library user

The Library in the Life of the User. Engaging with People Where They Live and Learn

http://www.oclc.org/content/dam/research/publications/2015/oclcresearch-library-in-life-of-user.pdf
p. 18
Library staff
The roles of librarians change with changes in user needs and demands and the technology employed. A survey conducted for Research Libraries UK found skill gaps in nine key areas in which subject librarians could be supporting researchers’ needs. Even though many librarians may want to hire new staff with these skills, a survey found that the reality for most will be training existing staff.
Definitions of library services will change. We need to grow the ways users can engage with whatever they value from libraries, whether papyrus rolls, maker spaces or data management instruction.
p. 19
What is the Unique Selling Point (USP) of libraries vis-à-vis other information service providers?
p. 21
Librarians should measure the effectiveness of services based on the users’ perceptions of success. Librarians also should move beyond surveys of how library space is being used and should conduct structured observations and interviews with the people using the space. It is not enough to know that the various spaces, whether physical or virtual, are busy. Librarians need to understand when and how the spaces are being used.

p. 33 What is Enough? Satisficing Information Needs

Role theory explains that: “When people occupy social positions their behavior is determined mainly by what is expected of that position rather than by their own individual characteristics” (Abercrombie et al., 1994, p. 360).
Rational choice theory is based on the premise that complex social behavior can be understood in terms of elementary individual actions because individual action is the elementary unit of social life. Rational choice theory posits that individuals choose or prefer what is best to achieve their objectives or pursue their interests, acting in their self-interest (Green, 2002). Stated another way, “When faced with several courses of action, people usually do what they believe is likely to have the best overall outcome” (Scott, 2000).
When individuals satisfice, they compare the benefits of obtaining “more information” against the additional cost and effort of continuing to search (Schmid, 2004)
p. 38
This paper examines the theoretical concepts—role theory, rational choice, and satisficing—by attempting to explain the parameters within which users navigate the complex information-rich environment and determine what and how much information will meet their needs.
p. 39
The information-seeking and -searching research that explicitly addresses the topic of “what is good enough” is scant, though several studies make oblique references to the stopping stage, or to the shifting of directions for want of adequate information. Kraft and Lee (1979, p. 50) propose three stopping rules:
1. The satiation rule, “where the scan is terminated only when the user becomes satiated by finding all the desired number of relevant documents”;
2. The disgust rule, which “allows the scan to be terminated only when the user becomes disgusted by having to examine too many irrelevant documents”; and
3. The combination rule, “which allows the user to be seen as stopping the scan if he/she is satiated by finding the desired number of relevant documents or disgusted by having to examine too many irrelevant documents, whichever comes first.”
p. 42
Ellis characterizes six different types of information activities: starting, chaining, browsing, differentiating, monitoring and extracting. He emphasizes the information- seeking activities, rather than the nature of the problems or criteria used for determining when to stop the information search process. In a subsequent article, Ellis (1997) observes that even in the final stages of writing, individuals may continue the search for information in an attempt to answer unresolved questions or to look for new literature.
p. 43
Undergraduate and graduate students
Situations creating the need to look for information (meeting assignment requirements):
• Writing research reports; and
• Preparing presentations.
Criteria used for stopping the information search (fulfilling assignment requirements):
1. Quantitative criteria:
— Required number of citations was gathered;
— Required number of pages was reached;
— All the research questions were answered; and
— Time available for preparing.
2. Qualitative criteria:
— Accuracy of information;
— Same information repeated in several sources;
— Sufficient information was gathered; and
— Concept understood.
Criteria used for stopping the information search (fulfilling assignment requirements):
1. Quantitative criteria:
— Required number of citations was gathered;
— Required number of pages was reached;
— All the research questions were answered; and
— Time available for preparing.
2. Qualitative criteria:
— Accuracy of information;
— Same information repeated in several sources;
— Sufficient information was gathered; and
— Concept understood.
p. 44
Faculty
Situations creating the need to look for information (meeting teaching needs):
• Preparing lectures and presentations;
• Delivering lectures and presentations;
• Designing and conducting workshops;
• Meeting scholarly and research needs; and
• Writing journal articles, books and grant proposals.
Criteria used for stopping the information search (fulfilling teaching needs):
1. Quantitative criteria:
— Time available for: preparing lectures and presentations; delivering lectures
— And presentations; and designing and conducting workshops; and
— Fulfilling scholarly and research needs.
2. Qualitative criteria:
— Every possible synonym and every combination were searched;
— Representative sample of research was identified;
— Current or cutting-edge research was found;
— Same information was repeated;
— Exhaustive collection of information sources was discovered;
— Colleagues’ feedback was addressed;
— Journal reviewers’ comments were addressed; and
— Publisher’s requirements were met.
1. Quantitative criteria for stopping:
— Requirements are met;
— Time constraints are limited; and
— Coverage of material for publication is verified by colleagues or reviewers.
2. Qualitative criteria for stopping:
— Trustworthy information was located;
— A representative sample of sources was gathered;
— Current information was located;
— Cutting-edge material was located;
— Exhaustive search was performed; and
— Exhaustive collection of information sources was discovered.
p. 53

“Screenagers” and Live Chat Reference: Living Up to the Promise

p. 81

Sense-Making and Synchronicity: Information-Seeking Behaviors of Millennials and Baby Boomers

p. 84 Millennials specific generational features pertinent to libraries and information-seeking include the following:

Immediacy. Collaboration. Experiential learning. Visual orientation. Results orientation.  Confidence.
Rushkoff (1996) described the non-linearity of the thinking patterns of those he terms “children of chaos,” coining the term “screenagers” to describe those who grew up surrounded by television and computers (p. 3).
p. 85
Rational choice theory describes a purposive action whereby individuals judge the costs and benefits of achieving a desired goal (Allingham 1999; Cook and Levi 1990; Coleman and Fararo 1992). Humans, as rational actors, are capable of recognizing and desiring a certain outcome, and of taking action to achieve it. This suggests that information seekers rationally evaluate the benefits of information’s usefulness and credibility, versus the costs in time and effort to find and access it.
Role theory offers a person-in-context framework within the information-seeking situation which situates behaviors in the context of a social system (Mead 1934; Marks 1996). Abercrombie, et al. (1994, p. 360) state, “When people occupy social positions their behavior is determined mainly by what is expected of that position rather than by their own individual characteristics.” Thus the roles of information-seekers in the academic environment influence the expectations for performance and outcomes. For example, faculty would be expected to look for information differently than undergraduate students. Faculty members are considered researchers and experts in their disciplines, while undergraduate students are novices and protégés, roles that place them differently within the organizational structure of the academy (Blumer, 2004; Biddle, 1979; Mead, 1934; Marks, 1996; Marks, 1977).

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