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Use of systems and technology in Reference work

Editors Ms Eleanor Mitchell and Ms Sarah Barbara Watstein draw your attention to some recent articles focusing on technology in information literacy teaching and the use of apps and social media in reference and instructional services.  

The articles are free to view between 16 May and 16 June 2016 by clicking on the links below. Clicking on these links for the first time will direct you to our login page. If you already have a profile, simply log in and your free access to the articles will be immediately activated. If you don't have a profile, please register with us. Once completed, your free access will be activated in the same way.

Technology and Instruction

Sustainable decision making for emerging educational technologies in libraries
Richard Hayman and Erika E Smith (2015)

The purpose of this article is to discuss approaches to sustainable decision-making for integrating emerging educational technologies in library instruction while supporting evidence-based practice (EBP). This article highlights recent trends in emerging educational technologies and EBP and details a model for supporting evidence informed decision-making. This viewpoint article draws on an analysis of recent literature, as well as experience from professional practice.

A massively flipped class
Julia E. E. Rodriguez (2016)

The purpose of this paper is to describe and analyze how one-shot library instruction sessions for large lecture classes can effectively be “flipped”, and can incorporate active learning activities as part of both online and face-to-face classroom. This case study discusses the challenges of using flipped classroom methods with large enrollment courses and investigates the use of technology to facilitate the active learning components. Situated in flipped classroom pedagogy literature for both information literacy instruction and large lecture class

Student reflections on multimodal course content delivery

Shaun A. Jackson (2014)

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate a for-credit information literacy course redesign that used a flexible multimodal framework to address individual student learning preferences, personal differences and abilities as well as teaching preferences.
Students taking the course were surveyed as to their preferences for content delivery. A qualitative analysis of student reflections was conducted to determine the efficacy of maintaining multiple course formats and to solicit feedback for course improvements.

Leveraging adult learning theory with online tutorials
Rebecca Halpern and Chimene Tucker (2015)

The purpose of this paper is to apply adult-centered learning theories to online information literacy tutorials.
This is a conceptual paper that examines the application of adult learning theories to online information literacy tutorials. The application is supported by examples from the literature of libraries and higher education, and from the writers’ own experiences with designing online tutorials informed by adult learning theories.

Academic libraries in the age of MOOCs
Kerry Wu (2013)

The article aims to report on the current development of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), explore the strengths and weaknesses of MOOCs, and reflect on the possible relationships between academic libraries and MOOCs. Design/methodology/approach – The paper is based on a mix of literature review (mostly current news) and personal observations. The author discusses the unique characteristics of MOOCs, speculates on the benefits of MOOCs on higher education, and explores the impact of MOOCs on academic libraries and how librarians can respond to it.

Hands-on instruction: the iPad self-guided library tour
Marianne Foley and Katherine Bertel (2015)

The purpose of this paper is to describe how librarians at the State University of New York College at Buffalo used iPads during one class session of a semester-long library instruction course to increase student engagement, energize the traditional library tour, build collaboration and give students experience using tablet technology in an educational setting. Librarians provided iPads to groups of students and sent them to photograph different areas of the library during one class session of a semester-long course. Students then uploaded the photographs to a common Web site for class

Mobile and other apps

Undergraduate research support with optical character recognition apps
Jim Hahn (2014)

The purpose of this paper is to report results of a formative usability study that investigated first-year student use of an optical character recognition (OCR) mobile application (app) designed to help students find resources for course assignments. The app uses textual content from the assignment sheet to suggest relevant library resources of which students may not be aware. Formative evaluation data are collected to inform the production level version of the mobile application and to understand student use models and requirements for OCR software in mobile applications.

Citation apps for mobile devices
Mary K. Van Ullen and Jane Kessler (2016)

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the accuracy and functionality of a selection of basic Android and iOS apps for mobile devices designed to generate bibliographic citations.
A number of inexpensive or free apps were installed on several different tablets and phones. Book citations in MLA and APA format were generated and evaluated for accuracy

Text a librarian: a look from the user perspective
Lili Luo (2014)

The aim of this paper is to provide an in-depth examination of the use and non-use of text reference service among library users, seeking to evaluate the service from library users’ perspective and hence enhance the professional understanding of the best practices of text reference service. A survey study was conducted among library users, examining user demographics, user’s texting behavior, user awareness of text reference service, and users’ use or non-use of the service.

It's research made easier!” SMS and chat reference perceptions
Margie Ruppel and Amy Vecchione (2012)

The purpose of this paper is to discover how college students perceive text messaging reference (SMS), chat reference, and face-to-face reference services. The authors administered surveys about chat, text messaging (SMS), and face-to-face reference to students enrolled in a one-credit library skills course. Survey results focus on users’ willingness to return, their perceptions of chat and text messaging (SMS) reference, and the reasons they choose to utilize different communication mediums for reference service.

Social Media

Libraries and Tumblr: a quantitative analysis
Katie Elson Anderson (2015)

This study aims to determine how Tumblr is being used by libraries and special collections/ archives in the USA through quantitative analysis. Data on library Tumblr blogs were collected at three points during a one-year period and included library type, start date, number of posts, average posts per day, type of post and other descriptive information.

Libraries atwitter: trends in academic library tweeting
Darcy Del Bosque, Sam A. Leif and Susie Skarl, (2012)

This paper aims to present an overview of how libraries are using Twitter in an academic setting.
This study analyzed the current state of 296 Twitter accounts from a random sample of academic libraries. A total of 19 different criteria were explored, with an emphasis on the following three categories: layout and design, content and number of tweets, and account followers.

Information literacy on Facebook: an analysis
Donna Witek and Teresa Grettano (2012)

This analysis, being part one of a two-part study, aims to illustrate the attitudes and patterns users are being habituated to through the functionality of Facebook, relate them to information literate practices and behaviors, and speculate their application to information literacy instruction within an academic context. It also aims to lay the groundwork for part two, which is to be reported on in a later issue of this journal. For this first part of the study, the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education have been aligned with common behaviors on Facebook, examining each standard, performance indicator, and outcome for possible parallels in common Facebook tools and behaviors. These behaviors have then been connected to the process of conducting research in an academic context.

Incorporation and visibility of reference and social networking tools on ARL member libraries' websites
Leila June Rod-Welch (2012)

This study aims to evaluate 125 research libraries in North America to identify whether they incorporate reference and social networking tools in their library’s website. Design/methodology/approach – A content analysis of 125 library websites is conducted to determine whether libraries who are members of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) incorporate and promote reference and social networking tools in their website. For the purpose of this study, a list of reference and social networking tools was chosen and each library’s website was visited to determine first, which reference and social networking tools from this list appear on their library’s homepage and, second, which tools appear elsewhere on the library’s website. Findings – The results show that even though most of these reference and soci

Citation technology

Users and citation management tools: use and support
Jenny Emanuel (2013)

As the number of citation management tools including Refworks and EndNote increased in recent years, academic libraries struggle to remain on top of new developments and support all of the tools used by their users. This paper seeks to address these issues. A librarian at the University of Illinois surveyed graduate students and faculty about which tools they use, reasons for tool adoption, features that influence adoption, and support they expect from their library.

Fore-cite: tactics for evaluating citation management tools
William Marino (2012)

The purpose of this paper is to explore a general set of criteria that can be used by librarians and information professionals for the evaluation of citation management tools. Collection development practices found in the library world are combined with software selection criteria from the corporate sector and applied to the citation management environment. A discussion of these practices identifies general criteria, or best practices, that can be used in the evaluation of various types of citation management tools.