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Dissertation Information for Charlotte Elizabeth Ford

- Charlotte Elizabeth Ford

- Ph.D.

- Library and Information Science

- Indiana University (USA) (2003)

- Debora Shaw

- Thomas E. Nisonger
- Susan C. Herring
- Thomas F. Gieryn

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: An exploratory study of the differences between face-to-face and computer-mediated reference interactions

Abstract: This research furthers our understanding of reference service in the networked, digital library by addressing the question: How do face-to face reference interactions differ from computer-mediated reference interactions? A library was identified which offered face-to-face, e-mail, and chat reference service. Twelve librarians were observed as they provided all three types of service, for a period of three weeks. Over 100 face-to-face interactions were tape recorded and transcribed. E-mail and real-time computer interactions from the same time period (over 100 in each medium) were captured and stripped of identifying information. The data were then entered into a QSR database. Content analysis and discourse analysis were used to determine how the types of questions asked by users varied across media; how the types of responses varied across media; and how interactivity varied across media. Observations and brief interviews were also used to document these differences.

While library users in face-to-face interactions asked more questions, similarities were found in the types of substantive questions asked across media. Librarians responding face-to-face were more likely to verify understanding, to draw users into interactions, and to instruct users. A wider variety of sources was used, collaborative use of sources was more common, and the number of back-and-forth exchanges was higher in face-to-face interactions. Computer-mediated interactions were more time consuming; fewer words were exchanged, but the exchange was more balanced. Chat reference service was found to hold promise for question negotiation.

MPACT Scores for Charlotte Elizabeth Ford

A = 0
C = 0
A+C = 0
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2008-01-31 06:08:13

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Students under Charlotte Elizabeth Ford

- None

- None