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Lorna Burns. Also called electronic or virtual libraries Organised collections of digital material And/or digital representations of non- digital material.

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Presentation on theme: "Lorna Burns. Also called electronic or virtual libraries Organised collections of digital material And/or digital representations of non- digital material."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lorna Burns

2 Also called electronic or virtual libraries Organised collections of digital material And/or digital representations of non- digital material Collection of services to assist users to access information Usually built around a specific community

3 Interconnected, interdependent networks of technology, information, documents, people, and practices. Connections between the human/technical aspects determine the performance of the system. Studies of technology require social context DL technology is embedded in a social world

4 Ethnography – an umbrella term Brings social perspective to design of future technologies Developer knows best to users know best System users Information seekers User Intermediary

5 Experimental method Ignore social aspect of search behaviours Users can try to please researchers Bypass serendipitous discovery or aborted searches Intermediary to act the part of users

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7 The Library Without Walls Anywhere, anytime, (anybody?) Where is the field? Home Hospital ward Courtroom Mobile In depth, thick description of a few

8 1980s OPACs Browsing Searching now primary form of interaction Information seeking behaviours 1990s sociological slant to DL research Knowledge production, communication and distribution Late 1990s rise of ethnography

9 Andy Crabtree 1997 Observed helpdesk interactions Collaborative search activity Database used as conversational resource: Vague information requirements to specific understanding of needs People in need, seek other person not instructions DL design should understand social context of use where the systems are placed

10 Questionnaires vs. Observations Self report unreliable Forsythe 1998 listened in on medical staff over a decade Decoded statements into information needs and categorised Medical staff require more than just formal MedLine type knowledge

11 How people use information Cunningham et al 2001 Information architecture software vs actual information practices Observation of 6 consultants DL model and IA software != fit

12 Cunningham & Uni of Gloucester 2003 Digital music library Music information seeking behaviours Music sections of shops and library Ethnography in the field

13 Marshall 2003 Observations of DL implementations Technical boundaries: metadata, firewalls Khoo years observing ailing DWEL project communications Conceptual boundaries: understanding of meaning of DL

14 Digital libraries are organised collections of digital material They are socio-technical systems that rely on the connections between human and technical Ethnography reflects the anywhere, anytime principle of digital libraries Ethnographies are useful for learning about user information needs, practices and behaviours.

15 Crabtree Cunningham Day Khoo Marshall Nardi Rouncefield

16 Bishop, A., Van House, N., & Buttenfield, B. (2003). Digital Library Use: Social Practice in Design and Evaluation. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Crabtree, A. (2003). Designing Collaborative Systems: A Practical Guide to Ethnography. Berlin: Springer. Crabtree, A., Nichols, D., O'Brien, J., Rouncefield, M., & Twidale, M. (2000). Ethnomethodologically informed ethnography and information system design. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 51 (7), Crabtree, A., Twidale, M., O'Brien, J., & Nichols, D. (1997). Talking in the Library: Implications for the Design of Digital Libraries. Proceedings of DL (pp ). ACM. Cunningham, S., Knowles, C., & Reeves, N. (2001). An Ethnographic Study of Technical Support Workers: Why We Didn't Build a Tech Support Digital Library. Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (pp ). ACM. Cunningham, S., Reeves, N., & Britland, M. (2003). An Ethnographic Study of Music Information Seeking: Implications for the Design of a Music Digital Library. Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (pp. 5-16). ACM. Forsythe, D. (1998). Using Ethnography to Investigate Life Scientists' Information Needs. Bulletin of the Medical Library Association, 86 (3). Khoo, M. (2005). Tacit User and Developer Frames in User-led Collection Development: the Case of the Digital Water Education Library. JCDL. ACM. Marshall, C. (2003). Finding the Boundaries of the Library without Walls. In A. Bishop, N. Van House, & B. Buttenfield, Digital Library Use: Social Practice in Design and Evaluation. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Sandstrom, A., & Sandstrom, P. (1995). The Use and Misuse of Anthorological Methods in Library and INformation Science Research. Library Quarterly, 65 (2), Twidale, M., Chaplin, D., Crabtree, A. N., O'Brien, J., & Rouncefield, M. (1997). Collaboration in Physical and Digital Libraries. British Library Research and Innovation Report No. 64.


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