The goal of this book is to improve reference service in libraries and information centers, by improving the accuracy of answering capabilities. The authors provide a detailed analysis of the question-answering process and methods of evaluating the completeness, usefulness, user satisfaction, and accuracy of the information provided. This is an important contribution to library studies, and it will be a useful textbook for teaching references courses in library schools. Powerful research models help explain what is happening in the reference transaction. It encompasses a comprehensive review of the research literature. It offers a unique systems analysis of the reference transaction and includes a detailed appendix of the concepts, operational definitions, and research variables used to measure outcomes as well as statistical results from all known prior studies.
"...an important addition to the literature examining reference services in general and to the study of the reference transactions process in particular... The monograph's usefulness is enhanced by the clear overview of earlier assessments of reference transactions and services. The book also summarizes the many challenges that still exist in conducting reliable research in this problematic area... this volume is a positive contribution to our understanding of the reference transaction process, the challenges of observing and evaluating these processes, and the importance of continuing research in this are... Recommended reading for all reference service practitioners and researchers, both for the readily available insights as well as a valuable addition to those interested in further evaluation and research in the area." -JOURNAL OF ACADEMIC LIBRARIANSHIP "This is an excellent reference resource. The instruments featured in the appendix are particularly useful in measuring patron satisfaction. Variable data, also part of the appendix, is a great tool for predicting individual library reference request outcomes and can be used to improve or maintain the delivery of quality service." DOODY'S
Matthew Saxton is an assistant professor at the Information School of the University of Washington. His career as a reference librarian includes working in academic, public, and special libraries. His research into reference service evaluation includes meta-analysis of previous studies and exploring the multi-level nature of data on reference service. He is a regular speaker at the RUSA National Institute. He received his doctoral degree in library and information science from UCLA. John V. Richardson Jr. is professor of library and information science in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research specializes in two areas: general reference work, but especially knowledge-based applications and virtual libraries, and the history of education for librarianship. Recently, he has been working on two major studies: a biographical study of N. K. Krupskaya, L. B. Khavkina, and G. Derman during the formative era of Soviet education for librarianship (i.e., 1910-1928). The second study derives from the first; there is a scholarly need for a current bi-lingual dictionary of Russian-English LIS terminology. The author of eleven books, more than two-dozen nationally refereed articles and more than one hundred book reviews, he has won numerous awards from the Association for Library and Information Science Education and the American Library Association.
The Multilevel Nature of Reference Service Defining and Modeling Reference Service Evaluating and Measuring Reference Service Multilevel Modeling and Reference Service Evaluation Data Analysis and Findings Conclusions and Implications Systems Analysis of the Reference Process Appendices: Instruments, Descriptive Statistics, Correlation Matrices, Dependent and Independent Variables Used in the Study Bibliography Index