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ERIC Number: ED413920
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Dec
Pages: 41
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Analysis of Reference Service at the Cleveland Law Library, April-September 1995.
Kozlowski, Ken
This study initiated service request sheets, evaluated reference services provided by the staff of the Cleveland Law Library (Cuyahoga County, Ohio) for the time period April-September, 1995. Five thousand and fifty-two questions were included in the study, of which 2,949 were of the type in which reference service was provided. The other 2,103 questions (no reference required) were used to compile complete statistics concerning type of patron served, time spent answering the questions, sources utilized, and dispositions of requests. The ultimate goal of the study was to determine if there were any differences in the way reference service was provided by professionals to paraprofessionals. The questions were also analyzed to determine if "mistakes" had been made. Mistakes were defined as either technical (staff member chose to answer a question without the requisite skills to answer it successfully), judgment (staff member chose a less effective path in answering the question), or system (book off the shelf/not signed out, computer system failure, etc.) It was discovered that professionals work on a smaller number of questions, but take more time to complete the answer. Electronic resources are utilized more frequently by the professional. The number of mistakes were under 12%, which could possibly be reduced with more training. Other results were that smaller firms (those with less than 50 attorneys) used the library more than large firms. Eighty-nine percent of all questions were handled in 30 minutes or less. Books were used only 63.2% of the time to answer questions. Ninety-four percent of questions were answered successfully, either from local sources, interlibrary loan, or referral to an outside verified source. Appendices include the Law Library Service Request forms, sources and research types, and six tables of data. (Author)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio (Cleveland)