Email is for Old People: Inter-generational Disconnects in Virtual Reference Communication Presented...

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Transcript of Email is for Old People: Inter-generational Disconnects in Virtual Reference Communication Presented...

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Email is for Old People: Inter-generational Disconnects in Virtual Reference Communication Presented by Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Ph.D. Senior Research Scientist OCLC Research September 5, 2008 Slide 2 Libraries Provide systems and services to meet the information needs of differing groups Largest groups Baby boomers Cohort #1 Cohort #2 Millennials Screenagers Slide 3 Libraries M eet the information needs of differing groups Largest groups Baby boomers (1945-1964) Cohort #1 (Born 1946 1954) Cohort #2 (Born 1955 1964) Millennials (1979 1994) Screenagers (Born 1988 -1994) Slide 4 Who Are They? Baby Boomers Actual boom in births occurred between 1946 - 1964 1950s - Time of prosperity 1960s & 1970s - Time of social upheaval Comprise largest part of workforce (45%) Slide 5 Who Are They? Baby Boomers Cohort #1 Born 1946 - 1954 Experimental Individualists Free spirited Social cause oriented Cohort #2 Born 1955 - 1964 Less optimistic Distrust of government General cynicism Slide 6 Who Are They? Millennials Millennials / NextGens / EchoBoomers / Gen Y Born 1979 - 1994 75 80 Million Generational divide 13-28 year olds By 2010 will outnumber Baby Boomers Slide 7 Screenagers Youngest members of Millennial Generation Term coined in 1996 by Rushkoff Used here for 12-18 year olds Affinity for electronic communication Slide 8 Information Perspectives: Baby Boomers Value authoritative information Involved in information seeking Value library as place Use technology as tool Personalized service Slide 9 Information Perspectives: Millennials Information is information Media formats dont matter Visual learners Process immediately Different research skills Slide 10 Information-seekers Preferences IMLS-funded projects How individuals find information to meet their needs Why information seekers do not choose to use library services first for their information needs How libraries can develop services and systems to meet the needs of information seekers Slide 11 Sense-Making the Information Confluence: The Whys and Hows of College and University User Satisficing of Information Needs Slide 12 Baby Boomer Preferences Convenience Authoritative Sources Colleagues Personalization Slide 13 Baby Boomers: Convenient & Authoritative Yeah, well, actually I was going to be different and not say Google. I do use Google, but [I also] use two different library homepages and I will go into the research databases do a search there and then I will end [up] limiting myself to the articles that are available online. [Google] is user friendly library catalog is not. I'm suspicious of people who are publishing on-line because usually the peer review is much less rigorous. I'm not trust(ing) everything that's on the Internet Slide 14 Baby Boomers: Did Not Use the Library If I have a student mention a book and I'm not familiar with that book, Amazon.com gives me a brief synopsis, reader reviews of the book, so it's a good, interesting first source to go to for that kind of information. before I came to the library to use the MLA database, I did a Google search and it turns out that there is a professor at Berkeley who keeps a really, really nice and fully updated page with bibliographic references. Slide 15 Millennials: Convenient & Quick Also I just go ask my dad, and he'll tell me how to put in a fence, you know? So why sort through all this material when he'll just tell me you need to know which database with abstracting, indexing Google, I don't have to know, I go to one spot. first thing I do, is, I go to Google I don't go into the [library] system unless I have to because there's like 15 logins, you have to get into the research databases. Then it takes you out of that to [the local consortium] I had the Google tool bar, tool bar on my browser. I dont even have to go to a search engine anymore. I mean it is literally one tab down Slide 16 Millennials: Did Not Use the Library The library is a good source if you have several months. Hard to find things in library catalog. Tried [physical] library but had to revert to online library resources. Yeah, I don't step in the library anymore better to read a 25-page article from JSTOR than 250-page book. Sometimes content can be sacrificed for format. Slide 17 Seeking Synchronicity: Evaluating Virtual Reference Services from User, Non-User, & Librarian Perspectives Slide 18 How to Communicate with Users of Different Age Groups VRS Transcript Analysis Slide 19 Facilitators Differences Millennials (n=296) vs. Adults (n=76) Millennials demonstrated these behaviors less often than Adults On average (per transcript) Thanks Self Disclosure Closing Ritual On average (per occurrence) Seeking reassurance Polite expressions Slide 20 Facilitators Differences Millennials (n=296) vs. Adults (n=76) Lower averages (per transcript) Thanks 59% (175) vs. 75% (57) Self Disclosure 42% (125) vs. 63% (48) Closing Ritual 38% (111) vs. 50% (38) Lower averages (per occurrence) Seeking reassurance 56% (166) vs. 68% (52) Polite expressions 30% (90) vs. 33% (25) Slide 21 Facilitators Differences Millennials (n=296) vs. Adults (n=76) Millennials demonstrated these behaviors more often than Adults On average (per occurrence) Agree to suggestion Lower case Greeting Ritual Admit lack knowledge Interjections/Hedges Slang Slide 22 Barriers Differences Millennials (n=296) vs. Adults (n=76) Millennials demonstrated these behaviors more often than Adults On average (per transcript) Abrupt Endings Impatience Rude or Insulting Slide 23 Why People Use OR Choose Not to Use VRS VRS Online Survey Analysis Slide 24 VRS User Demographics Online Surveys (n=137) Majority Respondents Female Caucasian 29-65 years old Suburban public libraries Slide 25 VRS Users Reasons for Choosing VRS (n=137) Convenience, convenience, convenience Immediate answers Lack of cost Available 24/7 Important to Screenagers Efficiency Enjoy medium Millennials find much more enjoyment Lack of intimidation Slide 26 Quotes from VRS Users Convenience Absolutely. It is convenient and always helpful, even more helpful than going physically to the library. And you are on your own computer with all of your information. It is especially helpful when taking an online course because the lessons are online. (User online survey Millennial: 45143) Enjoy The chat reference librarian was personable, and the experience was easy and fun. Not only that, she found items I didn't think to ask for, and put those items on "hold" for me at my local public library. How convenient! (User online survey Adult: 36087) Slide 27 VRS Users Other Generational Differences Millennials More desperate needs for quick answers Multi-tasking Screenagers Greater connection to the librarian Opportunity for dialogue Elimination of geographic boundaries Less intimidating than the reference desk Librarians reactions more clear Easier to express thanks to a librarian Slide 28 Quotes from VRS Users Quick The chat format was helpful because it allowed me to get quick, easy answers. (User online survey Screenager: 77045) Multitask Yes, if only for the convienence and ability to multi-task. (User online survey Millennial: 98115) Greater connection to librarian Yes, because I was able to chat like I do to a regular friend and she understood what I was saying. (User online survey Screenager: 49365) Slide 29 Quotes from VRS Users Less intimidating than the reference desk it is easier to engage in live chat [than] approach a librarian face to face. (User online survey Millennial: 64280) Elimination of geographic boundaries It was easier then driving in my car to a library and I could stay focised on my work. (User online survey Screenager: 10977) Slide 30 VRS Non-User Demographics Online Surveys (n=184) Majority Respondents Female Caucasian 12-28 years old Suburban and urban public libraries Slide 31 VRS Non-Users Why They Choose Among Modes Convenience, convenience, convenience Working from home At night or on weekends Millennials especially value convenience Slide 32 VRS Non-Users Why They Choose Among Modes Qualities of the individual librarian Knowledge (FtF) Trustworthy sources (FtF) Persistence (FtF & telephone) Friendliness (FtF & telephone) Perception that librarian is too busy More prevalent with Boomers Slide 33 Reasons for Non-use of VRS Boomers & Millennials Do not know Service availability Librarian can help 24/7 availability Satisfied with other information sources Boomer concerns Their own Computer literacy Typing speed Complexity of chat environment Slide 34 Quote from VRS Non-User Reason for non-use Boomers own computer literacy I most likly will not use this service. Computers were not taught in High School when I gratuated in 1972, I have only had a computer and used email since 2005, I have never used a chat room or service. (Non-user online survey Boomer: 61939) Slide 35 Important to both VRS Users & Non-Users Librarian Qualities Knowledge of sources & systems Positive attitude Good communication skills Accuracy of answers/information Slide 36 What Did We Learn? Traditional Library Environment Baby Boomer Preferences Millennial Preferences Logical, linear learning Multi-tasking Largely text based Visual, audio, multi- media Learn from the expert Figure it out for myself Requires PatienceWant it now MetasearchFull text ComplexitySimplicity Slide 37 What Now? Three Opportunity Areas: 1.Content 2.Access 3.Services Slide 38 1. Content What can libraries do? Tailor content Shape collections More choices Make discovery & delivery easy Slide 39 1. Content What libraries are doing today: Network level services Discovery 24x7 access Online content Incorporating more relevant & different types of content Enabling user contributed content Slide 40 2. Access What can libraries do? Expand search tools Expose library content through both: Library interfaces Non-library interfaces Provide access anytime, any