Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Digital information seeker--a report on OCLC, RIN, and JISC projects

The Digital Information Seeker: Report of findings from selected OCLC, RIN and JISC user behaviour projects is out.

It was produced for JISC by Lynn Silipigni Connaway, PhD and Timothy J Dickey, PhD, OCLC Research. Dated Feb. 15, 2010.

This report gives a really nice look at the landscape of user studies. Its 61 pages are a succinct review of a selected sample of studies.

The report was not intended to be definitive. It provides a synthesis. The report makes it easier for librarians and other information professionals to better understand the information-seeking behaviors of libraries’ intended users. It also makes it easier to review the issues associated with developing information services and systems to best meet users’ needs.

The 12 studies included in this report:

Perceptions of libraries and information resources (OCLC, December 2005),

College students’ perceptions of libraries and information resources (OCLC, April 2006),

Sense-making the information confluence: The whys and hows of college and university user satisficing of information needs (IMLS/Ohio State University/OCLC, July 2006),

Researchers and discovery services: Behaviour, perceptions and needs (RIN, November 2006),

Researchers’ use of academic libraries and their services (RIN/CURL, April 2007),

Information behaviour of the researcher of the future (CIBER/UCL, commissioned by BL and JISC, January 2008),

Seeking synchronicity: Evaluating virtual reference services from user, non-user and librarian perspectives (OCLC/ IMLS/ Rutgers, June 2008),

Online catalogs: What users and librarians want (OCLC. March 2009),

E-journals: Their use, value and impact (RIN, April 2009),

JISC national e-books observatory project: Key findings and recommendations (JISC/UCL, November 2009),

Students’ use of research content in teaching and learning (JISC, November 2009),

User behaviour in resource discovery (JISC, November 2009),

Implications for libraries:

• Each library serves many constituencies with different needs and behaviors.
• Each library must do better at providing seamless access to resources.
• Each library must recognize that more digital resources of all kinds are better for users.
• Each library must prepare for changing user behaviors.
• Each library's access tools need to look and function more like search engines and Web services since these are familiar to users and they are comfortable and confident in using them.
• Each library must value high-quality metadata for its resources since metadata is vital for discovery.
• Each library must better promote its brand, its value, and its resources within its community.