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Observational Study of OPAC users. Martin Wolf Cardiff University. Overview. Why and how the study was done Results of the project Further action and wider implications. Why the study was done. Importance of electronic information resources

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Observational Study of OPAC users

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Observational study of opac users
Observational Study of OPAC users

Martin Wolf

Cardiff University


Overview
Overview

  • Why and how the study was done

  • Results of the project

  • Further action and wider implications


Why the study was done
Why the study was done

  • Importance of electronic information resources

  • Anecdotal evidence suggests OPAC not intuitive to use

  • Development of information literacy policy

  • Desire to experiment with new feedback methods


How the study was done
How the study was done

  • Consulted with researchers

  • Ethnographic observation technique

  • Project undertaken by SCONUL trainee

  • Pilot study to test feasibility and establish criteria

  • Project undertaken and report written


Effectiveness of method

Good points:

A lot of data

Detailed picture

Engage users (hard to say no)

Bad Points:

A lot of data

Time consuming

Sacrifice breadth for depth

Effectiveness of method


Main findings
Main findings

  • Most not efficient OPAC users

  • Searches too specific or too broad

  • Specific options most popular, but hard to use

  • Keyword searches too broad

  • No use of operators or limits


Further action
Further action

  • Voyager training chosen as key first item for VLE content

  • New approaches to help pages being considered

  • Use of “automatic limiters” to be implemented

  • Developing new ways of training


Professional issues
Professional Issues

  • The importance of evaluating services

  • Information literacy – opportunities for libraries

  • Feedback – consideration of different evaluation methods


Summary
Summary

  • Why and how study undertaken

  • Results of project

  • Further action and wider implications

  • Worthwhile exercise


Observational study of opac users1
Observational study of OPAC users

Martin Wolf

Cardiff University


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