Spatiotemporal Distribution Change of Online Reference During the Time of COVID-19
The goal of this project was to identify the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the spatiotemporal distribution of the library’s online patrons, so that we could assess if the scheduled library reference hours are meeting the needs of the academic community. We collected each online reference patron’s location information via their IP address, as well as the timestamp of each online reference instance. The spatiotemporal distribution patterns were analyzed and compared before and after in-person instruction was suspended due to COVID-19 distance protocols and a closing of the campus in the 2020 spring semester. The results show that the geographic origins of reference questions redistributed after COVID-19 protocols were initially implemented and the university community underwent a temporary geographical redistribution. Reference question origins tended to move away from campus to other areas of the state, other states, and internationally. This population redistribution suggested that the library could adjust the online reference schedule to provide better access and service to patrons.
Bradley Wade Bishop, “Location‐Based Questions and Local Knowledge,” Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 62, no. 8 (2011): 1594–603, https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.21561.
Carol Tenopir and Lisa Ennis, “A Decade of Digital Reference 1991–2001,” Reference & User Services Quarterly 41, no. 3 (2002): 264–73, http://www.jstor.org/stable/41241123.
Charles R. McClure, R. David Lankes, Melissa Gross, and Beverly Choltco-Devlin, “Statistics, Measures, and Quality Standards for Assessing Digital Reference Library Services: Guidelines and Procedures,” ERIC Clearinghouse on Information & Technology (2002).
F. P. Donnelly, “Regional Variations in Average Distance to Public Libraries in the United States,” Library & Information Science Research 37, no. 4, 280–289, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lisr.2015.11.008.
“IP Address Information,” IPInfoDB, https://ipinfodb.com/.
JaNae Kinikin, “Applying Geographic Information Systems to the Weber County Library System,” Information Technology and Libraries 23, no. 3 (2004): 102.
Jingfeng Xia, “Library Space Management: A GIS proposal,” Library Hi Tech (2004), https://doi.org/10.1108/07378830410570476.
Joseph Janes, David Carter, and Patricia Memmott, “Digital Reference Services in Academic Libraries,” Reference & User Services Quarterly 39, no. 2 (1999): 145–50, http://www.jstor.org/stable/20863724.
Judy Ruttenberg and Heather Tunender, “Mapping Virtual Reference Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS),” Poster presented at the ALA Conference, Orlando, FL, June 2004, https://web.archive.org/web/20040808050212/http://helios.lib.uci.edu/question/GIS-ALA2004/campusmap2004-2.jpg.
Kathleen W. Weessies, “A Locational Analysis of Academic Library Computer Use,” Reference Services Review (2011), https://doi.org/10.1108/00907321111175868.
Lauren Mandel, “Visualizing the Library as Place,” Performance Measurement and Metrics (2016), https://doi.org/10.1108/PMM-04-2016-0016.
Lisa M. Given and Heather Archibald, “Visual Traffic Sweeps (VTS): A Research Method for Mapping User Activities in the Library Space,” Library & Information Science Research 37, no. 2 (2015): 100–8, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lisr.2015.02.005.
Lorri Mon et al., “The Geography of Virtual Questioning,” The Library Quarterly 79, no. 4 (2009): 393–420, https://doi.org/10.1086/605381.
Philip M. Clark, “Thematic Mapping, Data Mapping, and Geocoding Techniques for Analyzing Library and Information Center Data,” Journal of Education for Library and Information Science (1995): 330–41.
Rick Stoddart and Bruce Godfrey, “Gathering Evidence of Learning in Library Curriculum Center Spaces with Web GIS,” Evidence Based Library and Information Practice 15, no. 3 (2020): 21–35, https://doi.org/10.18438/eblip29721.
Yaqui Shen, “Library Space Information Model Based on GIS—A Case Study of Shanghai Jiao Tong University,” Information Technology and Libraries 37, no. 3 (2018): 99–110, https://doi.org/10.6017/ital.v37i3.10308.
Copyright (c) 2022 Thomas Gerrish and Ningning Nicole Kong
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.