Kuhlthau: Six stage information search process, uncertainty-optimism-confusion frustration doubt-clarity-confidence-satisfaction/disappointment
Online Finding Aids
An Analysis of Joyner Library’s Manuscripts and Archives Collection Guides Interface:Implications for Archival Management & Patron Access Michelle Belden April 30, 2012
Implications for Archival Management One of the primary aims of archival management: Enable and promote the use of our materials High quality interface to high quality descriptions enables patrons to find information without going through staff, saving time- However, will also create more demand! However, reference staff time better spent! And, increased use is good for funding requests!
Archival Management Implications, Cont’d - Data Management? Not sure of internal systems Not sure of reports from this FA platform But, possibly enables tracking of: Access Restrictions Copyright Restrictions Reference statistics (Aeon?) Online user statistics (Google Analytics?)
Selected Readings re: Finding Aid Usability Conway, Paul. "Understanding the Users of Traditional Archival Collections: Implications for Digital Library Design." 1996 Workshop. http://is.gseis.ucla.edu/research/dig_libraries/conway.html Hutchinson, Timothy. “Strategies for Searching Online Finding Aids: A Retrieval Experiment.” Archivaria 44 (Fall 1997): 72–101. Meissner, Dennis. “First Things First: Reengineering Finding Aids for Implementation of EAD.” American Archivist 60.4 (Fall/Winter 1997): 372-387. Craig, Barbara L. “Old Myths in New Clothes: Expectations of Archives Users.”Archivaria 45 (Spring 1998): 118-126. Duff, Wendy and P. Stoyanova. “Transforming the Crazy Quilt: Archival Displays from a User’s Point of View.” Archivaria 45 (Spring 1998): 44-79. Altman, Burt and John R. Nemmers. “The Usability of On-line Archival Resources: The Polaris Project Finding Aid.” American Archivist 64 (Spring/Summer 2001): 121-131. Gilliland-Swetland, Anne J. “Popularizing the Finding Aid: Exploiting EAD to Enhance Online Discovery and Retrieval in Archival Information Systems by Diverse User Groups.” Journal of Internet Cataloging 4 (2001): 199-225. Szary, R. V. “Encoded finding aids as a transforming technology in archival reference service.” In: Encoded Archival Description on the Internet. Haworth Information Press, 2001. English, Jennifer and Marti Heast, Rashmi Sinha, Kristen Swearingen, Ka-Ping Yee. “Hierarchical Faceted Metadata in Site Search Interfaces.” CHI 2002, April 20-25, 2002, Minneapolis. Published by ACM in 2004. Hill, Amanda. “Serving the invisible researcher: meeting the needs of online users.” Journal of the Society of Archivists 25.2 (October 2004): 139-148. Prom, Christopher J. "User Interactions with Electronic Finding Aids in a Controlled Setting." American Archivist 67. 2 (2004): 234-68. Yakel, Elizabeth. "Encoded Archival Description: Are Finding Aids Boundary Spanners or Barriers for Users?" Journal of Archival Organization 2 (2004): 63-77. Cornish, Alan Kevin; Bond, Trevor James. “Developing and sustaining the Northwest Digital Archives.” Journal of Digital Information 9. 2 (2008). Chapman, Joyce Celeste. “Observing Users: An Empirical Analysis of User Interaction with Online Finding Aids.” Journal of Archival Organization 8. 1 (Jan 2010): 4-30. Daniels , Morgan G. and Elizabeth Yakel. “Seek and You May Find: Successful Search in Online Finding Aid Systems.” American Archivist 73.2 (Fall/Winter 2010): 535-568.
General Guidelines for a Collections Guide Interface: Keep it simple Remove barriers Provide help Serve novices as well as experts Get and stay connected Keep making it better
Keep it simple Uncluttered Google-like search Familiar layouts/mechanisms Example, top navigation bar
Remove barriers Finding aids can be hard to find Link SC from library homepage Put FA search on SC homepage Submit FA site to Google for indexing Link from sites like Wikipedia, ArchivesGrid Promote FA site through library PR, on listservs, at conferences Finding aids can be hard to read Expand/contract sections Try to avoid jargon Use consistent and intuitive structure
Provide help Remember Kuhlthau: research is an emotional process Provide consistent context Identify repository (user probably dropped in from Google) Table of contents, with current location highlighted Move from general to specific Provide summaries/previews Think about glossaries/thesauri/suggested vocabularies Provide guidance on archival research Access does not usually end online! Options to print and email finding aids Always let them contact a human expert
Get and Stay Connected Link finding aids to each other Link finding aids, catalog records, digital projects, website[“Next-gen” catalog interface to search all the above] Link to collections at other libraries/archives
Finding aid sites people like Harvardhttp://oasis.lib.harvard.edu/oasis/deliver/advancedsearch?_collection=oasis Yalehttp://drs.library.yale.edu:8083/fedoragsearch/rest Columbiahttp://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/archival/advanced.html Online Archive of Californiahttp://oac.cdlib.org Northwest Digital Archiveshttp://nwda.orbiscascade.org/ Polar Bear Expedition Digital Collectionshttp://quod.lib.umich.edu/p/polaread/ ECU compares well to all of these.
SC linked from library homepage Search linked from SC homepage Google has you indexed Cat records link to FAs which link to digital collections Uncluttered search page Google-like search Search tips right there Simple, consistent top nav bar Separate advanced (faceted) search Separate browse, including creators and subjects
The Guides Themselves Sections are consistent, well-labeled, expand/contract Tabs keep information organized, not overwhelming Links to repository on every finding aid Clickable Table of Contents Search in page with highlighted hits Consistent link to help page Print option
BONUS AWESOME Geographic browse! What is this page! Requesting materials! Translations! Intriguing: Adding notes Leaving feedback
Suggestions FIX LINK to SC from FA home & http://www.ecu.edu/ecu/libraries.php Homepage: Better idea of mission, more welcoming, HELP on TOP NAV Also, links to ECU/library/SC/Digital Collections on top could be more visible Possible to group more specific subjects under general headings so as to make browsing by subject less daunting? (Ex. African-American 20, Agriculture ~40) Provide abstract as mouseover on titles? [See: Netflix, Audible] I would suggest being able to limit search by date range and format TOC highlight where you are in finding aid? Option to email finding aid Mobile app? Link FAs to each other & collections at other SCLs Look for new ways to promote/get the word out
HELP Link to Get Help from guides goes to general help/contact page People are finding your guides via Google, help get them from the guides to the reading room- Help them understand why SC is different, and make it less intimidating Consolidate resources in one pointer page? RBM has User’s Guide http://www.ecu.edu/cs-lib/spclcoll/upload/Users-Guide- Final-2011-2012-2.pdf NCC has libguides & video tutorials http://www.ecu.edu/cs-lib/ncc/ncctutorials.cfm http://www.ecu.edu/cs-lib/ncc/guideslist.cfm Might want to consider general “Using Special Collections” resource (see example next slide) What about a suggested terms, thesaurus
Also, look to the patrons Web analytics Visitor characteristics When they come, from where, what browsers, mobile? Traffic Referers, keywords, paths Content effectiveness Page views, bounce rates More advanced- Goals/conversions
User Studies Who needs to be included in planning/conducting? Types: think aloud, persona, card sort, focus group, etc. User groups and tasks IRB/funding/recruitment Online Finding Aids Metrics Toolkit: http://archivalmetrics.cms.si.umich.edu/node/6