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Dissertation Information for Mary K. Chelton

- Mary K. Chelton

- Ph.D.

- Library and Information Science

- Rutgers University (USA) (1997)

- Hartmut Mokros

- Carol Kuhlthau
- Kay Ellen Vandergrift
- Catherine Ross

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: Adult-adolescent service encounters: The library context

Abstract: This study provides an interpretive analysis of the "place" of the adolescent as a social construct and individual agent within the context of library theory and practice. In particular, this dissertation addresses how self and identity are constituted in library theory and practice in relation to the adolescent. Through use of a constitutive theory of communication grounded in the interactive definition of the situation, the examination of these issues aims to show the relevance of concerns with self and identity in the theorizing of the library and its users. Particular research questions addressed include: (1) How the definition of the service situation is accomplished; (2) How the definition of the service situation may be influenced by stereotypic expectations or a theory of practice; (3) How age as a social category enters into the definition of the service situation; (4) How adolescent "information needs" are perceived by and responded to by service providers; and (5) Whether the definition of the service situation in library encounters constructs a sense of place in the wider community for adolescent users.

Findings include service as a multi-dimensional concept in libraries not totally congruent with theories or standards of practice. Information "facilitator" and "coach" are observed service roles more than "information retriever." These roles, however, do not necessarily carry over to other kinds of interactive encounters in this setting. Asymmetrical knowledge and power relationships are normalized in the library context, in part because of the conventional interview structure of most interactions. Expectations of user competence are embedded in practice assumptions. Relational work is inhibited by role expectations and negative attributions to adolescents' personal appearance by library staff, the clustering and short length of many service encounters, and age-stigmatization. Adolescent "information needs" are defined by adult library staff as self-identified queries, and by adolescents as a need for respect. The latter is often thwarted by organizational expectations of users and arrangements for compliant behavior control.

MPACT Scores for Mary K. Chelton

A = 0
C = 2
A+C = 2
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2008-01-31 06:10:34

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Students under Mary K. Chelton

- None

- Rebecca Platzner - Rutgers University (2002)
- Yang-Woo Kim - Rutgers University (2004)