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Virtual Shelters:

Optimizing Digital Reference Services
To Meet the Information Needs of Abused Women


Site Creator: Shannon Christoffersen

Abstract

In the late 1980s, the information needs, information seeking behaviours, information barriers, and information use of abused women became a focus of serious attention in the field of library research. This research has, for the most part, focused on the ways in which libraries can provide optimal in-house services to these clients. However, as this paper indicates, these clients may actually be better served through digital reference services.

This paper presents a detailed examination of current research on the information needs, information seeking behaviours, information barriers, and information use of abused women and extrapolates from this information to determine the ways in which digital reference services can be optimized to best suit the needs of this client group. Current digital resources available to abused women are also evaluated.

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This document was originally created by Shannon Christoffersen in April 2004 for LIS 536 (Digital Reference and Information Retrieval) at the School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alberta. It was revised in March 2005 for the LIS 600 capping project.
Clip art for the images was supplied by Microsoft Office Online: Clip Art and Media.
Page last updated on: March 15, 2005