The effects of information overload on reference librarians

Orna Shachaf, Noa Aharony, Shifra Baruchson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nowadays, librarians work in information environments characterized by information overload. This study uses a qualitative-phenomenological method to examine the way in which reference librarians in academic libraries in Israel view and deal with the information overload phenomenon. Fifteen reference librarians responded to questions in semi-structured interviews. Four strategies of coping with information overload were identified: filtering, avoiding, satisficing and selecting items from the top of the list. Further, findings reveal that participants have not experienced the full impact of information overload. The research findings expand the existing body of knowledge about how librarians deal with information overload, and provide new information on the particular perspective of reference librarians in academic libraries, an aspect that has not been researched extensively to date. The findings are relevant to library managers, to directors of training programs for new librarians, to LIS educators, and to professional organizations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-307
Number of pages7
JournalLibrary and Information Science Research
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Inc.

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