The emergence of data intensive science and the establishment of data management mandates have motivated academic libraries to develop research data services (RDS) for their faculty and students. Here the results of two studies are reported: librarians' RDS practices in U.S. and Canadian academic research libraries, and the RDS-related library policies in those or similar libraries. Results show that RDS are currently not frequently employed in libraries, but many services are in the planning stages. Technical RDS are less common than informational RDS, RDS are performed more often for faculty than for students, and more library directors believe they offer opportunities for staff to develop RDS-related skills than the percentage of librarians who perceive such opportunities to be available. Librarians need opportunities to learn more about these services either on campus or through attendance at workshops and professional conferences.
Sojourns to other countries, such as for studying abroad, are increasingly common. However, adjusting to life in a different country can be stressful and require significant effort. Sojourners need to not only maintain and expand their social networks, but they also continuously seek information about their new environment. While international students are a sizable group, their daily information behavior is not well understood. This study posits that social networking sites (SNS), such as Facebook, may play an important role in international students' everyday life information seeking (ELIS). Using descriptive statistics, ANOVA, and structural equation modeling (SEM), the study analyzed international students' everyday life information needs, their usage of SNS for ELIS, and the relationships among demographics, personality traits, SNS usage, and perceived usefulness of the acquired everyday life information. Findings indicate that a majority of the respondents frequently used SNS for ELIS. Younger students, undergraduates, and extroverts were more likely to use SNS for ELIS, while no gender difference was found. Notably, among the nine user characteristics and behavior factors, SNS usage emerged as the only positive predictor of perceived usefulness of acquired information in meeting daily needs. This indicates that SNS serve as a valuable channel for purposeful everyday life information seeking. Beyond its social support value, the ELIS value of SNS is a fruitful area for future research. ► 97% of surveyed students used social networking for information seeking. ► Top daily life information needs were finance, health, and home country news. ► Extroverts and undergraduates used social networking more frequently. ► Frequent users were more likely to rate acquired information as useful.
A total of 1162 research articles, published from 2001 to 2010 in three major journals of library and information science (LIS), are analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively in order to address some recurring themes about research method selection and application in the scholarly domain. This study shows that LIS scholars utilize a greater number and wider variety of research methods than before. Replacing the dominant positions that questionnaire survey and historical method previously held, content analysis, experiment, and theoretical approach have become the top choices of research methods in the field. This study also examines two recurring themes regarding research methods in the LIS field, namely, use of multiple methods in one study and adoption of the qualitative approach, but finds no conclusive evidence of increased implementation of either practice. More efforts in the form of education, training and advocacy are therefore needed to help LIS scholars gain a better understanding of research methods and make more informed decisions on research method selection and implementation in their scholarly endeavors.
Citizens' use of the public library in their local community is explored, focusing on social activities and how the libraries function as meeting places. The findings are important because of the need for meeting places across cultural, ethnic, generational, and social lines in a complex multicultural and digitized society. How library visitors use the library space and services, so that the overall societal goals of the library and the local community are obtained, is still rarely examined. An in-depth observational study was conducted in three library branches of Oslo, combined with interviews with patrons to establish the context and purpose of their library activities and to which life spheres they are linked. The research used concepts from social theory. The overall finding is that the public library use is very diverse. Patrons move easily between high and low intensive activities and float between life spheres and roles—student, family member, friend, neighbor, and citizen. The library is a complex arena. It is a public realm, in the sense that most of the visitors are strangers to each other; most of the individual uses belong to a private realm, and the library's community activities constitute it as a parochial realm. In the library, users are exposed to the plurality of the community and learn about otherness. People are not categorized by profession or as being unemployed, a patient or a client, but are all library users. This quality of the library contributes to social inclusion. ►The library is a complex arena, being both a public, parochial and private realm. ►In-depth observations of library use are combined with short patron interviews. ►Patrons float between life spheres and roles; family, neighbor, colleague, citizen. ►The library is both a 1st place (home), 2nd place (work and education) and 3rd place. ►Library users move easily between high- and low-intensive activities.
