ERIC Number: ED246913
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Jun
Reference Count: 0
Patron Presence during the Online Search: Attitudes of University Librarians.
Salomon, Kristine; Burgess, Curt
A controversial issue involving online computer searching is the effect of patron presence during the computer search. The purpose of this research was to determine the attitudes of university librarians toward patron presence. A survey was used to explore variables related to the search process and searcher characteristics. Also considered was the degree to which a searcher believes that patron presence contributes to searcher nervousness. Three-hundred eighty online searchers, representing 85 libraries, were willing to participate. Of the 201 surveys (52.9%) returned, 198 were usable. Eleven Likert scale items were used to estimate attitudes along a five-point continuum of "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree." The relationship of searcher experience and the attitudes reflected in the Likert scale items were measured by four additional variables. Overall, 77% of the searchers indicated a preference for patron presence during the computer search. Empirical research is necessary in order to understand how the variables of presence, nervousness, and ability to refine the search are related. The conclusions about searcher attitudes and beliefs about the search process resulting from this study can provide direction to research that focuses on the actual search process, and the dynamics of the searcher-patron relationship. (DMC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Computer Searches; Librarian Attitudes; Library Users; Likert Scales; Online Search Skills; Search Behavior
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Library Association (Dallas, TX, June 23-27, 1984). Contains small print.