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Helsinki, Finland 12 August 2012 IFLA 2012 Conference. Lynn Silipigni Connaway , Ph.D. Senior Research Scientist, OCLC. Donna Lanclos , Ph. D. Associate Professor for Anthropological Research, University of North Carolina, Charlotte .

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User-centered Decision Making: A New Model for Developing Academic Library Services & Systems

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user centered decision making a new model for developing academic library services systems
Helsinki, Finland 12 August 2012IFLA 2012 Conference

Lynn SilipigniConnaway, Ph.D.

Senior Research Scientist, OCLC

Donna Lanclos, Ph. D.

Associate Professor for Anthropological Research, University of North Carolina, Charlotte

User-centered Decision Making: A New Model for Developing Academic Library Services & Systems

Alison LeCornu, Ph. D.

Academic Lead (Flexible Learning),

The Higher Education Academy

Erin Hood

Research Support Specialist, OCLC

David White

  • Co-manager, Technology Assisted Lifelong Learning, University of Oxford
then now
Then & Now

(Dempsey, 2008)

  • Then: The user built workflow around the library
  • Now: The library must build its services around user workflow
  • Then: Resources scarce, attention abundant
  • Now: Attention scarce, resources abundant
the study
Digital Visitors and ResidentsThe Study

Digital Visitors & Residents

visitors residents
Visitors & Residents

(White & Connaway, 2011-2012)



First Monday Paper:

(White & Connaway, 2011)

triangulation of data
Triangulation of Data

(Connaway et al., 2012)

  • Several methods:
    • Semi-structured interviews (qualitative)
    • Diaries (qualitative)
    • Online survey (quantitative)
  • Enables triangulation of data

(Connaway & Powell, 2010)

Ethnographic data collection technique

Get people to describe what has happened

Center on defined events or moments


(Connaway & Powell, 2010)

Allows for probing, clarification, new questions, focused questions, exploring

Enables data collection for extended period of time

phase 1
Phase 1
  • IndividualInterviews
    • Emerging (secondary school/1st year undergraduates
      • 31 (16 US, 15 UK)
    • Establishing (2nd-3rd year undergraduates)
      • 10 (5 US, 5 UK)
    • Embedding (postgraduates, PhD students)
      • 10 (5 US, 5 UK)
    • Experiencing (scholars)
      • 10 (5 US, 5 UK)
  • Began data analysis
    • Quantitative data:
      • Demographics, number of occurrences of technologies, sources, & behaviors
    • Qualitative data:
      • Themes & direct quotes

(White & Connaway, 2011-2012)

phase i 2 participant demographics
Phase I & 2: Participant Demographics

61 participants

15 secondary students

46 university students & faculty

34 females

27 males

38 Caucasian

5 African-American

2 Multi-racial

1 Asian

2 Hispanic

13 Unidentified

(White & Connaway, 2011-2012)

us vs uk emerging participant university majors
US vs. UK Emerging Participant University Majors
  • UK (7 of 16)
  • 3 Teaching
  • 1 Chemical Biology
  • 1 Chemistry
  • 1 History
  • 1 Languages
  • US (9 of 16)
  • 5 Engineering
  • 1 Political Science
  • 1 Business
  • 1 Physics
  • 2 Undeclared
participant interview questions
Participant Interview Questions

1. Describe the things you enjoy doing with technology and the web each week.

2. Think of the ways you have used technology and the web for your studies. Describe a typical week.

3. Think about the next stage of your education. Tell me what you think this will be like.

participant interview questions1
Participant Interview Questions

4. Think of a time when you had a situation where you needed answers or solutions and you did a quick search and made do with it. You knew there were other sources but you decided not to use them. Please include sources such as friends, family, teachers, coaches, etc.

5. Have there been times when you were told to use a library or virtual learning environment (or learning platform), and used other source(s) instead?

6. If you had a magic wand, what would your ideal way of getting information be? How would you go about using the systems and services? When? Where? How?

