OCLC Researchers and Colleagues Garner Award for RUSQ Article

"'Are We Getting Warmer?': Query Clarification in Live Chat Virtual Reference" has won RUSA's 2012 Reference Service Press Award. Lynn Silipigni Connaway and Patrick A. Confer co-authored the article with research colleagues Marie L. Radford, Susanna Sabolcsi-Boros, and Hannah Kwon of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

"My colleagues and I are honored that our research has been chosen for this prestigious award," Connaway said. "We hope that the findings have a positive impact on the provision of virtual reference services."

"Are We Getting Warmer?" involves qualitative analysis of service provision standards, an important area of librarian-user interaction that is at the core of reference work today. The literature review and notes will be useful especially to LIS students as a model for their own work, and the testing and analysis are part of a well-established research program, the purpose of which is the improvement of service provision. The authors recommend practical applications for their results. As communication practices and technologies, library organizations, and the roles and tools of librarians change, this research speaks to all library settings and to the ongoing or fundamental concern of librarians for informed, timely flexible, and thorough responsiveness in connecting users with the information they need.

Two articles were selected for the award, from those appearing in volumes 49 and 50 of Reference and User Services Quarterly (RUSQ), the research journal published by the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA). The award, consisting of a $2,500 cash prize and a plaque to the winners, is sponsored by Reference Service Press and recognizes the most outstanding article in the preceding two volumes of the journal that exemplifies originality, timeliness, relevance to RUSA members' areas of interest and concern, or quality of writing.

The authors will be honored at the RUSA Awards Reception, 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 24 in the Sequoia South Ballroom D at the Disney Grand Californian Hotel as a part of RUSA's events at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California. For more information, visit RUSA's website or the Annual Conference website (links below).

The Reference and User Services Association, a division of the American Library Association, represents librarians and library staff in the fields of reference, specialized reference, collection development, readers' advisory and resource sharing.

Full citation:
Radford, Marie L., Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Patrick A. Confer, Susanna Sabolcsi-Boros, and Hannah Kwon. 2011. "'Are We Getting Warmer?' Query Clarification in Live Chat Virtual Reference." Reference & User Services Quarterly, 50 (3).

More Information

Lynn Silipigni Connaway

Patrick Confer

Reference Service Press Award

Reference Service Press

Reference and User Services Association

ALA Annual Conference website

For more information:

Lynn Silipigni Connaway
Senior Research Scientist
OCLC Research

Robert C. Bolander
Senior Communications Officer
OCLC Research