Web 2.0 represents an emerging suite of applications that hold immense potential in enriching communication, enabling collaboration and fostering innovation. However, little work has been done hitherto to research Web 2.0 applications in library websites. This paper addresses the following three research questions: (a) To what extent are Web 2.0 applications prevalent in libraries?; (b) In what ways have Web 2.0 applications been used in libraries?; and (c) Does the presence of Web 2.0 applications enhance the quality of library websites? Divided equally between public and academic, 120 libraries' websites from North America, Europe and Asia were sampled and analyzed using a three-step content analysis method. The findings suggest that the order of popularity of Web 2.0 applications implemented in libraries is: blogs, RSS, instant messaging, social networking services, wikis, and social tagging applications. Also, libraries have recognized how different Web 2.0 applications can be used complementarily to increase the level of user engagement. Finally, the presence of Web 2.0 applications was found to be associated with the overall quality, and in particular, service quality of library websites. This paper concludes by highlighting implications for both librarians and scholars interested to delve deeper into the implementation of Web 2.0 applications.
This study examined the relationship between curricula in secondary-level science classrooms, which support development of information literacy skills, and actual student skills. A vast body of research reflects deep concern with the level of information literacy skill development among secondary and post-secondary students. But even when educational curricula mandate skill development, many students are unable to demonstrate sophisticated information searching and critical evaluation skills. The findings of this study, which we based on analyzing information seeking tasks and conducting interviews with students in three biology classes in a large urban high school, demonstrated a similar lack of skills. Pressure on teachers to “teach to examinations”—that is, to focus on substantive content rather than on information literacy skills and information literacy skills deficits among teachers themselves—is a possible explanation for these results. The study is of particular interest to teachers of the curriculum applicable in the study context, but the broader implications of repeated indications of gaps in students' information literacy skills are a significant indicator that schools must assume a larger responsibility for information literacy instruction. Leaving skill development to the post-secondary environment will not ensure that citizens are sufficiently skilled to participate fully in 21st century life, in workplaces or in their personal life contexts.
A key component of Vincent Tinto's model of retention is the importance of student integration in the academic institution. Library use can be regarded as a form of integration within such institutions. A quantitative approach was applied to demonstrate how institutional data can be combined to examine library use and retention at a single institution. Undergraduate student and library use data were analyzed to identify results that suggested associations between library use and student retention. Library use was measured by log-ins to electronic resources, as well as borrowing from the library. The undergraduate students enrolled for the first time in 2010 comprised the population, Sub-group student characteristics, age and socioeconomic status, underwent further analysis. The findings show retained students log-in to authenticated resources and borrow from the library at higher rates than withdrawn students. Mature age students withdraw from the university at higher rates than younger students. Log-ins to authenticated resources increase as students progress over time through their university programs. No notable associations were found among socioeconomic background, library use, and retention. For the institution, these findings can inform the development of library services to target specific student groups on the basis that higher library use may lead to improved integration and retention. In addition, the study describes a research design that is replicable in other institutions and contributes to library use and retention literature. ► Approximately 20% of retained undergraduates do not access authenticated resources. ► Mature age students access authenticated resources less than younger students. ► Retained students tend to have higher rates of library use than withdrawn students. ► Retained students use the library less in their second year of enrolment. ► This study method framework can be applied to understanding library value.
Research designs are key to the research process and the production of knowledge that supports performance and development. The appropriateness of the methodologies used in research has implications for the trustworthiness and validity of the outcomes of research and practice. The research designs used in library information science (LIS) research in Nigeria and South Africa between 2009 and 2015 were investigated. The objective was to map out the contours of the research designs that are utilised in LIS, particularly to keep the profession abreast of the trends in the field and the patterns in research designs used. Qualitative content analysis was used to examine 104 PhD dissertations, using six taxonomies to categorise research designs used in the two countries. Positivist epistemologies and quantitative methodologies predominated research in LIS. A handful of studies used basic mixed method research designs. Questionnaires and interviews were commonly used for data collection, but the triangulation of methods was not prevalent. The value of this study lies in that it will lead to the accumulation of knowledge of research designs and provide a baseline for studies on methodological practices.
