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|Title: ||Do academic enquiry services scare students?|
|Authors: ||Robinson, Catherine M.|
Reid, Peter H.
|Keywords: ||Reference services|
|Issue Date: ||2007|
|Citation: ||ROBINSON, CATHERINE M. and REID, PETER H., 2007. Do
academic enquiry services scare students? Reference Services
Review, 35 (3), pp. 405-424|
|Abstract: ||Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to clarify the ways in which students seek help in libraries,
and their feelings about using library enquiry services. In this way, it should bring practical benefits to
academic libraries seeking to design and introduce new forms of reference service. The paper also aims
to touch on the issue of whether anonymity offered by digital reference services is likely to make more
students ask for help. A major aim of this study is to find ways to encourage those students who need
help, to seek it.
Design/methodology/approach – This paper uses the results taken from 12 qualitative interviews
with undergraduate students to examine these students’ help-seeking methods and their use of
academic library reference services.
Findings – The study finds that the reasons for not using enquiry services were various and complex
and included a lack of awareness of services, embarrassment or shyness, anxiety caused by
mechanical barriers and affective barriers. The interviews revealed that shyness is more widespread
than libraries might imagine and seemingly confident students can find asking for help embarrassing
in some circumstances.
Originality/value – This paper focuses on students’ thoughts and opinions, and it is this
student-centred approach which gives particular insight into the reasons students do not seek help.
This adds to the body of qualitative research examining undergraduates’ help seeking methods and
provides practical advice for encouraging students to ask for help.|
|Appears in Collections:||Journal articles (Information Management)|
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