Breaking the Ice

Scott Stone


Students and faculty members at Chapman University frequently friend the performing arts librarian on the popular social networking site Facebook. Statistics of reference interactions with all library users from the Conservatory of Music were kept during the fall 2012 semester to determine if library users who are Facebook friends with the librarian were more likely to have reference interactions than patrons who were not connected to the librarian on Facebook. Data analysis demonstrates there is a significant correlation between the numbers of reference interactions with Facebook friends than with non-Facebook friends. It is hypothesized that the creation of personal relationships with library users through social media helps to alleviate library anxiety and increases the amount of librarian interaction during the users’ information seeking process. Other facets of users’ information seeking behavior, such as where and how long, are also analyzed to provide more insight into the information seeking behavior of this user group.

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