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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

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