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Are Digital Information Seekers Different?

I think so but here are two recent studies that show some data about their behaviours and how we might support them:

New Briefing Paper: Digital Information Seekers: How Academic Libraries Can Support the Use of Digital Resources

Two things this week.

There is a new report by two members of OCLC Research, Lynn Silipigni Connaway and Timothy J. Dickey called, “The Digital Information Seeker: Report of Findings From Selected OCLC, RIN and JISC User Behaviour Projects. (62 pages; PDF)”

“In addition to the report, Ms. Silipigni Connaway and Mr. Dickey wrote a two page briefing paper titled, “Digital Information Seekers: How Academic Libraries Can Support the use of Digital Resources.” that’s based on the “Digital Information Seeker…”

Here’s are Bullet Points From a Section in the Overview (HTML) Document:

How Academic Libraries Can Meet the Needs of their Users

Users’ perceptions of library services have been slow to change and many people still tend to think of libraries as collections of books rather than providers of electronic resources. Academic libraries serve many constituencies with different needs and behaviours, such as academic discipline, research experience, demographic category and information-seeking context. Libraries need to understand those needs and adapt to meet them in a flexible manner.

+ Library systems must do better at providing seamless access to resources such as full-text e-journals, online foreign-language materials, e-books, a variety of electronic publishers’ platforms and virtual reference desk services

+ Library catalogues need to include more direct links to resources and more online content

+ Libraries should provide more digital resources of all kinds, from e-journals to curated data sets, as well as emerging services such as virtual research environments (VREs), open source materials, non-text-based and multimedia objects, and blogs

+ Library systems must be prepared for changing user behaviours, which include advanced search options, demands for immediate access and quick perusal of resources

+ Library systems need to look and function more like search engines (eg Google) and popular web services (eg, as these are familiar to users who are comfortable and confident in using them

+ High-quality metadata is becoming more important for discovery of appropriate resources

+ Librarians must now consider the implications of power browsing behaviours

+ Students need more guidance and clarity on how to find content and how to assess its worth as well as its relevance

+ The library must advertise its brand and its resources better to academics, researchers and students, demonstrating its value clearly and unambiguously

BTW, while the bullet points were developed for academic libraries many also apply to other types of libraries.

Access the Two Page (PDF) Briefing Paper: Digital Information Seekers: How Academic Libraries Can Support the Use of Digital Resources” Source: JISC”

As is often the case in library land, these links came from Gary Price and his awesome service ResourceShelf – 9 years old and counting!


Posted on: May 18, 2010, 9:34 am Category: Uncategorized

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