In this activity, jointly sponsored with JISC, OCLC Research analyzed twelve final reports of library user studies issued between 2005 and 2009 by JISC, OCLC, and RIN. Findings are presented in a report that summarizes each of the selected studies, identifies common findings, and draws implications for libraries.
This report is not intended to be the definitive work on user behavior studies, but rather to make it easier for information professionals to better understand the information-seeking behaviors of libraries' intended users and to review the issues associated with the development of information services and systems that will best meet these users' needs.
There are many more published user behavior studies than the twelve included in this synopsis and analysis. However, this activity was an attempt to review major studies that were funded by non-profit organizations and government agencies, published within the five years preceding this study, and that specifically addressed electronic content, users' perceptions of their information-seeking behaviors, and library catalogs.
This analysis provided an opportunity to identify common as well as contradictory findings reported in the studies. The contradictory findings, as well, may be attributed to the design of the twelve studies. The two types of research design provide a combination of large-scale quantitative studies as well as qualitative studies that provide rich portraits of specific user groups.
Many of the findings presented in this meta-analysis could be used as hypotheses for subsequent testing and generalization; therefore, the next logical step is to further explore and quantify these findings by conducting large, random-sample online and interview surveys.
The findings from the twelve studies indicate that users want access to even more full-text digital content. As Robert Darnton said, "the future is digital" and "digitize and democratize." Though they value the traditional library services and human sources of information, users are already adapting to new realities in the information world, and new opportunities in access to information resources.
- Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, and Timothy J. Dickey. 2010. The Digital Information Seeker: Report of findings from selected OCLC, RIN and JISC user behaviour projects (.pdf: 2.25MB/61 pp.). (WorldCat.org record)
- "OCLC researchers partner JISC report." OCLC eNews (June 2010).
- Digital Information Seekers: How academic libraries can support the use of digital resources. JISC Briefing paper (March 2010) (.pdf: 96K/2 pp.).
- Connaway, Lynn Silipigni. 2011. Changing Information Behaviours: Making Library Content Appeal to Digital Information Seekers (.ppt: 4.2 MB/22 slides). Presented at 100. Deutscher Bibliothekartag, 8 June 2011, Berlin, Germany.
- Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, and Timothy J. Dickey. 2010. Bouncing, squirreling and other behaviors of digital information seekers.
- Presented at the Charleston Conference, November 4, 2010, Charleston, South Carolina.
- Connaway, Lynn Silipigni. 2010. 'Make it as easy as a Google Book Search.' Learning how to make the catalog usable.
- Presented at the ALCTS Program on Cataloging and Beyond: Publishing for the Year of Cataloging and Metadata Research, ALA Annual Conference, June 24-29, 2010, Washington, D.C.
- Presented at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, November 2, 2010, Charlotte, North Carolina.
- Presented at the University of South Carolina, School of Library and Information Science, November 3, 2010, Columbia, South Carolina.
- Connaway, Lynn Silipigni. 2010. Bouncing, chunking, and squirreling: Curious behaviours of digital information seekers.
- Presented at Queen Mother Library, University of Aberdeen, September 9, 2010, Aberdeen, Scotland.
- Presented at the JISC Library Management System Enhancement Programme Meeting, September 7, 2010, Glasgow, Scotland.
- Connaway, Lynn Silipigni. 2010. What's the buzz? An Overview of OCLC Research. Presented at EMEA Meeting, IFLA, August, 12, 2010, Gothenburg, Sweden.
- Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, and Timothy J. Dickey. 2010. 'I don't have to know, I go to one spot:' Convenience as critical factor in recent user studies of information behavior (.pptx: 1.58MB/29 slides). Presented at the Library Research Seminar V, University of Maryland, October 8, 2010, Baltimore, Maryland.
- Connaway, Lynn Silipigni. 2010. The researcher of the future. Presented at the 2010 Annual RLG Partnership Meeting and Symposium, June 9-11, 2010, Chicago, IL.
- Connaway, Lynn Silipigni. 2010. Digital natives meet digital libraries: Discovering their behaviors and preferences for information seeking. Invited speaker at Libraries in the Digital Age (LIDA) 2010: Digital scholarship: Support by digital libraries & digital natives: Challenges & innovations in reaching out to digital born generations, May 24-28, 2010, Zadar, Croatia.
- Recent Reports: Analytical Reviews of Research Data About Digital Information Seekers, Virtual Research Environments and Digital Repository Project, Dublin, Ohio, USA, 21 April 2010 (OCLC).
- Digital information seekers: How academic libraries can support the use of digital resources, 2010 (JISC).
- OCLC researchers analyze, synthesize studies of the Digital Information Seeker, Dublin, Ohio, USA, 6 May 2010 (OCLC).
- JISC podcast 108: What does the digital information seeker look like? 2010. Interview of Lynn Silipigni Connaway (MPEG 3).
Related OCLC Research Project
- JISC (Funding and publication support)
Related Web site
- The digital information seeker: Findings from selected OCLC, RIN and JISC user behaviour projects (JISC)
- OCLC / JISC
Most recent updates: Page content: 2011-06-17