ERIC Number: ED313054
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Public Library Information and Referral Project, Phase II. Final Report.
Childers, Thomas; Krauser, Cheri
This study is the second of a two-phase survey of public library information and referral (I&R) service. In this phase, seven public libraries offering I&R services were studied in depth to provide descriptions of their operations, organizational factors, and the reactions of their users. Organizational factors and operations were studied through available documents (relatively few) and interviews with 14 to 21 persons at each site. User reaction to I&R was studied by way of short user interviews conducted by the libraries' staffs after instruction by the study team. Sites were chosen to illustrate a mix of organizational configurations of the I&R service, of resource file formats (microform, cards, and computerized), of urban-suburban-rural settings, and of the I&R service role. In addition to the descriptions of seven instances of library-based I&R, general observations are offered, and include the following: (1) most I&R service consists of information provision, as opposed to actual referral; (2) computerization itself is not the absolute determinant of the nature of the service delivered; (3) commitment of top management and the magnitude of library resources deployed for I&R seem to be major determinants of the success of the I&R innovation; (4) I&R users include a relatively even mix of regular, infrequent, and non-users of the library; (5) the library is not often the place of first resort for people with I&R needs; (6) clients range demographically from lower socioeconomic through upper socioeconomic strata; (7) the promotion of I&R invariably increases the volume of traditional reference queries; and (8) staff seem to be generally positive toward I&R although often not in agreement as to what it consists of. Questionnaires and supporting data are appended. (Author/SD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Libraries and Learning Technologies (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Drexel Univ., Philadelphia, PA. Graduate School of Library Science.
Note: For Phase I, see ED 310 775.