OCLC: The Library in the Life of the User

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OCLC Research has published a new compilation, The Library in the Life of the User: Engaging with People Where They Live and Learn, which represents more than a decade of collaborative work studying the information-seeking behaviors of library users.

Compiled and co-authored by Lynn Silipigni Connaway, findings from The Library in the Life of the User articulate the need for the design of future library services to be focused on the library user. The compilation is intended to provide a sequential overview of the findings of user behavior research for librarians, information scientists, and library and information science students and researchers as they think about new ways to provide user-centered library services.

“It is important to think of the library in the life of the user instead of the traditional model of the user in the life of the library,” according to Lorcan Dempsey, Vice President, OCLC Research and Chief Strategist. The findings in these studies illustrate how some library user behaviors have changed as new technologies emerge, while other behaviors remain constant.

Among the findings:

  • People associate the library with books and do not consider the library in relation to online resources or reference services.
  • People may not think of using libraries to get their information because they do not know that the services exist, and some of the existing services are not familiar or do not fit into their workflows.
  • The context and situation of the information need often dictate how people behave and engage with technology.
  • Engagement and relationship building in both the online and physical environments is important for the development of successful and effective services.

The Library in the Life of the User includes a collection of work completed in the OCLC Research user studies theme. It represents more than a decade of work with colleagues from The Ohio State University and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and with Jisc, in collaboration with Oxford University and the University of North Carolina, Charlotte.

Click on report here: The Library in the Life of the User: Engaging with People Where They Live and Learn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Cheryl Ann Peltier-Davis

Cheryl Ann Peltier-Davis is Digital Initiatives, Cataloguing and Metadata Services Librarian at the Alma Jordan Library at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.

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