRARY users, ELECTRONIC reference services (Libraries), NONVERBAL communication,


Instant messaging (IM) reference is gaining in popularity but still faces resistance. Some librarians agree with some researchers in the field of computer-mediated communications (CMC) that it can never approach the complexity of face-to-face communication, and is therefore an unsuitable medium for reference. Librarians in face-to-face reference use nonverbal communication skills such as a welcoming expression and an interested tone of voice to encourage patrons to approach the desk and discuss their topic; they also interpret the nonverbal cues of patrons. This analysis of online reference conversations shows how online skills can substitute for many of these nonverbal cues. Some skills are unique to computer-mediated communication while others involve written language skills to encourage exploration of the topic, increase clarity, demonstrate approachability and empathy, and instruct. The study illustrates communication problems and solutions using actual conversations, giving particular attention to the reference interview. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]; Copyright of Reference Librarian is the property of Haworth Press 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; Accession Number: 12847636; Fagan, Jody Condit 1; Email Address: jfagan@lib.siu.edu; Desai, Christina M. 1; Email Address: cdesai@lib.siu.edu; Affiliations: 1: Morris Library, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL Source Info: 2002/2003, Vol. 38 Issue 79/80, p121; Thesaurus Term: INSTANT messaging; Thesaurus Term: LIBRARIANS; Thesaurus Term: TELEMATICS; Thesaurus Term: LIBRARY users; Thesaurus Term: ELECTRONIC reference services (Libraries); Subject Term: NONVERBAL communication; Number of Pages: 35p. Document Type: Article

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Retrieved Date:January 1, 1970

Editors: NULL

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Publisher: Haworth Press

Place Of Publication: NULL

Issn Isbn: 2763877