Beyond Satisfaction: Investigating Patron Use of Reference Information

Joseph Lenkart, Alexandra Krogman, David Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examines and categorizes common next steps patrons take with information received during reference encounters and examines implications for practice. In a qualitative user study, patrons at a large academic library were interviewed to investigate the criteria they used to evaluate the completeness and accuracy of individual reference encounters and to uncover what they did after the encounter with the information they received. Results indicate practical directions for staff training, marketing, outreach, and design of reference services to accommodate the full life cycle of patron research needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalInternet Reference Services Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2017


  • qualitative studies
  • reference services
  • service improvement
  • staff training
  • user interviews

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences


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