- User Model in Refetence Interview
- No.27, p.69-85
Reference librarians attempt to understand the user’s information need as well as he or she understands his or her own information need. In this paper, what the reference librarian understands of the user is defined the “user model”.
The user model is constructed through the question-negotiation between the reference librarian and the user. The reference librarian can understand what is necessary to satisfy the user’s need, based on the constructed user model.
Using the theoretical base of Belkin’s anomalous state of knowledge and Dervin’s sense-making model, the constituents of the user model and the relationships among them were examined and formulated. As a result, the user model consists of:
1) the position of the user in the problem treatment process
2) the user’s state of knowledge about the problem
3) the subject area of the problem the user is facing
4) the problematic situation the user is facing, and the goal and intention of the user.
The interrelationship among the constituents of the user model is as follows:
At the earlier stage of the problem treatment process the user is, the greater the degree of the anomaly of user’s state of knowledge is, the more ambiguous the description of the subject of the problem is, and the more important the problematic situation, the goal and intention of the user are.
Finally, the formulated user model was analysed using two real reference interviews.
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