(Connaway & Radford, 2005-2007)

(Dervin, Connaway, & Prabha, 2003-2005)









Technology Ownership

Network used

(White & Connaway, 2011-2012)


I. Place

A. Internet

1. Search engine

a. Google

b. Yahoo

2. Social Media

a. FaceBook

b. Twitter

c. You Tube

d. Flickr/image sharing

e. Blogging

B. Library

1. Academic

2. Public

3. School (K-12)

C. Home

D. School, classroom, computer lab

E. Other

(White & Connaway, 2011-2012)

Emerging Educational StageSnapshots

Emerging is late stage secondary school & 1st year undergraduate

snapshots of emerging findings
Snapshots of Emerging Findings

Changes in academic life??

Online study habits?






Online presence?

>10 hrs

Evaluating info and websites?

<6 hrs


Hours spent online/ wk

characteristics of visitors
Characteristics of Visitors


Thinking takes place offline

Passive online presence


Caution: identity theft, privacy



Use technology to maintain relationships

Select most appropriate tool for task

Technology for formal needs


Anatomy of an Emerging Visitor

Face-to-face contact

See web as untidy garden shed

characteristics of residents
Characteristics of Residents


Visible online presence

Express opinions online





Express identity in SN



Popularity determines reliability

Distinctions blurred


Anatomy of an Emerging Visitor

Sense of community

See web as place where friends meet

convenience is king
Convenience is King
  • Convenience dictates choices
    • Is it readily accessible online?
    • Does it contain the needed information & is it easy to use?
    • How much time will it take to access & use the source?
    • Is it a familiar interface and easily navigable interface?
      • Google
      • Wikipedia


Convenience is king

the learning black market
The Learning Black Market
  • Covert online study habits
    • Wikipedia
      • Don’t cite
      • Widely used
      • Guilt
  • Perception that students & teachers disagree
    • Quality sources

There are alternate ways to get info you need


Syllabus & discipline based sites


University websites

University databases

Major media site



Photo sites

Non English Language

Textbook websites


Exam board

Fan sites

Disc Ch

(White & Connaway, 2011-2012)

information evaluation
Information Evaluation

Information evaluation

Popular = correct

Nervous about which sources are valid

the takeaway
What does this mean for practice?The Takeaway

Practical advice for librarians

making the library more attractive
Making the Library More Attractive
  • Library systems as search engines & web services
  • Advertise resources, brand & value
  • Provide search help at time of need
      • Chat & IM help during search
      • Suggestions for misspellings

Need help?

(Connaway & Dickey, 2010)

(De Rosa, 2005)

making the library more attractive1
Making the Library More Attractive
  • Convenience
    • Instant gratification at a click
    • Accurate answers to questions
    • Access to full-text sources
  • User-centered development approach
    • Metadata creation
    • Interface design
    • Services & systems
    • Digital platforms
librarians role
Librarians’ Role
  • Meet practice & authority
    • Include Wikipedia & Google within larger search strategy
    • Correct Wikipedia inaccuracies
  • Educate
    • Provide information & digital literacy instruction
    • Identify critical evaluation skills
    • Teach early in educational stage
  • Expert curation of links
    • Add accurate links to authoritative sources

Educate early

(Connaway, Lanclos, White, Le Cornu, & Hood, 2012)

selected bibliography
Selected Bibliography

Connaway, L. S., & Dickey, T. J. (2010). The digital information seeker: Report of the findings from selected OCLC, RIN, and JISC user behaviour projects. Retrieved from

Connaway, L. S., Dickey, T. J., & Radford, M. L. (2011). "If it is too inconvenient I'm not going after it": Convenience as a critical factor in information-seeking behaviors. Library & Information Science Research, 33(3) 179-190.

Connaway, L. S., Lanclos, D., White, D. S., Le Cornu, A., & Hood, E. M. (2012). User-centered decision making: A new model

for developing academic library services and systems. IFLA 2012 Conference Proceedings, August 11-17, Helsinki, Finland.

Connaway, L. S., & Powell, R. R. (2010). Basic research methods for librarians. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.

Connaway, L. S., Radford, M. L., & OCLC Research. (2011). Seeking synchronicity: Revelations and recommendations for virtual reference. Dublin, Ohio: OCLC Research.

Connaway, L.S., White, D., & Lanclos, D. (2011). Proceedings of the 74th ASIS&T Annual Meeting, 48. “Visitors and residents: What motivates engagement with the digital environment?” Silver Spring, MD: Richard B. Hill.

