Dissertation Information for Paul David Healey
MPACT Status: Fully Complete
Title: Uncertainty management in reference interactions with pro se law library users
Abstract: This study applies uncertainty management theory to reference interactions between law librarians and pro se library users. Focus groups were conducted with law librarians to obtain data. The results showed that law librarians assisting pro se library users experienced uncertainty in multiple and complex forms, arising both from interacting with users and from institutional and legal requirements; that they appraised uncertainty for its meaning; managed their own uncertainties through various techniques; dealt with challenges to managing their uncertainty; and attempted to influence the uncertainty of pro se library users. The results also highlighted a significant gap between standard reference interaction practices and theory and the realities experienced in reference interactions with pro se library users.
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