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Dissertation Information for Irene Owens

- Irene Owens

- Ph.D.

- Library and Information Science

- University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (USA) (1995)

- Edward G. Holley

- Elfreda Annmary Chatman
- Barbara B. Moran
- Helen R. Tibbo
- Peter Michael Blau

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: Librarian-patron interaction and information exchange in the reference department of an academic library

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to seek an understanding of the interaction that takes place between reference librarian and library patron. The context for understanding this interaction is based on perceptions of those who are involved in the process: librarians and patrons.

The research was conducted in the Spring and Summer of 1994 using a qualitative methodology that employed intensive interviews and observation. Four separate interview guides were used in this study: one for students, one for librarians, one for librarians and students based on perceptions of the same reference encounter and a follow-up interview guide for librarians. Some of the areas used in the interview guides included librarian-patron expectations of each other, librarian-patron interpretations of the question-asking process and interaction between librarian and patron in the use of technology.

The librarian-patron interaction process was examined through the application of the Social Exchange Theory (Blau, 1964). The Social Exchange Theory states that persons enter into interaction with the expectation of receiving benefits. When these benefits are not realized social exchange ceases. The concepts of the theory are power, trust and reciprocation; these concepts were used in the design of the study and in the analysis of the data.

In addition to the use of the Social Exchange Theory to analyze data, the researcher also analyzed data based on (1) background information of the respondents, (2) additions made to the data during the collection process and (3) codes assigned based on the themes that emerged in the data.

The analysis of the data revealed that both librarians and patrons experienced the use of power, trust and reciprocation in the interaction process. There are also instances where librarians and students experience lack of power, trust and reciprocation in the interaction process. The data further revealed that there may be mis-perceptions of power and trust in the interaction process between librarian and patron.

The results of the study strongly suggest that new ways of providing training should be instituted for librarians and students to assist in empowering them in the interaction process. The question-asking process proved to be a very important aspect of the interaction process and is one of the areas where the possibilities for empowerment exists.

MPACT Scores for Irene Owens

A = 0
C = 7
A+C = 7
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2017-05-10 16:39:06

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Students under Irene Owens

- None

- Anil Singh - University of Texas, Austin (1999)
- Hermina Georgeta-Benedicta Anghelescu - University of Texas, Austin (2000)
- Durk Hyun Chang - University of Texas, Austin (2000)
- Soyeon Lee - University of Texas, Austin (2000)
- Cecilia Salvatore - University of Texas, Austin (2000)
- Jon Arvid Aho - University of Texas, Austin (2002)
- Chad Henderson Morgan - University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (2014)