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Image Search And Uw Art Students


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Image Search And Uw Art Students

  1. 1. Ku r iger 1 Greta Ku riger L IS 560 Assignment 1 – I mage search and art students at UW 10/19/2009 The focus of this paper is the user group undergraduate studio art students at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle, WA. The School of Art at the UW consists of the following majors: Interdisciplinary visual arts (IVA), painting and drawing, photography, and 3D4M which includes ceramics, glass, public art, and sculpture. These are students with access to a large research university library system as well as a world class public library system in Seattle. The goal of this paper is present findings about what art students are searching for, where they are searching, and if they would benefit from instruction on search strategies and resources. One of the learning goals for all the majors in the School of Ar t is “to research, question, organize and synthesize information about existing ideas and practices”1. Since finding and using information is given such a prominent place in the learning goals of the School of Ar t i t would follow that library use would be encouraged unfortunately by examining some of the pages for each major it is clear the library is not the first place students are sent to look for information. One indication is found in a “suggested readings” link appearing on the IVA webpage.2 The list found on this page links students to encouraging students to start searches for art books at a for-profit site rather 1 ht tp:// 1 2 2
  2. 2. Ku r iger 2 than at the University’s own library. Also at the IVA webpage under “resources” students are provided with links to many appropriate information sources including email list-serves and the School of Art sponsored “Go Post” bulletin board as well as resources in the Seattle community on museums, classes, and funding opportunities.3 Each major has i ts own page with a “resources” link, the IVA was the only one with an active “suggested reading” list. Out of the four majors it was only the photography webpage that supplied a link to the School of Ar t Library. This immediately tells one that the libraries at UW and in Seattle are not seen as an important source for studio art students to find information relevant to their needs. This may be due to a lack of knowledge about the resources found at the libraries, or that art students information needs are being met elsewhere. Analysis on information needs: There have been many previous studies on the information needs of art students. Some invaluable sources for understanding the art student user group comprise of the following papers with copious li terature reviews: William S. Hemmig’s The Information- Seeking Behavior of Visual Artists: a L iterature Review (2008), and Visick, R., Hendrickson, J., and Bowman, C.’s Seeking Information Dur ing the Creative Process – a Pilot Study of Artists (2006). A number of important findings are summarized in these papers including what art students are looking for in terms of subjects, how art students locate information, what types of materials are used most often, and what type of library is favored. In terms of subjects art students are found to be very interested in subjects other than art. They usually locate information by browsing, having only a vague topic or subject 3 ht tp:// 3
  3. 3. Ku r iger 3 interest. This may lead to more use of other libraries besides the art library which only provides access to one topic. I t was found that the type of library most preferred was an artist’s personal library but that students also rely heavily on academic libraries. When students are looking for art related information current magazines are a substantial draw for finding out about t rends. In general, art students seek out information mainly for inspiration, techniques, materials and safety, specific visual information, career and funding, and t rends in the art world. Finding images is a top priority for art students. Browsing in the physical library as opposed to the online catalog is more popular among art students perhaps because it allows more access to visual information. “Artists want to know about the content (subject) of images, how many images there are, and the type: black and white, color, line drawings etc (Gregory 2007).” Unless artists are experts in reading MARC records in the online catalog, the only way they will be able to indentify if a source is pertinent will be to physically examine it. In a survey shown in Visick, Hendrickson, and Bowman’s paper, respondents indicated that books were the most consulted source at 77.1%, online resources were second at 68.8% and journals or magazines third at 53.1%. In the future as students become more comfortable and savvy with regards to what resources are available online and as computers become more advanced in loading times, an in flux in online use is a probable possibility. Visick et al advocate libraries offering more outreach and education with regards to their online resources. In both studies databases were found to be the least popular means of searching for information. Taking the UW library website as an example we can see some possibili ties why this might be the case.
  4. 4. Ku r iger 4 At the UW libraries website there is a page devoted to image databases and resources. This page is not accessible from the UW libraries homepage. I t must be accessed through the homepage by clicking on “more” under the “find it” shortcuts. A new library user may be overwhelmed with the information they fi rst encounter at the library homepage and may never make it to the “more” shortcut unless they are given specific instructions. But once there they may find i t very helpful. The library also has a link to its Delicious account, a popular social bookmarking site. This provides links to t rusted sites beyond the libraries website that provide much better image quality and content than the sites that appear when searches are conducted using a large search engine such as Google Image. From previously conducted research reports we know studio art students are using their academic library, they are mostly searching for images, and they have a predilection for browsing. I believe there is a need for online instruction if more students are going to be confident enough to fully take advantage of the resources their academic library has to offer. Survey: Following are some questions I would use if I was conducting a survey of the user group studio art students at the University of Washington. Question 1 What is your major in the School of Art at the University of Washington? Interdisciplinary Visual Ar ts Painting and Drawing
  5. 5. Ku r iger 5 Photography 3D4M Question 2 What year are you? First / Second / Third / Fourth or more Question 3 Since you have been in the School of Art have you used the UW libraries? Yes / No Question 4 Since you have been in the School of Art have you used the Art Library? Yes / No Question 5 When you use any of the libraries do you usually visit them in person or access them online? In person / Online Question 6 If you have used the libraries in person what have you used them for? (check all that apply) To find a specific book or article to aid in research To browse books To read magazines To use the internet for non library purposes To find images Other? Question 7 If you have used the libraries online what have you used them for? (check all that apply) To see if the library has a specific book or article and then put a hold on it or access it electronically To browse the library’s catalog
  6. 6. Ku r iger 6 To find images via databases such as ARTstor Other: Question 8 Do you want to know more about ways to search / browse the library online? (check all that apply) Yes – especially with the catalog Yes – especially with databases Yes – especially to find images No Other: Question 9 Do you use the internet to find images? Yes / No Question 10 Do you want to know more about where to find images online? Yes / No URL for Catalyst Web survey: ht tps:// Works Cited: Gregory, Tori R. Under- Served or Under-Surveyed: The Information Needs of Studio Art Faculty in the Southwestern United States, Journal of Documentation, Vol. 26 No.2, 2007. Hemmig, William S. The Information-Seeking Behavior of Visual Artists: a L iterature Review, Journal of Documentation, Vol. 64 No. 3, 2008. Visick, R., Hendrickson, J., Bowman, C. (2006), Seeking Information Dur ing the Creative Process – A Pilot Study of Artists, available at: ht tp:// University of Washington Libraries homepage - ht tp:// University of Washington School of Ar t Division of Art - ht tp://
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