Uncertainty Management: A Tool to Assist Self-Represented Litigants (C2)

Date/Time: Sunday, July 15, 2018: 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Speakers: Catherine McGuire, Maryland State Law Library; Karen Westwood, Hennepin County Law Library; Pauline Afuso, Ramsey County Law Library; Paul Healey, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Uncertainty is at the core of every reference interaction. For the patron, uncertainty is the legal issue or problem with which they are struggling. For the librarian, uncertainly manifests in the question itself, the emotional pressure from the patron, or the conflict with ethical and/or institutional policies. To avoid unsatisfactory reference experiences, librarians can appraise the patron’s uncertainty, then use management techniques to steer the patron toward better options and deflect emotional manipulation by the patron.

This session will explain uncertainty management theory; demonstrate appraisal mechanisms to manage uncertainty; and finally, using dramatized reference examples, demonstrate how these techniques can be applied to provide a better reference experience.

This program is sponsored by the LISP-SIS.

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