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Evolution of Library Ethnography Studies :: Susan Gibbons, Yale University

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A presentation given at the RLUK Members' Meeting 2015

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Evolution of Library Ethnography Studies :: Susan Gibbons, Yale University

  1. 1. EVOLUTION OF LIBRARY ETHNOGRAPHY STUDIES Susan Gibbons University Librarian & Deputy Provost Yale University
  2. 2. BEGINNINGS: UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER Anthropologist in the Library Work-Practice Methodology  Xerox PARC (David Lindahl)  Anthropologist (Nancy Fried Foster) 2003-04: Faculty work practices (institutional repositories) 2004-06: Undergraduate students (research & writing papers) 2006-08: Graduate students (dissertations) 2008-09: How people search (eXtensible Catalog) 2009-10: Science library buildings in digital age 2010-12: Undergraduate students
  3. 3. ANTHROPOLOGIST IN THE LIBRARY Goals  Real vs. Perceived User Needs  How can we improve our services, digital presence and physical facilities?  Adapt to the changing needs of our usersQuestio n Methods Data Gatherin g Findings Change
  4. 4. 2 EXAMPLES Undergraduates  Paper research and writing Graduate students  Dissertation process
  5. 5. BLACK BOX QUESTION Improve library support of undergraduates What makes an “A” paper? Faculty angle. What happens between assignment of research paper and completed paper?
  6. 6. METHODS Retrospective Interviews Volunteer students “Shadowed” throughout semester Interviews
  7. 7. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Helicopter_WikiWorld.png
  8. 8. FRESHMEN ORIENTATION flickr.com/photos/tompagenet/22883
  9. 9. WRITING & RESEARCH Not a linear process Student can’t always recognize where their problem is Research Write Polish Paper Tools Research Writing
  10. 10. YALE- PERSONAL LIBRARIAN PROGRAM
  11. 11. 2 EXAMPLES Undergraduates  Paper research and writing Graduate students  Dissertation process
  12. 12. DISSERTATION QUESTION Improve library support of graduate students What are the barriers to successful dissertation completion? Rochester- all disciplines Yale- humanities focus
  13. 13. METHODS InSitu Interviews  Show us where and how you work
  14. 14. SIMILAR FINDINGS (ROCHESTER & YALE) Magical summer Timing of introduction to research tools Human networks •How can librarians be a part of the network?
  15. 15. ROCHESTER FINDING- SPACE Ideal library space for graduate students No undergraduate students Solitary, but with others Variety of seating/tasks Lots of outlets, good lighting
  16. 16. METHODS Design charettes  Draw in detail your ideal library space
  17. 17. YALE FINDING- SPECIAL COLLECTIONS Understanding archival research Paleography challenges How to use other special collections/archives
  18. 18. NEW UNDERSTANDINGS Barriers to entry need to be lowered Blending of academic & social Importance of physical spaces Symbolic Neutral Technology & literature intertwined Defined by our services Embrace experimentation Tolerance of change & failure
  19. 19. MORE INFORMATION
  20. 20. ANTHROLIB

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