At the Ref Desk (7/11/20): After 6 hrs of chat-reference, I got out of the house and hiked north on Broadway all the way from Diversey to Howard. Nice evening. (Took the bus home.) [more...]

Your Research: Students Say No to Library IM - My Advice: Do Some More Research

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 2/20/10 (1:26pm)

Here I am sitting at DePaul reference with one IM request popping up after another (we use LibraryH3lp), and I read the following from a study of "Net Gen" undergrads done at Marywood University:

Research assistance preference

It is this section of the survey that reveals the most striking results, suggesting that our Net Gen students, whatever their status may be, are most averse to using Facebook/MySpace as a means to seek research help. A similarly negative response to the use of chat/IM for research help was also indicated.... [emphasis added]

They go on to discuss a student preference for email but really -- considering the traffic we're getting on IM (can we say, gangbusters?), I'd suggest they'd revisit their data or more probably their research methods.

UPDATE: From a different article in the same journal:

In terms of our actual experience, however, it is clear that the chat reference service (which draws from a university-wide audience rather than just those in the MLC) is used far more heavily than in-person reference service.