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Another Good OCLC Service: User Studies Bibliography

Larry Olszewski, Director and resident librarian at the OCLC library, has written a blogpost that’s very useful:

‘Library Users and Non-Users – A Bibliography from the OCLC Library’ by OCLCLibrary

“How do people use libraries and other sources of information? That’s a big question, and it gets bigger all the time as more and more resources are created, digitized and go online. OCLC does a fair amount of market research on this subject, but there’s all kinds of other groups, researchers, colleges and publications involved, too… in some cases going back many decades.

To help track that research and make it easier to compare and contrast what different studies have found, the OCLC Library has begun a WorldCat list on the subject: a collection of books, dissertations and articles that explore where and why library users and non-users seek information. A work in progress, the bibliography initially focuses on studies meeting the criteria below. However, significant works discovered in the course of research to date may be included even if they fall outside these guidelines:

Preference toward studies that consider libraries as one of several choices information seekers have;
Published items (articles, books) or dissertations; English language; 1900 to date; Items that measure or evaluate usage via surveys, interviews, etc. i.e., no opinion pieces lacking research support; Research regarding libraries of all types, but prioritized to cover public libraries first, then college and university libraries; Preference toward broad studies, rather than those of limited user groups; e.g., of a single library system.

Many of these studies are fascinating to anyone with any interest in libraries. Some are a bit more specific, either in subject or by geography. But they all add up to a better view of our profession.

Not a complete view, though. If you know of any resources that you think should be added to the list, please let us know at [email protected] The more we know about our information landscape, and the more we can help each other learn, the better for all our communities.

Larry Olszewski
Director, OCLC Library”

Here’s the link to bookmark if you’re addicted to user studies like me.

As of today, there are about 53 studies on the list. I’ve pointed to many here but it’s great to see them curated all in one place.


Posted on: September 26, 2011, 7:28 am Category: Uncategorized

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