User studies in library and information science pdf
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- Understanding the user : Why, what and how ?
- South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science
- Library user studies for strategic planning
- Library and information science
Library and information science LIS sometimes given as the plural library and information sciences   is a branch academic disciplines that deal generally with organization, access, and collection of information, whether in physical for example, art or digital form. In the last part of the s, schools of librarianship , which generally developed from professional training programs not academic disciplines to university institutions during the second half of the 20th century, began to add the term "information science" to their names.
Understanding the user : Why, what and how ?
Download PDF. A short summary of this paper. Also a short presentation of research methods and basic philosophical assumptions is included. All rights reserved. Three basic attitudes towards LIS Some colleagues in Schools of Library and Information Science are very busy teaching issues such as the Internet, information storage and retrieval, bibliography, thesauri, computer issues etc.
It is common in schools of library and information science to give practical instructions in the use of information sources and information technology. This does not E-mail address: bh db. A third group of people is engaged in library, documentation, and information studies or science as a research area in its own right.
We are very few in numbers, both in a single LIS- school and cumulated on the international scene. Floyd and Phillips documents, that authors writing in LIS journals have very little time to do research. She or he can at one time engage more in one kind of these activities and at another time in one of the other kinds. Broad cultural knowledge.
Knowledge about the philosophy and sociology of science. Economic and administrative knowledge 1 Although some of them may hope that one day they will have time to concentrate on such theoretical problems, and some deep understanding will reveal itself, and they will succeed in becoming researchers. Knowledge about information technology IT. Language and communication skills.
And much more Such kinds of knowledge are required in information work, and are often taught at schools of LIS. It can also be a serious dilemma to concentrate on narrow research problems because practice demands broad knowledge of many kinds. The other dimension concerns the attempt to develop a generalist competence vs a specialist competence.
General librarians, however, adopted a form-oriented strategy by trying to produce a completely satisfactory library catalogue by utilizing computers. Olsson's model for professional strategies. Generalists on form are, for example, those who can develop and design new library and information systems. In this case it is the opinion of Olsson that the technical interest among librarians is too small and that a conversion of the profession is necessary if this strategy is going to be fruitful.
Librarians as well as documentalists have also aimed at a content-oriented expertise. Because the LIS-profession is an academic profession, subject-specialism has been regarded as a natural way to receive status as an expert. In her view this strategy is doomed to fail. As an example we can see that many kinds of content-oriented generalizations are possible, but they are not mentioned in her book.
However, her model is very thought-provocative and inspiring and I intend to use it for further analysis of the developing strategies for the LIS-profession.
Overall, small libraries and small information systems therefore tend to be less professional compared to the big ones. Small libraries and information systems can, however, also be specialized and highly professional. You will never become a specialist in Chinese medicine by studying China and medicine as two separate subject areas.
In a similar way, you will never 5 As documentation of the trend towards information management, Olsson provides references to Svenonius and Witthus ; Garoogian , to the development at Berkeley University in California Anon.
In this regard, libraries are more like educational institutions. At the lower levels teachers tend to be educated as teachers with some degree of subject specialism, whereas at the higher levels, teachers tend to be educated in a subject area, with some additional courses in educational methods.
Besides it is also a question of what should be understood by the study of information as pure form, in abstraction from all content. The parallel to education is to develop knowledge about the teaching of mathematics, music, chemistry, etc. In Fig. We shall shortly comment upon the four quartiles in the model.
The specialized content-oriented function corresponds to the function as discipline or subject specialist. It is handled by traditional research librarians, documentalists and subject specialists including some librarians in major public libraries; typical here is, for example, the role as music librarian.
In my opinion, these people are not specialists in the same way as, for example, scientists or scholars at universities: They have an identity of their own with a much broader grasp of a whole domain, its information producers, communication channels, databases, subject language, user groups etc. It would be much better to describe them as domain-generalists.
The generalized content-oriented function corresponds to a broader education which is typically represented by a general cultural worker or envoy in a public library. A work such as Whitley The Intellectual and social organisation of the sciences could serve as an example of such generalized content- oriented knowledge. However, the role as general knowledge workers is seen rather seldom in research libraries, information centers and elsewhere. This is the role of librarians and information specialists who are not narrowly delimited to a single discipline, but to a superordinal area such as business and management, the media-sector, the health sector or the librarians who have a broad specialization in either the humanities, the social sciences, science or technology.
The real experts in this area are computer scientists, engineers, systems planners, etc. Formalist theories have obtained outstanding results and general computer science is a very desirable expertise.
However, the form-oriented knowledge tends to develop into a specialization which essentially concerns the content. The specialized form-oriented function occupies itself with, for example, work of standardization, rules for describing documents in databases and formatting.