Cool, C., & Spink, A. (2002). Issues of context in information retrieval (IR): An introduction to the special issue. Information Processing and Management: An International Journal, 38(5), 605-611.

Dempsey, L. (2008). Always on: Libraries in a world of permanent connectivity. First Monday,14(1). Retrieved from

selected bibliography1
Selected Bibliography
  • De Rosa, C. (2005). Perceptions of libraries and information resources: A report to the OCLC membership. Dublin, Ohio: OCLC Online Computer Library Center (p.1-8).
  • Dervin, B., Connaway, L. S., & Prabha, C. (2003-2005). Sense-making the information confluence: The hows and the whys of college and university user satisficing of information needs. Funded by the Institute for Museums and Library Services (IMLS). Retrieved from
  • DeSantis, N. (2012 January 6). On Facebook, Librarian Brings 2 Students From the Early 1900s to Life. Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from
  • Geertz, C. (1973). The interpretation of cultures: selected essays. New York: Basic Books, 6.
  • Gilster, P. (1997). Digital literacy. New York: Wiley.
  • Glaser, B.G., & Strauss, A. L. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory; strategies for qualitative research. Chicago: Aldine Pub. Co., 273.
  • Helsper, E. J. & Eynon, R. (2009). “Digital natives: Where is the evidence?” British Educational Research Journal, 36(3), 503–520.
  • Holton, D. (2010, March 19). The digital natives/digital immigrants distinction is dead or at least dying. [Web log comment]. EdTechDev . Retrieved from
selected bibliography2
Selected Bibliography
      • Kennedy, G., Judd, T. & Dalgarno, B. (2010). “Beyond natives and immigrants: Exploring types of net generation students,” Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 26(5), 332–343.
  • Kvale, S. (1996). IntervVews: an introduction to qualitative research interviewing. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications, 133-135.
  • Lankshear, C. & Knobel, M. (Eds.) (2008). Digital literacies: Concepts, policies and practices. New York: Peter Lang.
  • Margaryan, A. & Littlejohn, A. (2008). Are digital natives a myth or reality?: Students’ use of technologies for learning. Retrieved from, accessed 15 August 2010.
  • McKenzie, J. (2007). Digital nativism, digital delusions, and digital deprivation. From Now On: The Educational Technology Journal, 17 (2). Retrieved from\
  • Prensky, M. (2001a). Digital natives, digital immigrants. On the Horizon, 9(5). Retrieved from,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf
  • Prensky, M. (2001b). “Do they really think differently?” On the Horizon, 9(5). Retrieved from,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part2.pdf
  • Radford, M. L., & Connaway, L. S. (2005-2007). Seeking synchronicity: Evaluating virtual reference services from user, non-user, and librarian perspectives. Funded by the Institute for Museums and Library Services (IMLS). Retrieved from
      • Radford, M. L., & Connaway, L. S. (2010). “I stay away from the unknown, I guess.” Measuring impact and understanding critical factors for millennial generation and adult non-users of virtual reference services. In online proceedings of the Fifth Annual iConference. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, February 3-6, 2010.
selected bibliography3
Selected Bibliography
  • Stoerger, S. (2009). The digital melting pot: Bridging the digital native–immigrant divide. First Monday, 14(7). Retrieved from
  • Wasserman, S. (2012, June 18). The Amazon effect. The Nation. Retrieved from
      • White, D. S., & Le Cornu, A. (2011). Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement. First Monday,16(9). Retrieved from
      • White, D. (2008, April 23). Not ‘Natives’ & ‘Immigrants’ but ‘Visitors’ & ‘Residents. [Web log comment]. TALL Blog: Online Education with the University of Oxford. Retrieved from
      • White, D. S., & Connaway, L. S. (2011-2012). Visitors and residents: What motivates engagement with the digital information environment. Funded by JISC, OCLC, and Oxford University. Retrieved from
      • Whyte, W.F. (1979). On Making the Most of Participant Observation. The American Sociologist14 , 56-66.
The researchers would like to thank Alyssa Darden for her assistance in team activities and preparing this presentation.