Student Success Librarian Western Connecticut State University Danbury, Connecticut
Title: Sexual Harassment Occurs in Chat Reference: Its Impact on Librarians and the Role of Institutions
Abstract: Sexual harassment in physical workplaces, including libraries, is well documented. What happens when that harassment moves online? Sexual harassment in chat reference occurs in three planes: workplace harassment, customer service harassment (patron-instigated), and online harassment. We investigated the prevalence of sexual harassment in chat, its impact on service providers, and how organizational support, or lack thereof, affected chat providers responses to harassment. Using a survey instrument inspired by the Sexual Experience Questionnaire, we surveyed chat providers and found that over 60 percent of respondents experienced some form of sexual harassment on chat. In this presentation, we will discuss the prevalence of harassment in chat, the impact of harassment on chat providers, and the role administrators and organizations play in supporting employees providing chat reference.
Upon completion, attendees will be able to discuss developments in reference research and the findings' impact on their local library environment, with subject content to be determined by the speakers.
Upon completion, attendees will be able to apply new methods of data collection in reference services as shared by the speakers.
Upon completion, attendees will have broadened their understanding of current research in the field through discussing and evaluating different reference research projects with the panel speakers.