Journal of Philippine Librarianship, Vol 32 (2012)

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THE REFERENCE LIBRARIAN IS NOW ONLINE!: UNDERSTANDING LIBRARIANS' PERCEPTIONS OF QUALITY CHAT REFERENCE USING CRITICAL INCIDENT TECHNIQUE

Marian S. Ramos-Eclevia

Abstract


This article attempts to understand the librarians’ perceptions of quality chat reference services of selected academic libraries in the Philippines. It aims to investigate the perceptions of librarians in terms of (1) chat reference definition; (2) similarities and differences of reference interview in chat reference and traditional reference; (3) advantages and disadvantages of chat reference and in-person reference; and, (4) successful and less successful experience in chat reference. Using the Critical Incident Technique (CIT), a survey of 20 library staff who perform chat reference services in UP Diliman and UP Los Baños was conducted. A total of 76 critical incidents were analyzed using MAXqda, wherein 61.84% were positive incidents. The success of chat interactions was dependent on librarians’ knowledge of information resources and, a fast and stable Internet connection.

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