ERIC Number: EJ855814
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
The Geography of Virtual Questioning
Mon, Lorri; Bishop, Bradley Wade; McClure, Charles R.; McGilvray, Jessica; Most, Linda; Milas, Theodore Patrick; Snead, John T.
Library Quarterly, v79 n4 p393-420 Oct 2009
This article explores the geography of virtual questioning by using geographic information systems to study activity within the Florida Electronic Library "Ask a Librarian" collaborative chat service. Researchers mapped participating libraries throughout the state of Florida that served as virtual "entry portals" for users as they asked questions of the statewide chat reference service and mapped users by their IP addresses to explore relationships between geographic location by IP address and online point of entry to the virtual reference service. Findings highlight the local nature of virtual reference services, as virtual users commonly asked questions about locally based library collections, policies, and services and also tended to access the statewide chat service through entry portals in the Web sites of their own local libraries. Implications are discussed for improvements to virtual reference services as well as for further uses of geographic analysis in digital reference service assessment.
Descriptors: Geographic Information Systems, Electronic Libraries, Reference Services, Synchronous Communication, Use Studies
University of Chicago Press. Journals Division, P.O. Box 37005, Chicago, IL 60637. Tel: 877-705-188; Tel: 773-753-3347; Fax: 877-705-1879; Fax: 773-753-0811; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida