Full Record – Author

Ref Type: Journal Article

Authors: Shachaf,Pnina, Horowitz,Sarah,

Title: Are virtual reference services color blind?

Publication Full: Library & Information Science Research

Year: 2006 Volume: 28 Issue: 4

Start Page: 501 Other Pages: 520

Descriptors: REFERENCE services (Libraries), LIBRARIANS, STUDENTS, QUALITY of service,


Abstract: This study reports an experiment that examines whether librarians provide equitable virtual reference services to diverse user groups. The relative absence of social cues in the virtual environment may mean greater equality of services though at the same time greater inequalities may arise as librarians can become less self-aware online. Findings indicate that the quality of service librarians provide to African Americans and Arabs is lower than the quality of service they provide to Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian, and Jewish students. This study adds to the knowledge of subjective bias in the virtual environment by specifying those that are discriminated against online, identifying the kinds of discriminatory actions of virtual reference librarians, and identifying the type of queries that more frequently result in unbiased service. [Copyright 2006 Elsevier]; Copyright of Library & Information Science Research is the property of Pergamon Press – An Imprint of Elsevier Science 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; Shachaf, Pnina; Email Address: shachaf@indiana.edu; Horowitz, Sarah 1; Email Address: smhorowi@indiana.edu; Affiliations: 1: School of Library and Information Science, Indiana University, 1320 East 10th Street, LI005A, Bloomington, IN 47405-3907, USA Source Info: Sep2006, Vol. 28 Issue 4, p501; Thesaurus Term: REFERENCE services (Libraries); Thesaurus Term: LIBRARIANS; Thesaurus Term: STUDENTS; Subject Term: QUALITY of service; Number of Pages: 20p. Document Type: Article

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Retrieved Date:January 1, 1970

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Issn Isbn: 7408188