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Making sense of liaison consultations: using reflection to understand information‐seeking behavior

Making sense of liaison consultations: using reflection to understand information‐seeking behavior Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to reflect on past liaison library practice to make sense of student information‐seeking behavior. Experiential data created from liaison consultations was used to gain student perspectives. Liaison consultations enhance student experiences and provide strategic benefits for academic libraries to counter perceived under‐utilization of information services in general. Design/methodology/approach – Grounded theory framed the study and thematic analysis was applied to liaison librarian consultation notes representing 25 years of past practice. Themes that characterize information‐seeking behaviors were noted and used to help explain student behavior. Findings – Despite significant changes in information formats, the pervasive use of internet technology, and student searching habits, the key finding is that students will continue to consult with librarians to the extent that they find the experience useful. Both parties contribute and define the reference consultation to help formulate productive information‐seeking behaviors. Originality/value – Analyzing evidence through the lens of reflection and the use of unobtrusive methods provided useful insights into the roles that librarians and students play in the consultation process. The findings suggest that information‐searching behaviors can be influenced and shaped to produce successful searching outcomes. Several recommendations for strengthening library practice are provided. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png New Library World Emerald Publishing

Making sense of liaison consultations: using reflection to understand information‐seeking behavior

New Library World , Volume 114 (11/12): 15 – Nov 15, 2013

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0307-4803
DOI
10.1108/NLW-04-2013-0036
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to reflect on past liaison library practice to make sense of student information‐seeking behavior. Experiential data created from liaison consultations was used to gain student perspectives. Liaison consultations enhance student experiences and provide strategic benefits for academic libraries to counter perceived under‐utilization of information services in general. Design/methodology/approach – Grounded theory framed the study and thematic analysis was applied to liaison librarian consultation notes representing 25 years of past practice. Themes that characterize information‐seeking behaviors were noted and used to help explain student behavior. Findings – Despite significant changes in information formats, the pervasive use of internet technology, and student searching habits, the key finding is that students will continue to consult with librarians to the extent that they find the experience useful. Both parties contribute and define the reference consultation to help formulate productive information‐seeking behaviors. Originality/value – Analyzing evidence through the lens of reflection and the use of unobtrusive methods provided useful insights into the roles that librarians and students play in the consultation process. The findings suggest that information‐searching behaviors can be influenced and shaped to produce successful searching outcomes. Several recommendations for strengthening library practice are provided.

Journal

New Library WorldEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 15, 2013

Keywords: Academic libraries; Reflective practice; Information‐seeking behavior; Sense‐making

References