The Changing Role of LibrariesEthnographic Approaches to Understanding Students Andrew Asher Lynda Duke Assessment Librarian Academic Outreach Librarian Indiana University Bloomington Illinois Wesleyan University
How do students find and use information for their academic assignments?Assignment ? Complete Paper
What is the social contexts of these assignments? Students Librarians Teaching Faculty
The ERIAL Project 9 Data Collection Methods 719 Research Contacts (over 600 unique participants)
The ERIAL Project 280 Semi-structured Ethnographic Interviews 49 Librarians 75 Faculty Members 156 Students 60 Research Process Interviews
Research Process Interviews7 Detail of students’ actual practices. Effects of information literacy problems. Revealed issues hidden by quantitative data.
Retrospective Research Interviews EvaluationAssignment Search and Discovery Getting Help
Closing the Loop: Illinois Wesleyan UniversityDiscovery Tool January – Dec. 2011: 56,027 sessions 43,796 FT downloads January – Dec. 2012: 66,065 sessions 53,063 FT downloads
Closing the Loop: Illinois Wesleyan University Response from teaching faculty Reference vs. research Service points Research sessions Mellon Grant Admissions Future research
Discovery Tools Implementation
How do students use these tools? 86 students participating 41 IWU 46 Bucknell Qualitative and quantitative measures of search practices
Methods 5 Test Groups Summon EDS Google Scholar “Conventional” Library Catalog No tool 4 Research Tasks Find 2 sources per task Evaluated using a 0-3 scoring rubric by instructional librarians Debriefing Interview Open-ended questions on search practices and evaluation processes
Google structures expectations Single search box Simple keyword search
(Almost) Every search is a Google search:Overall, simple search was used 82% of the time.
“I basically throw whatever I want into thesearch box and hope it comes up. . . .But it’s like Google and I use it likeGoogle. I don’t know how to use it anyother way.” --Junior inNursing
Constructing a Search “Too much information”Simple Search “Not enough information” Students iterate search rather than refine “Magic” Search Terms Poorer quality search terms
92% of the resources utilized werefound on the first page of search results.
Search Evaluation Cursory evaluation of sources Eclectic, and sometimes inaccurate, methods of evaluation Assumption that if information is not easily found then it must not exist “Apparently you don’t have much on Rock and Roll” --First Year in French
What a tool searches determines what students use:
Usage of selected newspaper databases at Bucknell, 2009-2011. 2009 Click- 2010 Click- Usage increase 2011 Click- Usage increase throughs throughs compared to 2009 throughs compared to 2009 ProQuest National 131 1,475 1026% 918 601% Newspapers Premier Ethnic NewsWatch 60 562 837% 481 702%ABI/INFORM Trade & 28 220 686% 107 282% Industry Americas Historical 15 101 573% 24 60%Newspapers, 1690-1922LexisNexis Academic 1,280 6,977 445% 5,233 309% Total, All Databases 49,886 90,854 82% 89,116 79%
Search EpistemologyDe facto outsourcing of evaluation to the search algorithm itself. Brand Bias Default Bias Trust Bias
An Ethnographic Project Assessme nt Data Evaluation/ ResearchData Collection Processing Data Analysis Recommendatio Question n Research Question
For more information:E-mail:email@example.com@iwu.eduTwitter: @aasherWebsite: www.erialproject.orgToolkit: www.erialproject.org/publications/toolkit/Discovery Paper: http://crl.acrl.org/content/early/2012/05/07/crl-374.full.pdf+htmlBook: College Libraries and Student Culture (ALA Editions, 2012)