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Dissertation Information for William Patrick Conniff

NAME:
- William Patrick Conniff

DEGREE:
- Ph.D.

DISCIPLINE:
- Library and Information Science

SCHOOL:
- Syracuse University (USA) (1983)

ADVISORS:
- Marta Leszlei Dosa

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
- Jeffrey H. Katzer
- Robert S. Taylor
- Antje Bultmann Lemke
- Barry Lynn Bozeman

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: INFORMATION PATTERNS AND NEEDS OF THE NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY STAFF

Abstract: This study examined the information patterns and information needs of personal and committee staff in the New York State Assembly.

The increased demands on State Legislatures has raised concern about the ability of the legislatures to carry out their duties in an effective manner. This concern has led to an examination of the legislatures and to the identification of a legislative information problem. One solution to the information problem has been the provision of staff to the legislatures' members and committees.

The aim of this study was to explore and describe how the staff is presently utilized to provide the legislators with information. The study sought to discover staff information patterns and to use them to define the current information conditions, identify problems, and suggest improved information systems.

A questionnaire was sent to the personal staff of 30 Assembly members and the committee staff of 8 standing committees.

Because members' offices are designed to meet the needs of the individual Assembly members there appears to be no one standard office organization. More than one third of the staff have one year or less experience in their jobs, and more than half the staff reported that they had no previous political experience. The staff have varied backgrounds with 38% indicating their previous occupation as student. Much of the staff's time is spent on constituent related duties: constituent casework, meeting with constituents and handling constituent mail. The staff is more likely to gather information and perform spot research than carry out in-depth research for the members.

Staff use political information more than technical information and much of this is related to constituents: constituents' opinions, constituents' preferences, and the effect of bills on constituents. Internal information sources were prefered over external sources. Office staff, constituents, Assembly staff, and committees were the four highest used information sources. Non-supervisory staff used office staff as their most frequent source, while supervisory staff used constituents as their highest source. The relevance and timeliness of information was rated higher than the objectivity and reliability of information provided by the five most important information sources.

The staff did not feel that there is an overwhelming information problem. . . . (Author's abstract exceeds stipulated maximum length. Discontinued here with permission of author.) UMI


MPACT Scores for William Patrick Conniff

A = 0
C = 2
A+C = 2
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2008-01-31 06:11:44

Advisors and Advisees Graph

Directed Graph

Students under William Patrick Conniff

ADVISEES:
- None

COMMITTEESHIPS:
- Ingrid T. M. Glasco - University of Pittsburgh (1985)
- Linus Nguhwar Ikpaahindi - University of Pittsburgh (1985)