Thursday, 8 April 2010

For the librarian and archivist

Several items came in overnight, via Resource Shelf, worth noting by those responsible for Library and Archives services.

1. A list of social media resources, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr Photostream and Twitter being used by the National Science Foundation to maintain contact with their client base www.resourceshelf.com/2010/04/08/the-very-social-national-science-foundation/

2. A note that David Ferriero, Archivist of the U.S. who is also a librarian, has a new blog titled, AOTUS: Collector in Chief which is described as “The Archivist’s Take on Transparency, Collaboration, and Participation at the National Archives.” One of the things mentioned is the "need to develop a comprehensive social media strategy for the agency, which will include internal and external communication efforts using new media tools."

3. An article "Digital Information Seekers: New Report Analyzes and Synthesizes 12 Separate Studies" Among the central findings are the following:

  • Disciplinary differences do exist in researcher behaviours, both professional researchers and students.
  • E-journals are increasingly very important to the process of research at all levels.
  • The evidence provided by the results of the studies supports the centrality of Google and other search engines.
  • Google is often used to locate and access e-journal content.
  • At the same time, the entire Discovery-to-Delivery process needs to be supported by information systems, including increased access to resources.
  • Journal backfiles are particularly problematic in terms of access

The realities of the online environment observed above led several studies to some common conclusions about changing user behaviours:

  • Regardless of age or experience, academic discipline, or context of the information need, speed and convenience are important to users.
  • Researchers particularly appreciate desktop access to scholarly content.
  • Users also appreciate the convenience of electronic access over the physical library.
  • Users are beginning to desire enhanced functionality in library systems.
  • They also desire enhanced content to assist them in evaluating resources.
  • They seem generally confident in their own ability to use information discovery tools.
  • However, it seems that information literacy has not necessarily improved.
  • High-quality metadata is thus becoming even more important for the discovery process.

In addition, some common findings regarding content and resources arise:

  • More digital content of all kinds and formats is almost uniformly seen as better.
  • People still tend to think of libraries as collections of books.
  • Despite this, researchers also value human resources in their information-seeking.
Read the summary, including a link to the full report, at www.jisc.ac.uk/publications/reports/2010/digitalinformationseekers.aspx

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