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"Screenagers" and live chat reference : living up to the promise

Author: Marie L Radford; Lynn Silipigni Connaway
Edition/Format:   Article : English
Publication:Scan, Vol. 26, no. 1 (2007)
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Today's 12-18 year old members of the Millennial Generation have been referred to as "screenagers" because of their affinity for electronic communication via computer, phone, television, etc. screens (see Rushkoff, 1996). These young Millennials are at home in the instant messaging and chat environment. It is well known that their communication and information-seeking behaviors are distinctly different from those of  Read more...
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Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Article, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Marie L Radford; Lynn Silipigni Connaway
ISSN:0726-4127
OCLC Number: 449915404
Notes: In: Scan 26,1 (February 2007), p. 31-39.
Author affiliations: Marie L. Radford (Associate Professor, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), Lynn Silipigni Connaway (OCLC Research).
Description: pages 31-39
Responsibility: Marie L. Radford, Lynn Silipigni Connaway.
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Abstract:

Today's 12-18 year old members of the Millennial Generation have been referred to as "screenagers" because of their affinity for electronic communication via computer, phone, television, etc. screens (see Rushkoff, 1996). These young Millennials are at home in the instant messaging and chat environment. It is well known that their communication and information-seeking behaviors are distinctly different from those of other age cohorts and radically different from those of the baby boomer generation. Libraries are providing Web-based virtual reference services (VRS) as alternatives to traditional face-to-face (FtF) reference services to meet the information needs of virtual as well as FtF library users. This paper presents the revealing results of an international study of communication and information-seeking including a series of three focus group interviews with 12-18 year olds and analysis of a random sample of 431 live chat reference transcripts drawn from an international population. Focus groups were conducted with the cooperation of public and school librarians in collaboration with public school teachers. Analysis of these focus group interviews with groups of urban, suburban, and rural screenagers reveals their communication and information-seeking preferences. These groups have revealed that they use IM for socializing and collaborative homework, yet perceive library VRS differently then these other virtual encounters; they also express a preference for FtF encounters with librarians. Implications of the findings for school librarians are discussed.

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