ERIC Number: ED231371
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Reference Count: 0
Investigation of Search Strategies in Fiction Based on an Analysis of 134 User-Librarian Conversations.
Pejtersen, Annelise Mark
Building on a prior investigation of users' formulations and needs in fiction, this study was conducted to determine dominant patterns in public library user-librarian search interactions. Based on analysis of 134 actual user-librarian conversations about fiction recorded under everyday library conditions in Danish public libraries in 1976, it was found that user-librarian interactions can be characterized by means of four search patterns; (1) a bibliographical search strategy with instrumental assistance, where the user selects books himself or herself with only passive help from the librarian in physically locating books; (2) a bibliographical strategy with verification assistance, a variation of the first strategy in that the user may ask the librarian for information on the content of books already chosen by the user; (3) an analytical strategy, where explicitly formulated information about user needs is transmitted to the librarian, who compares the needs with the bookstock and suggests a selection; and (4) an empirical strategy, where the librarian empirically classifies users into typical categories on the basis of sex, age, and other features, and recommends genres and titles based on these categories. This report describes the four search patterns and an additional check routine observed in the study. Occurrences and implications of shifts in search interactions are also discussed. It is concluded that there is a strong need for an auxiliary tool providing the librarian with book contents structured according to users' needs as they were identified in the prior study. (ESR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Denmark; Library Users; User Needs
Note: Paper presented at the International Research Forum on Information Science (3rd, Oslo, Norway, 1979). For related document, see IR 050 244.