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Patterns of Culture Re-aligning Library Culture to Meet User Needs Library Assessment Conference, August 5 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Patterns of Culture Re-aligning Library Culture to Meet User Needs Library Assessment Conference, August 5 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Patterns of Culture Re-aligning Library Culture to Meet User Needs Library Assessment Conference, August 5 2008

2 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Syracuse University Library S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications

3 People Project Manager Nancy Turner Research Team Ilka Datig (Graduate Assistant) Ann Skiold (Art Librarian) Bonnie Ryan (Anthropology Librarian) John Olson (Map Librarian) Advisory Suzanne Thorin (Co-Principal Investigator) Newhouse Advisory Group Michael Freedman (Anthropology Faculty, Syracuse University) Michael Pasqualoni (Communications Librarian)

4 Research Questions Is ethnography a feasible method for learning about our users? Can ethnographic data be used as a framework for looking at our own organizational culture? Can we compare library and academic cultures in a meaningful way? Do we share a common understanding with our users as to what the library means?

5 Why Ethnography? Its not evaluative Utilizes observation of research tools and spaces Gets at unspoken needs and perceptions of users that more direct questions may not bring to light Identifies barriers Supports design of new products and services based on needs Involves listening to users, not instruction

6 Interview Protocol Tell me about a recent article or piece of information that you read How did you find it? What did you do to prepare for your most recent class? When you started work in your office today, what was the first thing you did?

7 Who We Interviewed

8 Data Processing/Analysis Upload audio files and transcripts to web-based project management system Share work of listening and coding Meet weekly to determine coding scheme and themes

9 Themes Tools Includes technology and information resources, communication technologies Daily Life Includes physical space, finding information, time management, skills Relationships Includes teaching, instruction and dissemination of information Worldview Includes perceptions of the library and view of own culture, attitudes towards change

10 Tools Collections & Resources We have several books and anybody who wants to do extra credit borrows some of my books - thats why I have so many books here, students actually borrow them. Use of Technology I really love the wiki that I showed you because I think for management purposes, and communication purposes, I think it serves a lot of different needs for our staff.

11 Communication Technologies Faculty Social networks (real, not virtual), Blackboard, E-mail Students Cell phones, Facebook, Blackboard Librarians E-mail, Wikis, Listservs

12 Time Faculty Ive just been running at 100 miles an hour since I got here and have never stopped to think what else could I be doing to know some history of things Ive been teaching that I havent read up on. Theres just no time. I have no time. I work 7 days a week, 12, 14 hours a day.

13 Organization Students I would say Im a neat freak, so everything is organized.

14 Space Students I really like studying in here because I like the chairs first of all because they are really comfortable, and I also like that fact that people are kind of talking, but they are not talking really loud.

15 Space Students My room is pretty small, so if I were actually at my desk, I would be blocking my doorway. I just keep my computer in the windowsill; I dont actually have a desk.

16 Finding Information Faculty I do find negotiating the electronic databases confusing at times… And I do it from home sometimes, Ill run into permission errors. A lot of these websites are easy to access over again compared to when I search for a journal article, sometimes it is hard to search and find that journal article again. Students Sometimes it is a hassle to phrase your search right. With some exceptions I can find virtually any sort of movie media on YouTube pretty easily.

17 Finding Information Librarian Almost all of us really like those kind of questions, it is a challenge, it is a scavenger hunt, it is one of those little puzzles that you have to figure out.

18 Accessing Information Faculty We could sit at our library and access it, but if I were trying to access it off campus, you would be met with username and password and you would have to pay hundreds of dollars for access to these things. Every time I download a photo it kicks me back out. Librarian Im not sure what his problem is. It seems that he is failing to go through the proxy and not realizing it. But without a trip to his home Im not going to be able to determine.

19 Relationships – Teaching Faculty I learn from my students. I listen very carefully to what their lives are about. I think of my job as not only teaching them what I need to teach them but also creating situations where they learn from one another.

20 Relationships - Teaching Librarian I am sort of one of those people that feels that, I dont sort of trust myself to remember everything I need to talk about, so I basically write out a script for the whole class. Librarians are always trying to make their instruction more meaningful and a little more long-lasting.

21 Ideas Were Thinking About Communication Co-opt course management systems for communication with classes Introduce technology tools for organization and current awareness Space Provide accessible labs and comfortable, quiet study space Access and awareness barriers Information fairs Cooperative web site development Instruction More interactive Less scripted Observe classes

22 Summary Listening Observing Brainstorming Change

23 Questions, Feedback? Please contact me! Nancy Turner,

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