Issue 12 / November 2015

Librarians' and Information Professionals' Perspectives towards Discovery Tools in Israel

Gila Prebor and Noa Aharony

Discovery tools are Google-style search tools which provide one-box searching of all library content (materials that the library owns, subscribes to, and Web-based resources) with a centralized consolidated index. In addition, discovery tools contain advanced features, such as relevance ranking, spell checking, tagging, enhanced content search facets, etc. Discovery tools are becoming more popular all over the world. In Israel, librarians and information professionals began to use them in 2010.

This study seeks to explore how librarians and information professionals have accepted the change after four years of use, how it was implemented, how has it affected the search patterns of librarians and information professionals and what is their level of satisfaction with the new systems.

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Issue 11 / September 2015

Libraries of Security Prisoners in Israel

Naama May

This paper reports on a project that examined Israel's security prisons libraries. The study was carried out between September 2012 and July 2013 and it covered eight prison libraries run by the Fatah and Hamas organizations. Prison librarians were interviewed to understand the place and the role that the library plays in the prisoners' lives. In addition, the librarians' described the functioning of the prison library, its collection, book circulation patterns, the role of the librarian and the reading habits of the prisoners as well as the contribution of the library to prisoners' education. Finally, the differences deriving from the organizational context of the prisoners were also examined. The study shows that the security prisons library constitute a spiritual, religious, cultural, and educational center for the security prisoners.

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An Analysis of the Chat Reference Service at the Younes & Soraya Nazarian Library

Iris Bitan Toledano

The rapid technological changes that had taken place in the last four decades have influenced academic libraries, and their shift from a physical space to a virtual one. In order to meet students' needs and retain the status and place of the library in academia, librarians were encouraged to offer innovative services and develop virtual reference platforms as an alternative to the traditional face-to-face library reference encounters.  The Synchronous Chat Reference Service implemented at Haifa University library in 2005 is one of these innovative platforms, that complements the existing reference services by phone and by e-mail.

The current article is an examination this service through the analysis of users' needs and types of questions being received during chat reference service, as part of a wider discussion about the virtual reference service policy of the library, and provide optimal support to its users.

The article presents an analysis of 1,096 reference questions received by chat service, from October 2012 to September 2013. It integrates qualitative and quantitative research methods. Its findings suggest the following recommendations: highlight links to library services and contact details on the library homepage; estimate the compliance of operation hours to  customers' needs; refine  guidelines for service providers and sharpen them, in order to increase answer uniformity and compliance with these guidelines; increase cooperation with the university computing and information system division, and consider the implementation of a subject-search option.

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Job Seeking as Consumption of Occupational Information – Recruitment Webpages of Government vs. Private Sectors

Shlomit Fuchs and Ofer Bergman

Using the internet to recruit employees has become a common practice.  Recruitment webpages supply the potential employees with information both directly by describing the work conditions terms and indirectly judging from their usability level and the use of advanced technology. The study stems from the assumption that employers should treat jobseekers as consumers of occupational information. Publishing high quality information can attract better candidates and reduce the amount of resources needed for the selection process. This study compares recruitment webpages of private organizations to government organizations in Israel. The study uses global criteria that were adapted to the Israeli labor market. The research found that private sector recruitment webpages were significantly more efficient than the governmental ones, both in terms of content and usability level. Government sector webpages lack information that can help the job seeker get aquatinted with the organization and the specification of the job opening. The information published was laconic and no effort was made to market the jobs in an attractive and competitive manner (e.g. using employee testimonials). Government sector H.R. managers were interviewed in order to better understand the reasons for the differences between the two sectors. Some of the reasons they suggested were poor professional qualifications of government sector recruiting personnel, organizational culture and a lack of awareness to e-recruitment advantages. We believe that raising the awareness of the governmental sector to the benefits of e-recruitment and treating jobseekers as consumers of occupational information can improve its ability to compete for high-level employees.

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Characteristics of the reference work and the position of librarians in the research process of students in school libraries in Israel

Ruth Ash-Arguil and Snunit Shoham

The purpose of the current study is to examine the degree to which school librarians are involved in the research processes of students and in providing reference work services, and the relationship between the degree of involvement and the characteristics of the librarians’ work, with respect to librarian's education level and type of school level they work in (elementary, secondary, or high school). Data were collected through online questionnaires distributed to librarians in Israeli schools of different education level. Altogether, 71 questionnaires were analyzed. The findings indicate involvement mainly in providing basic reference work services. The involvement in research processes was examined according to the six stages of the Big6 model, and the findings indicate that librarians are involved mainly in the stages of information searching and evaluation, whereas minimal involvement is evident in the other stages. Librarians working in a team are significantly more involved in providing various reference work services and in some stages of the research process. In addition, a greater involvement is observed in high-school level librarians than in elementary school level librarians.