As in the generalized form-oriented function important standards and procedures exist. Such standards and procedures can be important to know and to develop further. However, also in this case, a theory of pure form will rapidly encounter its limits.
Standardization should not be regarded as a constraint imposed on a content, but as something generalized. The job-functions typically related to the essential of competence of librarians, documentalists and information specialists concern information seeking in databases, on the Internet, in libraries, etc. As shown in Fig. Some LIS-disciplines placed in Olsson's model. This is in my opinion typical of the essential competences of the profession. In my opinion the central subjects are related to both form and content.
Bibliography thus is most form-oriented in national bibliography, but most content-oriented when it comes to a theory of subject-bibliography and search strategies in online retrieval. Reference work is generally more content related than bibliography.
The term library science German: Bibliothekswissenschaft goes back to a textbook by Martin Schrettinger, , cf. In Library 8 Schrader , p. Information science is concerned with the generation, collection, organization, interpretation, storage, retrieval, dissemination, transformation and use of information, with particular emphasis on the applications of modern technologies in these areas.
It has both pure science theoretical components, which inquire into the subject without regard to application, and applied science practical components, which develop services and products. It implies that information is a thing, which can be produced, stored, transformed, and used. It has an implicit conception of information as being documents. This is not in accordance with the most recognized the- ories of information. It is much more common to look at information as some change in the receiver's knowledge or uncertainty.
Such subject specialist mostly has a master's degree or PhD in a subject e. Implicitly they often operated from a background in subject knowledge but this was not at that time developed into some kind of theoretical view.
One strategy has been to concentrate on IT-issues. Another strategy have been to psychologize e. More on this in the section about theory.
My answer is yes. The same is also the case with other professions. It is important to develop a body of general and respected knowledge in LIS, but such knowledge should be based on a realistic philosophy, not on ideologies constructed to suit some unrealistic dreams. Charles A. Henry E.
UDC 1st edn. Statistic approach. Belkin, P. Ingwersen, etc. Natural language processing; Linguistic approaches 5. Research on the relative role of terms vs references in information retrieval.
Research on the semantic relations between citing and cited papers. Research on citer motivation. Research on sociological patterns in citing 5.
Document composition studies.
South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science
Public libraries are indispensable institutions that contribute towards the socio-economic development of every citizen in every country by providing access to information. In South Africa, the provision of access to information through public libraries was marred by the inequalities of the apartheid laws. In order to address past injustices regarding access to information, the government of today, through the Department of Arts and Culture, is committed to allocating an annual library conditional grant to all the nine provinces to build and develop new and already existing public libraries, respectively. This study investigated the information needs of people who use these newly built and developed public libraries and information centres in Limpopo Province. The questionnaire was distributed to the library users of selected public libraries in Limpopo Province to collect information about their basic information needs and expectations. The results showed that the majority of public libraries and information services users in Limpopo Province are the youth and young adults, who specifically use these libraries and information services for study space and accessing the internet.
In the turbulent times of growing requirements to performance of public sector institutions and rapidly changing economic situation, libraries turn to more rigorous analysis of their activities to develop strategies for thriving. An important pre-requisite for developing an effective strategy is a comprehensive knowledge of the state-of-the-art of library activities. A researcher of organizational learning Peter Senge emphasizes interaction between a vision and strategic analysis that produces creative tension when creating an organizational strategy. Creative tension emerges from a vision of a desirable future and the real situation. The gaps between the two must be realized while looking for decisions that could help closing the gap. The concept of the gap between future visions and present reality that should be closed for best exploitation of the possibilities offered by libraries was guiding the whole study.
Search How to Titles Subjects Organizations. Planning the service 3. Rocio Herrera C. Libia Lotero M. Ivan Rua R. Beginning with an analysis of the role of the university library in the education system and in the information transfer process, and emphasizing the total interaction of the community with the library system and hence library-user interaction, the authors define what a user study is and traces its development in recent decades.
Library user studies for strategic planning
User Studies. DLF respondents devoted the bulk of their discussion to user studies, reflecting the user-centered focus of their operations. Libraries participating in the DLF survey organize, staff, and conduct user studies differently. Some take an ad hoc approach; others use a more systematic approach. Some sites have dedicated staff experts in research methodologies who conduct user studies; others train staff throughout the libraries to conduct user studies.
The joint term is associated with schools of library and information science abbreviated to "SLIS". In the last part of the s, schools of librarianship , which generally developed from professional training programs not academic disciplines to university institutions during the second half of the 20th century, began to add the term "information science" to their names. The first school to do this was at the University of Pittsburgh in Weaver Press: Although there are exceptions, similar developments have taken place in other parts of the world.
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Library and information science
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