Information and the Future

This is the blog of the Information and the Future task force of the Rolfing Library at Trinity International University. The IF task force exists to explore the role of libraries in the future of Christian higher education.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

An Anthropologist in the Library

This issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education (Aug. 17, 2007) has a good article on a library that did an anthropological study of students and how they do research. They used the information to redesign the library, their website, and services. Some of their findings were unexpected (for example, they prefer hard chairs and tables to soft, cushy chairs, and that they don't usually carry their laptops with them). They also discovered that parents were helping the students a lot with their research, and therefore the library made more of an effort to reach out to the parents and inform them of their services. For their website, they are making search boxes and other things that students can import to a portal page.

They did say that you can't transfer the results they found to every library. But some of their methodology was interesting as well, and could be imitated.

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