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Issue 10 / March 2015

Dewey in the Twenty-First Century

Gila Prebor

The Dewey Decimal Classification System is used to classify knowledge and has been in use for over a century. In the 139 years since its development by Melville Dewey, this system has become the most widely used classification system throughout the world and its popularity is growing steadily. In addition to its traditional use in the physical organization of information and as a means of retrieving information, Dewey's system is developing in the digital age in new and challenging directions. In May 2011 the new edition of the Dewey Decimal Classification System, the 23rd edition, was published. This paper deals with the system's development, changes and updates in the new edition, current and potential uses of the system.

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Content Analysis of Talkbacks in Articles Dealing with elderly's Abuse, Violence and Neglect

Noa Aharony and Tzipi Kuper

The talkback is a Web 2.0 based tool which allows Internet users to post a response for journalist reports or other publications. It is constantly on the agenda and serves as a topic for discussion among journalists and newspaper editorial boards, politicians, lawyers, academy members, artists and others. The purpose of the study was to discover the characteristics of talkbacks dealing with abuse, violence and negligence of the elderly. We found 50 appropriate reports that included a total of 3,463 talkbacks. Researchers conducted a descriptive quantitative content analysis as well as a qualitative content analysis.  Findings reveal that most of the talkbacks referred to the issue of elderly. Furthermore, the most popular discourse was that of opposite conflict, and most of talkbacks were written in intellectual and emotional styles. Regarding the quality of the message, it was found that although most of the talkbacks arouse interest, their quality was low. The main issues that emerged from the content analysis were: elderly's lack of personal security, and their economic situation. Findings indicate that talkbacks are part of the public sphare enabling public discourse among individuals and groups.

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Examining the Activities of Facebook Groups in the 2011 Egyptian Revolution

Shirly Shpiner and Jenny Bronstein

This  study originates in the labels “Facebook revolution” and “Twitter revolution” that were given to the 2011 Egyptian uprisings the led to the overthrowing of Mubarak from  power. The purpose of this study was to understand the ways  in which social networks contribute and facilitate political-social protest by examining the roles that social network groups played in these movements. The present study examined the contribution made by the Facebook group "We are all Khaled Said" to the progression and expansion of the social protest during the 2011 revolution in Egypt. A qualitative methodology was adopted that allow the researchers to give their own interpretation to the content generated in the Facebook group examined. Findings show that the group's main roles were to provide an organizing framework for the offline demonstrations, an online platform for civilian journalism that reported the main events of the movement to the world and a fast and secure venue to create and develop international awareness about the uprising. The content analysis of the group show the significant role that social networks can play in the formation and development of social movements.

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Personal Information Management: A New Information Science Discipline

Ofer Bergman

This literature review presents a relatively new information science discipline called Personal Information Management (PIM). PIM is a basic human-computer behavior in which the user stores his/her information items (e.g. files, email, and Web favorites) in order to retrieve them later. Despite the fact that millions of computer users manage their personal information several times a day, research on the subject accelerated only in the last decade. The review starts with early research in the field, presents PIM problems and refers to different directions for addressing them. It focuses on the evaluation of three such directions: using search engines to eliminate folders, multiple classification (tags) and the user-subjective approach to PIM design. The review concludes with a prospective look at future research in the field.

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The Speakers at the Israeli Knesset as Information Users

Rivka Markus

The major objective of this research was to investigate how the Members of the Knesset from 1949 till 2007 used information. The author analyzed a sampling of quotations of Members of Parliament ("participants") who participated in the debates that took place in the Plenum during a typical week of the second session in seven Knessets. In examining these topics we postulated three groups of variables: Period: the chronological development of informational resources and their uses; Type of activities: the relationship between, the framework of the activities and type of activities, and how the Members of the Knesset relate to the different sources of information; Personal Background: the relationship between the personal background characteristics of the Members of the Knesset and how they relate to the various sources that were examined.

The most significant finding regarding the sources used in the work of the Plenum regards the seniority of the participants in the debate in the Plenum. The more senior the "participant" in the debate, the more inclined he is to use internal sources. A lower ranking participant is more likely to use external sources. The most significant finding regarding the sources used in the work of the Plenum regards the seniority (standing of the Member of the Knesset in his party) of the participants in the debate ("participant") in the Plenum. The more senior the "participant" in the debate, the more inclined he is to use internal sources. A lower ranking participant is more likely to use external sources.

Fulltext Hebrew version