Practices and Preferences of Digital Natives: Informing a Research Agenda

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Practices and Preferences of Digital Natives: Informing a Research Agenda ASIST Annual Conference October 18-25, 2007 Milwaukee, WI Sponsored by Special Interest Group on Information Needs, Seeking and Use and Special Interest Group on Digital Libraries

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Digital Natives Born after 1989 "… think and process data essentially uniquely in contrast to their forerunners" (Prensky, 2001) Need for research to distinguish data looking for practices Develop library administrations & frameworks they will utilize Proposed Research Agenda Virtual reference administrations Selection of advanced library assets Collaborative data conduct in online situations

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Presenters Linda Z. Cooper Overarching Issues in Children's and Youth Information Behavior Research: Moving the Research Agenda past Systems Design Marie L. Radford & Lynn Silipigni Connaway (Organizers) Connecting in Cyberspace: The Millennial Generation and Virtual Reference Service

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Presenters Kara Reuter Migrating from Print to Digital: Children's Selection of Books in a Public Library and a Digital Library Nan Zhou & Denise E. Agosto The Collaborative Information Behavior of Middle School Students in Online Learning Environments: An Exploratory Study

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Connecting in Cyberspace: The Millennial Generation & Virtual Reference Service Marie L. Radford Lynn Silipigni Connaway ASIST Annual Conference October 18-25, 2007 Milwaukee, WI

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Seeking Synchronicity: Evaluating Virtual Reference Services from User, Non-User, and Librarian Perspectives Project span: 2 ½ Years (10/05-3/08) Four stages: Focus assemble interviews Analysis of 850 QuestionPoint live talk transcripts 600 online studies 300 phone interviews

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The Millennial Generation Born 1979 – 1994 AKA Net Generation, Generation Y, Digital Generation, or Echo Boomers 13-28 year olds About 75 million individuals By 2010 will dwarf Baby Boomers (conceived 1946-1964)

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"Screenagers" Term instituted in 1996 by Rushkoff Used here for 12-18 year olds Affinity for electronic correspondence Youngest individuals from "Millennial Generation"

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Screenagers: Young Digital Natives Implications for libraries? For conventional & virtual reference administrations? For what's to come?

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Phase II: Transcript Analysis Random example 7/04 to 11/06 (year and a half) 500,000+ pool of transcripts 30-50 every month = 850 aggregate specimen 746 usable transcripts Excluding framework tests & specialized issues 372 characterized by age/instructive level 146 "Screenagers" (Middle & High School) 226 "Others" (College/Adult)

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Interpersonal Communication Analysis Relational Facilitators Interpersonal parts of the talk discussion that positively affect the bookkeeper customer association and that improve correspondence. Social Barriers Interpersonal parts of the visit discussion that negatively affect the administrator customer connection and that block correspondence.

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Transcript Example – Relational Facilitators "The Size of an Atom" Question Type: Subject Search Subject Type: Life Sciences, Biology (DDC:570) Duration: 40 min.

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Transcript Example – Relational Barriers "Mesopotamian Government" Question Type: Subject Search Subject Type: History of Ancient World (DDC:930) Duration: 27 min.

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Facilitators – VRS Users Screenagers (n=146) versus Others (n=226) Lower numbers/rates per transcript S O Thanks 75 (21%) versus 175 (77%) Agreement to attempt what 46 (32%) versus 116 (51%) is recommended Closing Ritual 47 (32%) versus 111 (49%) Self Disclosure 61 (42%) versus 125 (55%) Seeking Reassurance 57 (39%) versus 111 (49%) Admit need information 13 (19%) versus 47 (21%)

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Barriers – VRS Users Screenagers (n=146) versus Others (n=226) Higher numbers/rates per transcript S O Impatience 12 (8%) versus 13 (6%) Rude or Insulting 9 (6%) versus 9 (4%)

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Facilitators - Librarians Screenagers (n=146) versus Others (n=226) Lower numbers/rates per transcript L to S L to O Offering Opinion/Advice 43 (29%) versus 83 (37%) Explaining Search Strategy 9 (6%) versus 31 (14%) All Lower Case 63 (11%) versus 43 (18%) Encouraging Remarks 18 (12%) versus 39 (17%)

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Facilitators - Librarians Screenagers (n=146) versus Others (n=226) Higher numbers/rates per transcript L to S L to O Seeking Reassurance 89 (61%) versus 115 (51%) Greeting Ritual 76 (52%) versus 108 (48%) Asking for Patience 57 (39%) versus 80 (35%) Explaining Signing off 8 (5%) versus 2 (1%) Abruptly

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Barriers - Librarians Screenagers (n=146) versus Others (n=226) Higher numbers/rates per transcript L to S L to O Abrupt Endings 23 (16%) versus 20 (9%) Limits Time 9 (6%) versus 1 (0%) Sends to Google 8 (5%) versus 0 (0%) Reprimanding 6 (4%) versus 1 (0%) Failure/Refusal to 7 (5%) versus 5 (2%) Provide Information

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Future Directions Continue to gather & break down information Online reviews Librarians and Non-clients finished Users in advance Telephone interviews Librarians finished Users and Non-clients in advance

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End Notes This is one of the results from the venture Seeking Synchronicity: Evaluating Virtual Reference Services from User, Non-User, and Librarian Perspectives Funded by IMLS, Rutgers University, & OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. Extraordinary because of Patrick Confer, Timothy Dickey, Jocelyn DeAngelis Williams, Julie Strange, & Janet Torsney. Slides accessible at venture site: http://www.oclc.org/inquire about/tasks/synchronicity/

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Questions Marie L. Radford, Ph.D. Email: mradford@scils.rutgers.edu www. scils.rutgers.edu/~mradford Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Ph.D. Email: connawal@oclc.org www.oclc.org/investigate/staff/connaway.htm

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