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Meeting the Information Needs of College and University Users: Preliminary Results of a Two-Year, Multidisciplinary User Investigation NFAIS 47 th Annual.

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Presentation on theme: "Meeting the Information Needs of College and University Users: Preliminary Results of a Two-Year, Multidisciplinary User Investigation NFAIS 47 th Annual."— Presentation transcript:

1 Meeting the Information Needs of College and University Users: Preliminary Results of a Two-Year, Multidisciplinary User Investigation NFAIS 47 th Annual Conference Philadelphia, PA February 28, 2005 Lynn Silipigni Connaway, OCLC Chandra Prabha, OCLC Brenda Dervin, OSU

2 Sense-Making the information confluence: The whys and hows of college and university user satisficing of information needs Project funded by: –Institute of Museum and Library Services $ 480,543 grant to Ohio State University –Ohio State University (OSU) $209,340 in kind contribution –Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) $319,412 in kind contribution

3 SENSE-MAKING THE INFORMATION CONFLUENCE: PROJECT PHASES Project duration Calendar years, 2004 and 2005 Four phases: I.Literature reviews and dialogue II.Sense-making surveys: online & phone III.Focus group interviews IV.Structured observations

4 SENSE-MAKING THE INFORMATION CONFLUENCE: STUDY POPULATIONS 44 colleges and universities 100 mile radius from Columbus 400 informants – 100 each Faculty Graduate students Undergraduate students netLibrary users Samples, stratified by Carnegie institutional class codes

5 SENSE-MAKING THE INFORMATION CONFLUENCE Situation 1 –A troublesome situation you faced in the past six months that was involved with your university/college life in some way.

6 SENSE-MAKING THE INFORMATION CONFLUENCE Situation 2 –A situation that specifically involved research or scholarship such as writing a paper, preparing for class, writing a proposal, developing an understanding, or executing something you created.

7 SENSE-MAKING THE INFORMATION CONFLUENCE: USER PERSPECTIVE Situation 3 –A troublesome situation you faced in the past six months that involved your life outside the university/college in some way.

8 SENSE-MAKING THE INFORMATION CONFLUENCE: USER PERSPECTIVE Situation 4 –A situation in your university/college life where you turned for most of your input to electronic resources, such as the web or .

9 SENSE-MAKING THE INFORMATION CONFLUENCE: USER PERSPECTIVE Situation 5 –A situation in your life outside the university/college where you turned to electronic resources (web, , etc.) for most of your input.

10 Input from librarians

11 SENSE-MAKING THE INFORMATION CONFLUENCE: PROJECT DIALOGUES AND LIBRARIAN SURVEYS –Local Advisory Committee –National Advisory Committee –OCLC Members Council –OCLC Board of Trustees

12 SENSE-MAKING THE INFORMATION CONFLUENCE: FOCUS GROUP INTERVIEWS Library director or representative from each of the 44 academic institutions Library director or representative from geographically contingent public libraries 79 were invited 31 participated

13 SENSE-MAKING THE INFORMATION CONFLUENCE: ONLINE SURVEY OF LIBRARIANS OCLC Members Council and Board of Trustees –126 online surveys distributed –34 responses = 27% response rate

14 Common Threads in Librarian Responses

15 SENSE-MAKING THE INFORMATION CONFLUENCE Information needed for development of user- centered services and collections – Who are the users? – Where are they getting their information? – Why dont users think of the library first?

16 SENSE-MAKING THE INFORMATION CONFLUENCE Biggest challenges of the advance of electronic information systems –Too much information, too many choices –Not knowing users expectations and needs –Off-site users

17 SENSE-MAKING THE INFORMATION CONFLUENCE Biggest challenges (continued) –Non-standard search interfaces –User training –Designing systems for users – not librarians –Competing with Google, Amazon, Ask Jeeves…

18 SENSE-MAKING THE INFORMATION CONFLUENCE Differences between how practitioners and researchers look at users –Researchers ask why questions –Practitioners are interested in how questions –Researchers see users in abstract –Practitioners see users in real-time –Pursue collaborative research Make practitioners an integral part of research

19 SENSE-MAKING THE INFORMATION CONFLUENCE Differences (continued) –Overwhelming affirmative response Theory vs. practice Ivory tower vs. real world Researchers general approach vs. practitioners individualized approach Researchers – unreality paint

20 What have we missed? What else should be considered?

21 END NOTES (1)Cite this presentation as:Connaway, Lynn Silipigni; Prabha, Chandra, & Dervin, Brenda (2005). Satisfying the information needs of the college and university user: Preliminary Results of a two-year, multidisciplinary user investigation. PowerPoint presentation at NFAIS 47 th Annual Conference, Philadelphia, PA, February 28. (2)This presentation is one of the outcomes from the project Sense- making the information confluence: The whys and hows of college and university user satisficing of information needs." Funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Resources, Ohio State University, and the Online Computer Library Center, the project is being implemented by Brenda Dervin (Professor of Communication and Joan N. Huber Fellow of Social & Behavioral Science, Ohio State University) as Principal Investigator; and Lynn Silipigni Connaway (OCLC Consulting Research Scientist III) and Chandra Prabha (OCLC Senior Research Scientist), as Co- Investigators. More information can be obtained at:


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