R. David Lankes: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6975-8045

Document Type





Internet information services, K-12, elementary secondary education, digital reference, qualitative




Library and Information Science


This study addressed the problem of Internet information services having to meet the increasing information demands of users in the dynamic Internet environment. The purpose of this research was to use K-12 digital reference services as a starting point to better understand the process of building and maintaining Internet information services. This study had three specific objectives: (1) to build and apply a conceptual framework based on complexity research, literature and the researcher's experience; (2) to use this conceptual framework to empirically describe how organizations, specifically K-12 digital reference services, build and maintain services in the dynamic Internet environment; and (3) to seek commonalties across these descriptions. In order to accomplish these objectives the following research questions were asked: 1. What are exemplary K-12 digital reference services' detectors (i.e. inputs) for Internet agent types, internal inputs and influences external to both the Internet and the organization? 2. What are exemplary K-12 digital reference services' rules for processing the input from detectors and, through resources, build and maintain effectors (i.e. services)? 3. What are exemplary K-12 digital reference services' effectors (i.e. outputs) used to meet users' information needs? This study used qualitative methods (elite interviews and document analysis) to elicit descriptions of six exemplary K-12 digital reference services. These descriptions were then compared across organizations to find commonalties.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.