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ERIC Number: ED423903
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Oct
Pages: 42
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Questions Asked at a Library's Information Desk: What Means Could Be Used To Improve Services?
Crowe, Mary
This paper reports on a study that analyses the questions asked and services offered at the information desk in the reference department at the Kent State University main library. A total of 460 questions asked during 52 hours of scheduled time at the information desk in Spring 1997 were categorized. The main types of questions were directional; ready reference; instructional; electronic maintenance; specific subject questions; and involved research questions referred to subject specialists. Data analysis revealed that the majority of questions were directional or instructional in nature, indicating that the information desk is meeting its primary purpose. The largest quantity of instructional questions dealt with use of electronic resources, indicating that the major change in reference services is caused by technological advances in information resources. The quantity of questions requiring referral to other campus departments and buildings revealed the need for additional training of information desk workers. Many directional questions dealt with inquiries about the main location of the periodical collection, showing the need for signs to direct the user to this department. A further analysis of questions asked at the information and reference desks should be conducted during all service hours in order to indicate strengths and weaknesses in this reference model. The data coding sheet for information desk questions is appended. (Author/DLS)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A