Despite the widespread application of technology in the 21st century, making informed decisions regarding its acceptance in organisations is a function of several factors, particularly in developing countries, due to factors such as rising cost of the information technology infrastructure and low technological exposure. A model that incorporated perceived ease of use (PEOU) and e-Skills to examine librarians' intention for actual library technology acceptance was tested. The correlational research design, along with a multistage sampling procedure, was applied to select samples to reduce the sample to a manageable proportion. Professional librarians and library officers in four university libraries provided the data for the study. Results showed that e-Skill is the model's strongest determinant of technology acceptance intention among librarians. Also, PEOU will significantly moderate librarians' intention towards library technology acceptance when e-Skills are insufficient. From these outcomes, the understanding of the determinants of behavioural intention captured in the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAT) is extended and refined.
Conventional statistical methods (e.g. logistics regression, decision tree, etc.) have been used to analyze library demand-driven acquisitions (DDA) data. However, these methods are not well-suited to predict when acquisitions will be triggered or how long e-books will remain unused. Survival analysis, a statistical method commonly used in clinical research and medical trials, was employed to predict the time-to-trigger for DDA purchases within the context of a large research university library. By predicting which e-books will be triggered (i.e., purchased), as well as the time to trigger occurrence, the method tested in this study provides libraries a deeper understanding of factors influencing their DDA purchasing patterns. This understanding will help libraries optimize their DDA profile management and DDA budgets. This research provides a demonstration of how data science techniques can be of value for the library environment.
The spread of “fake news” stories online has become a pressing concern in the United States and around the world in recent years. Social media platforms enable the rapid spread of such misinformation and also make evaluating the credibility of online information more difficult. Since college students are frequent users of social media, they are particularly likely to be exposed to fake news. A survey was conducted with 63 undergraduate students in which they identified and evaluated examples of both fake and real news stories and reported their associated information behaviors. Results showed correlations between accurate identification of fake news stories and specific critical evaluation behaviors and strategies. However, students were unable to accurately evaluate their own skills, and their willingness to share fake news stories on social media was not related to accurate identifications or evaluations of trustworthiness. This study contributes to the understanding of not just how accurately students evaluate fake news stories, but of the specific information-seeking behaviors and critical evaluation strategies that are associated with accurate identifications and evaluations and with willingness to share news stories on social media. Implications for educators and directions for future research are discussed.
The spread of "fake news" stories online has become a pressing concern in the United States and around the world in recent years. Social media platforms enable the rapid spread of such misinformation and also make evaluating the credibility of online information more difficult. Since college students are frequent users of social media, they are particularly likely to be exposed to fake news. A survey was conducted with 63 undergraduate students in which they identified and evaluated examples of both fake and real news stories and reported their associated information behaviors. Results showed correlations between accurate identification of fake news stories and specific critical evaluation behaviors and strategies. However, students were unable to accurately evaluate their own skills, and their willingness to share fake news stories on social media was not related to accurate identifications or evaluations of trustworthiness. This study contributes to the understanding of not just how accurately students evaluate fake news stories, but of the specific information-seeking behaviors and critical evaluation strategies that are associated with accurate identifications and evaluations and with willingness to share news stories on social media. Implications for educators and directions for future research are discussed.
