Presentation on theme: "The More Things Change, the More They Remain the Same: Qualitative and comparative analysis of reported library issues from 1985-1986 and 2005-2006 Abstract."— Presentation transcript:
The More Things Change, the More They Remain the Same: Qualitative and comparative analysis of reported library issues from 1985-1986 and 2005-2006 Abstract Context: Technology has changed much about the daily activities in the library. Email systems within libraries allow quick and effective electronic communication. But what about the content of these messages; has there been substantial change over the last twenty years in the information that needs to be conveyed? In 1985 and 1986, important communication between staff members at the circulation desk in the Medical Sciences Library was accomplished via a notebook, the circulation log book. Supervisors would make entries in the notebook for the staff and students working at the desk. Staff members made entries to other staff to remind them of library activities or note problems. This poster will analyze the content of the messages in the circulation log and compare it to the current library communication from email messages and the patron suggestion box. Objective: To qualitatively analyze the content of the 1985 – 1986 circulation log book and compare it to the content of problems reported by staff via email messages and patron suggestion box submissions from 2005 – 2006. Methods: A qualitative approach using content analysis of the 1985 – 1986 Circulation Log Book, 2005-2006 emails reporting patron problems or complaints and patron suggestion submissions. Thematic categories were created and data was entered into the appropriate category. Becky McKay, AHIP and Chris Foster, AHIP Texas A&M University Medical Sciences Library Procedures/Reminders Log Book 1985 Students should review new closing procedures in the manual. Email 2005 Starting Monday, please follow these closing procedures. Log Book 1986 Shelving is being done carelessly, leaving the stacks looking very disorderly. Email 2006 Shelving in the stacks was less than adequate. Some of the books were nowhere near to being flush with each other, others were laying at an angle. Log book 1985 To protect our new building, the no food, drink or tobacco policy must be strongly enforced. Policy 2006 Complaints Log Book 1985 Student complained about all the undergrads studying on our library. Suggested only med and vet students be allowed to use our facility. Suggestion 2006 The library should be reserved for those who are serious about their future endeavors (those in medically related fields.) Log book 1985 AC got repaired, didnt it? Brrrrrrrr! Suggestion 2005 Please turn the AC off! Its been very cold the past few days. Log Book 1985 Library staff member left a container full of limeade in the fridge in Friday. Monday morning there was one cup left. I can only assume that someone helped themselves to it. Email 2005 The same library staff member sent an email: The Lean Cuisine you ate today belonged to me. Facilities/Equipment Log book 1985 Five IBM computers have just been delivered to the library. You are responsible for their security. Keyboards locked up. Email 2006 Fifty new computers have been added to the Education Center. Log book 1985 Patron requests a stapler in the copy room. Suggestion 2006 Please put a stapler in the copy room. Log Book 1985 Close the blinds at 10 PM for Silver Taps. Email 2006 In preparation for the Silver Taps Ceremony, all buildings and streetlights will be darkened. Conclusions In reading the 1985-86 log book, the authors were stuck by the similarity of patrons wants, needs and behaviors to those of today. With access to thousands of electronic resources, patrons need never enter the library. However, people still want a comfortable space of their own for quiet study, reiterating the results of the LibQual survey which demonstrates the importance of library as place. Staff and students need the same reminders to do their jobs and fill out paperwork, even though the processes have changed from paper to electronic. Complaints from patrons reflect the innate structure and problems of the building erected in the mid 1980s. And the long-standing traditions of Texas A&M are as important as ever. Technology has changed immensely, but human nature has not changed much at all.