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Building a User-Centric Web-Based Library Service


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This short presentation highlights some recent and emerging technology that can be used to augment a library's web-based service and provide a higher level of user interaction as well as resource discovery and access.

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Building a User-Centric Web-Based Library Service

  1. 1. Building a user-centric web-based library service Michael Pawlus
  2. 2. Who are the users? <ul><li>Attempts to profile library users has been like trying to hit a moving target </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Academic libraries serve an increasingly diverse user base </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Users choose a search strategy, and a level of effort, based upon their situational needs, and they differentiated between quick and thorough searches (Connaway, Prabha, and Dickey 2006). </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Technology continues to change the needs and preferences of users. </li></ul></ul></ul>Source: Connaway, L. & Dickey, T. (2010) The Digital Information Seeker: Report of the Findings from Selected OCLC, RIN, and JISC User Behaviour Projects
  3. 3. Who are the users? <ul><li>A snapshot: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Using search engines for an information search is the first choice of 89% of all the college student respondents. (DeRosa, 2006) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students predominantly use keyword searches on a “mixture of tools usually including internet search engines, library catalogs and specialist databases” (Hampton-Reeves, et al., 2009) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The end user’s experience of the delivery of wanted items is as important, if not more important, than his or her discovery experience” (Calhoun, 2009) </li></ul></ul>Source: Connaway, L. & Dickey, T. (2010) The Digital Information Seeker: Report of the Findings from Selected OCLC, RIN, and JISC User Behaviour Projects
  4. 4. Who is the user? <ul><li>A snapshot (continued): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Participants indicated a desire for more digitized sources of all kinds, including digitization of older literature, sheet music, and art images (Dervin, et al., 2006) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fifty-nine percent of the researchers identified “refining down from a large list of results” as their most common search strategy (RIN, 2006) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thirty-six percent of survey respondents believed that “more links to online content/full text” was the “most helpful” change to identify a needed item in the catalog (Calhoun, 2009) </li></ul></ul>Source: Connaway, L. & Dickey, T. (2010) The Digital Information Seeker: Report of the Findings from Selected OCLC, RIN, and JISC User Behaviour Projects
  5. 5. Who is the user? <ul><li>A common thread: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ There has been a sharp fall over the past five years in the number of researchers who visit their institution’s library regularly” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Convenience is a major factor in this choice. Location, opening hours, noise levels, etc. are aspects of convenience </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Empirical data supported “ convenience ” as the most important factor in choosing among information sources. Ninety-seven percent (n=143) of VRS users surveyed rated this feature as “very important” or “important,” with 74% (n=101) citing availability after hours (Radford, and Connaway 2008, p. 7). </li></ul></ul>Source: Connaway, L. & Dickey, T. (2010) The Digital Information Seeker: Report of the Findings from Selected OCLC, RIN, and JISC User Behaviour Projects
  6. 6. Who is the user? <ul><li>A common thread: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information seekers value familiarization, convenience , currency, and authority, and embody these values in their search strategies and behaviors; therefore, many information seekers, regardless of academic demographics tended to demonstrate a “heavy reliance on Google and other web information sources” (Prabha, et al., 2006). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Convenience is a major factor in e-book usage. “Online access” was cited by 52% of survey respondents (N=11,763, n=6,169) as the most important advantage of e-books; “searchability” (13.2%, n=1,556) is the second most cited advantage of e-books compared to print books (JISC and UCL, 2009). </li></ul></ul>Source: Connaway, L. & Dickey, T. (2010) The Digital Information Seeker: Report of the Findings from Selected OCLC, RIN, and JISC User Behaviour Projects
  7. 7. Library Anywhere Library Every Way
  8. 8. The Library Anywhere, Every Way User Base <ul><li>Diverse in terms of comfort with technology, device ownership, and search strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Each user has a diverse set of search strategies which are situation-dependent </li></ul><ul><li>New technology causes a continued diversification of user preference </li></ul>
  9. 9. Library Anywhere <ul><li>Desktop Delivery/Remote Access </li></ul><ul><li>Rendering the complete library experience on the user's browser </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discovery Layers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Allow the users to access all collections </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Virtual Bookshelf </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Give the user a better chance at serendipitous discovery </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Virtual Reference </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Embed a librarian into the user's browsing experience </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Library Anywhere <ul><li>On the Internet: </li></ul><ul><li>As users browse the Internet, they should be able to find library resources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>COinS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Embedding bibliographic metadata into HTML </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bookmarklets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>JavaScript applications that allow users to discover library resources through client-side modifications to a browser and as a result does not require server-side permissions </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Library Anywhere <ul><li>On Mobile Devices: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>By 2015, U.S. ownership of smart phones will be 162 million – 2/3 of all mobile handsets (Houghton-Jan, 2010) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>58.4% of respondents who owned a web enabled handheld device indicated that they would use small screen devices, such as PDAs or web enabled cell phones to search a library OPAC. (Cummings, et al., 2010) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobile sites need to be redesigned and repurposed sites, not just miniaturized or optimized versions of existing sites </li></ul></ul>Source: Cummings, et al. (2010) “The Use Of Handheld Mobile Devices: Their Impact And Implications For Library Services”. Library Hi Tech, 28 (1), 22-40.
  12. 12. Library Anywhere <ul><li>In the Library: </li></ul><ul><li>Through the use of mobile technology, augmented reality browsers can expose hidden data layers based on geographic metadata </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Builds on the layers of Google Earth and geotagging services like foursquare </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Current projects include Layar and Wikitude </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Possible Uses: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Show computers that are currently available (Oregon State University) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Create a Google Maps like cluster of search results </li></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Library Every Way <ul><li>Enhanced browsability: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Open source web technologies can be leveraged to increase the chance of serendipitous discovery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>jQuery Auto-complete can create suggestions that the user may not have considered </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Virtual Shelf can allow for increased browsability </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Recommendations such as “People who borrowed this item also borrowed...” can provide different avenues to resources </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Term suggestion, faceted search, click tracker </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Clutter can be alleviated with collapsible menus </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Library Every Way <ul><li>Customizable, Integrated Library: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>According to a Tellabs survey conducted by The Nielsen Company, two-thirds of mobile users around the globe are interested in “smart” services that would feed them information based on personal preferences, location, time of day and social setting. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using RSS Feeds and Twitter hashtags, users can pull out just the library content that they want. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allowing users to control what they see means that options are available for users but are out of their way when they are no longer needed. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Library Every Way <ul><li>Discovery-to-Delivery </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Users not only want a discovery layer that makes it easy for them to find all relevant material, they also want to have quick, convenient access to that material. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This may mean providing links to external content that is not in the University’s collection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Coalitions can help provide more access to all students </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Also, provisions need to be taken to ensure that </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>back files of journals are kept even if a subscription is canceled </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Advocate for open access and against exclusive contracts </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Getting It Done <ul><li>A More Semantic Web </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Better metadata </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Constantly improving shared XML Schemas </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Creating an XSL Library for easier crosswalks </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Open Source Projects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Benefits from community development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>People to contact, good documentation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Modular projects built on open standards means better integration with other applications </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Community Building </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sharing ideas with others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Getting feedback from our users </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Conclusion <ul><li>Users are placing increasing demands upon libraries </li></ul><ul><li>Increased challenges means more opportunities. </li></ul><ul><li>Librarian community is ready to answer the challenge </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible, adaptable, innovative designs will keep libraries relevant for a long time to come. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Thank You!