The Effect of Open Questions on Virtual Reference Interview Efficiency

by Rainey, Edward

Abstract (Summary)
This study examines how the use of open questions in virtual reference interactions impacts the overall efficiency of the reference interview. Fifty virtual reference transcripts from the “Ask a Librarian” service at the University of North Carolina’s Davis Library were analyzed to determine whether or not open questions were used. Next, the total number of interactions between patron and librarian was tabulated. The number of open questions was divided by the number of total number of interactions to determine an efficiency value for each transcript. While no conclusive correlation was found between open questions and efficiency, this study suggests that open questions are still an effective virtual reference interview strategy and that more research is needed in this area.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Robert Losee

School:University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

School Location:USA - North Carolina

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:college and university libraries reference services automation internet


Date of Publication:12/03/2008

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