Public support of library services must be targeted towards children because these services play a key role in their development. However, no prior research has investigated the value of public library services for children. Specifically, earlier studies evaluated the value of public libraries as a whole, without considering library services for different stakeholders. The fact that children are not autonomous economic agents is another problem to address. These barriers can be overcome by using the contingent valuation method with parents/caregivers as the subjects queried and children used as the objects in this study. Thus, the economic value of library services for children can be obtained to support managerial decisions on services specifically designed for children. More precisely, this study is unique in that it develops a contingent valuation methodology for estimating the value of children's library services based on adults' willingness to allocate a proportion of municipal budgets. Both users and non-users were surveyed to verify the proposed methodology empirically. The results show that the perceived effectiveness (ratio between perceived benefits and costs) of children's library services is 11.2 (11.2 units of benefits for each unit invested) in Czech public libraries compared with 4.3 for a library as a whole. This finding confirms the essential role of children's library services, implying that public libraries should offer a broader selection of children's books and other services. The study also shows that the value of children's library services depends on the age, education and economic structure of the adults queried. In addition, their satisfaction with library services is another important determinant, indicating that public libraries can influence the perceived benefits of children's library services.
The evaluation of productivity of main services of city libraries using the example of 48 large public libraries and 44 small public libraries from the Czech and the Slovak Republic was performed according to the decomposition of the input-oriented Malmquist index The results of MI achieved are evaluated using a confidence interval and the bootstrap method. The productivity of main services of public libraries was studied for the year 2016 in comparison with the year 2012. On average, small as well as large libraries exhibit a statistically significant decline in productivity. The average value of the MI of small libraries is 1.29. The average value of the MI of large libraries is 1.16. The deterioration of productivity was caused by lower efficiency of the inputs. The small as well as the large libraries on average exhibit a comparable level of productivity in both studied years. This conclusion is the same for the Czech and for the Slovak libraries as well as for all libraries together. The Czech libraries, when compared with the Slovak ones, achieve better results in terms of productivity. The higher productivity of the Czech libraries in comparison with the Slovak ones is caused by the improvement of efficiency of the inputs, not by the technological changes.
Socio-technical changes have transformed information practices and challenged conceptions of cognitive authorities, referring to information sources that are deemed credible and legitimate and influence people's thinking. Cognitive authorities in group-based knowledge-construction projects in health education lessons were explored in this study. Nexus analysis was used to analyze participant interviews and video-observed social actions in three secondary school health-education classrooms (Grades 8–9) in Finland. The findings show how group-based projects employing multiple information sources offer opportunities for the distribution and co-construction of cognitive authorities. However, explicit negotiations on the authority of sources were rare. Cognitive authorities appeared as contextual and situational but also guided by broader discourses circulating in the scene of action. By embedding information literacy instruction throughout the curriculum, information professionals and teachers can support young learners to recognize relevant authorities in different spheres of knowledge and to become competent users of health information.
Libraries in general, and public libraries specifically, are social institutions. It is their role and function to educate, inculcate values and provide recreational opportunities to the community. The success of a democratic political system depends on community involvement in decision making. The role of public libraries in political discourse was assessed with three approaches. Firstly, the geographical characteristics of public library communities were explored using Geographical Information System (GIS) methods. Secondly, the resources, services and activities of public libraries were identified. Thirdly, community perspectives were explored using the five aspects of the “Spectrum of Public Participation” of the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2). The results from all three approaches indicate that the public libraries of Islamabad do not facilitate opportunities for the community to be consulted, empowered or involved in political discourse. Analysis of GIS characteristics, library services and community perspectives suggests that improvements in planning and commitment (especially infrastructure, budget and human resources) would enable public libraries to increase opportunities for Islamabad communities to engage in political discourse.
Participatory, arts-based methods generate rich data with which researchers can explore information behavior in context, and may be particularly apt when engaging with youth or participants with low literacy levels. Information world mapping (IWM) is an innovative and interactive drawing-based interview technique for data elicitation. Initially developed for use in a study of young parents’ health information practices, IWM guides participants in depicting their personal social information worlds, including items, places, and relationships. Maps are then used to facilitate critical incident elicitation of participants' stories about, and interpretations of, their information practices. Within the young parent study, three styles of map were commonly seen: the directional map, the mind map, and the symbolic map. Use of IWM requires time and ethical care, but the method enables researchers to center participants’ own perspectives on information practices, triangulate data obtained via more traditional methods, and enrich understanding of social information worlds.