Thursday, March 19, 2009

ACRL 2009 Highpoints

Below are notes from the three sessions at ACRL 2009 I enjoyed most. Robin Sinn

Michael Ridley, University of Guelph
Beyond Literacy: Are Reading & Writing Doomed?
Basic idea: literacy replaced oral culture, changing our brains and behaviors. Literacy will eventually be replaced by something. What will that be? Can the literate mind really think about that?
Possibilities include:
pharmacology, genetics, technology, telepathy,
Transition will be long and difficult.
post literacy not a decline from literacy – it will be desirable
Suggested reading: Ray Kurzweil Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology QP376.K85 2005
Illich & Sanders ABC:The Alphabetization of the Popular Mind P106 .I43 1989

Aaron Shrimplin & Andrew Revelle, Miami University
Conflict & Consensus: Clusters of Opinion on E-Books
Used surveys and Q methodology to try to figure out how people feel about e-books. Came up with 4 factors: book lovers, technophiles, researchers (search text and read parts), problems with screen reading.
use OhioLINK ebook software; it is intuitive and moved some people out of factor 4.
Next: large survey to determine what % of Miami students have each viewpoint.

Lynn Silipigni Connaway, OCLC
“I would sort of appreciate a little more understanding”: Engaging Net Gen Students in Virtual Reference
Summary of findings of online survey of users and non-users of virtual reference services (VRS). Results divided between Net Gen and ‘adult’. (ugh)
Net Gen characteristics:
Tension between how they are taught not to chat with people they don’t know and chat reference.
They worry that the librarian is multi-tasking instead of focusing only on their question!
They trust themselves, don’t think of phones, value friendly and polite, and worry about bothering the librarian no matter what communication mode they use.
Other notables from questions about critical incidents:
libraries associated with books
they want extended hours
they use electronic resources but don’t know they’re from the library
they like friendly librarians and don’t like librarians that point (stop helping)
they like to have a relationship with the librarian
what to do?
use creative marketing
emphasize safety of chatting with librarians
offer a range of options
emphasize confidentiality
create positive relationships
In general, the success or failure – from the patron’s pov – in any reference interaction through any format was the friendliness and helpfulness of the librarian. Being brusque, cold, distant, made it a failure in their eyes.

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