Two new articles on Conversants

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Social Presence: a theoretical construct for evaluation of the participatory catalog
by Jack M. Maness

This paper suggests the literature of “Social Presence” could provide a theoretical paradigm for the evaluation of social software and related technologies in libraries’ online public access catalogs (OPACs). Social Presence is a well-researched term in communication and education, and it has been demonstrated that a high degree of Social Presence facilitates online communication and learning. A review of the relevant literature, a potential model for understanding the OPAC as a “participatory catalog,” and suggestions for future research are given.


Extending the Conversations at the Department of Justice
by R. David Lankes

The following report is based on a series visit to the Department of Justice February 13-15th. During this visit several conversations took place between the researcher, librarians, and library clients within different sections of the Department of Justice and in several DOJ libraries. An initial draft of this report was then provided to the Department for feedback. This revised report briefly outlines the observations in each of these conversations. It attempts to highlight opportunities and provide an outsider’s reaction to these conversations given a very narrow window of engagement. The emphasis in all of this is on the ability/role of DOJ librarians to facilitate these conversations.

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