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Using Ethnographic Methods in the Library

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A workshop for academic librarians on using qualitative methods for user assessment and research in the library. Part 2 focuses on exploring the range of ethnographic methods and framework available to researchers.

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Using Ethnographic Methods in the Library

  1. 1. Using Ethnographic Methods in the Library QUALITATIVE METHODS IN THE LIBRARY, PART 2 JANUARY 2017 CELIA EMMELHAINZ – ANTHROPOLOGY LIBRARIAN – UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA BERKELEY
  2. 2. Image: contextualresearch.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/the-ethnographic-research-cycle.png
  3. 3. Stages of qualitative research: Develop an anthropological question Lit review and conversations for focus Choose a method Choose a sampling strategy Collect data ethically Analyze data by coding for themes Share results and apply in your communities Isaacs (2014) “An Overview of Qualitative Research Methodology for Public Health Researchers,” p. 318-21
  4. 4. Methodological frameworks Phenomenology: how do humans make meaning? Ethnography: what’s going on in this setting or culture? Institutional Ethnography: how do people act in organizations? Grounded Theory: how can I build insight from data? Discourse Analysis: what do people do with language?
  5. 5. Methods: getting into their world
  6. 6. Physical / online trace ethnography Trace ethnography of the Grove City Public Library, Ohio; images by Celia Emmellhainz.
  7. 7. Digital observation
  8. 8. (Image from Judi Briden, “Photo Surveys,” (p. 40-47), in Foster & Gibbons 2007, Studying Students) Patron diaries (photo, audio, video, text)
  9. 9. (Image: Donna Lanclos, http://www.donnalanclos.com/?p=21 ) Cognitive mapping
  10. 10. Exercise 1: Mapping Draw a map of your day across campus or your library. (five minutes)
  11. 11. Focus groups
  12. 12. Interviews
  13. 13. (Image of fieldnotes: Dunne 2016, dx.doi.org/10.1080/13614533.2016.1168747; image of librarians by Celia Emmelhainz) Participant observation (fieldnotes)
  14. 14. 2: Surprise! Participant Observation / Recall Write several spatial or social dynamics you’ve observed in this workshop so far. (five minutes)
  15. 15. Oral history and narratives
  16. 16. Pile sorts Image: www.uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2014/12/revisiting-the-pile-sort-method-of-user-research.php)
  17. 17. Social network or relational charts
  18. 18. Document / ephemera analysis
  19. 19. Exercise 3: Methods Write one or two methods that stand out as useful for your research question. (three minutes)
  20. 20. Ideas for sampling Convenience: who can I get easily? Snowball sampling: unlisted or hard to reach people Homogenous: shared characteristics in depth Deviant: focus on the extremes Maximum variation: diversity of views Quota sampling: sample from a known population Theoretical sampling: select to answer questions well
  21. 21. Exercise 4: Sampling Write down a sampling strategy that may work for your research. (two minutes)
  22. 22. Questions & Feedback

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