Full Record

Ref Type: Dissertation/Thesis, Unpublished

Authors: Ozkaramanli,Eylem,

Title: Librarians' perceptions of quality digital reference services by means of critical incidents

Publication Full: NULL

Year: 2005 Volume: NULL Issue: NULL

Start Page: NULL Other Pages: NULL

Descriptors: Library science, Information systems,


This research is an effort to understand chat reference services through librarians' perceptions of successful and less successful chat reference service. Ten Academic libraries in Ohio and Pennsylvania which offered chat reference services were identified and 40 librarians were interviewed in order to address the research questions of this study. The main methodology used was the Critical Incident Technique (CIT) (Flanagan 1954) that is based on collecting and analyzing the most memorable experiences of human behavior in order to evaluate and identify ways to increase effectiveness of service. On-site, personal interviews were conducted with librarians who provide chat reference services. The subjects were initially asked to define chat reference service and compare it with traditional reference services. Following CIT procedures, they were then asked to recall and describe successful and less successful chat reference interactions and to make suggestions for better chat reference services. The interviews were transcribed and entered into a database for coding and content analysis of the collected data using qualitative data analysis software (MAXqda). Coded data were transformed into categories to determine and describe librarians' perceptions of chat reference services. The six major themes that emerged from this study were: (1) Characteristics of chat reference, (2) Attitudes of librarians and users, (3) Efficiency of reference interview and question negotiation, (4) Service improvement and management issues, (5) Training and review, and (6) Publicity and user awareness. These themes were discussed throughout the study. Findings from the recorded critical incidents indicate the importance of "attitudes" of librarians and users, the role of question "negotiation" and "type", and the availability of "resources" in successful chat reference service. The defining characteristics of chat reference, that it is online, remotely available and delivered through software raised issues of "technology", "chat software", "service location" and "service hours" which were also significant in defining service success. Furthermore, investigation of reference service quality criteria, evaluation measures and methods were explored by comparing literature on traditional and chat reference services and study findings. This study provides practical evaluation criteria for providing successful chat reference services in three categories based on: librarians' performance, chat software, and marketing issues. Further research for developing comprehensive digital reference evaluation criteria is recommended.


id: 177

Links: NULL

Extra Data: Doctoral Dissertation


Retrieved Date:January 1, 1970

Editors: NULL

Book Title: NULL

Series Title: NULL

Publisher: University of Pittsburgh, Department of Library and Information Science School of Information Sciences

Place Of Publication: Pennsylvania

Issn Isbn: NULL