Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Researching the Impossible

I've been reading a bit over the past week, looking for things I can write an article on. I have some ideas I think are very good, but none yet I'm willing to focus on. I don't have to publish where I am at, so I don't want to unless I have something useful to add. I've been playing around with customer service and reference, and perhaps combining this with some psychological surveys. But I found the question I really want to answer:

If more and more of our users never come to the library or only rarely do, and mostly rely on our virtual services if they come to us at all, how can we build "customer loyalty" and help them expand their information literacy?

I don't know the first place to begin. I think I have seen seminars on listservs about "Hi tech, hi touch." I probably need to start there. I have been very frustrated with the lack of traffic at our reference desk (though I seem to get all of the dead shifts according to the other librarians). I know this is a trend, and if their skills were getting better, I wouldn't worry about it. But I know we can make these students' lives easier by showing them how to find information more efficiently. It seems there have to be tips out there on building information literacy and helping students who only use our virtual services.

I'm not sure how much I will post as this continues if it is something I eventually plan to publish. Especially since I know it will take me a long time to focus and put something original together... and especially if I have to teach myself statistics... if anyone knows a good book on learning statistics, please let me know!

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