Describe the fundamental concepts of information-seeking behaviors.

Component 1: Statement of Competency

Information seeking behavior studies how users come to needing or wanting information. This process looks at how users desire to seek or gather information to satisfy their needs and wants. “The more we understand the person, the better we can determine what to provide for that individual” (Rubin, 2010, p276). A reference interview is, conducted effectively, will provide this to us through asking the right questions. However, we, information professionals, must understand the concepts of these information-seeking behaviors so that we can ask the right questions. Information seeking behaviors can be understood by asking how, what, where, and why questions.

“Seeking and gathering information is a highly complex process that requires considerable explanation and refinement” (Rubin, 2010, p275). Fundamental concepts to information seeking is the knowledge of how our users are looking for information. What is the drive for the information? Are they looking for information to satisfy an immediate need or are they looking for information to satisfy a deferred need? Rubin explains that the distinction between the two forms of searching “might profoundly affect how a library is used” (Rubin, 2010, p276). If a patron is seeking information they may go directly to the reference desk or circulation desk. If a patron is gathering information, they may browse the stacks noting of books they may want to read or topics they find interesting and not utilize the librarians at all.

I want to discuss now a couple of information seeking theories. First is Kuhlthau’s information search process (ISP). This theory claims that the search process for information takes place in six stages: initiation, selection, exploration, formulation, collection and presentation. In the first three stages (initiation, selection, exploration) the user is developing the purpose for needing information and focusing on what the topic of that purpose is. In these stages the user is in the gathering field where they are gathering information for a deferred need. In stage four, formulation, the user begins the transformation from gatherer to seeker; they have a clear focus and “the seeker begins to evaluate critically the information obtained…discarding what appears to be irrelevant” (Rubin, 2010, p278). In stage five, collection, the user is now seeking information to satisfy an immediate need. The use of a librarian is highest in this stage as the seeker can now clearly articulate the type of information they need. This is a dramatic help for the librarian as most of the guess work is eliminated. The final stage of Kuhlthau’s ISP is stage six, presentation. This is where the user then takes all of the information from stages 1-5 and reports on the information gathered.

The second theory I want to discuss is one I have seen most often working as a reference librarian in the academic field, the principle of least effort. “People seek the most convenient source to meet their needs, even when they know that this source might produce information of lower quality than other sources” (Rubin, 2010, p279). This theory is also one that I believe causes much fret and frustration to librarians, especially since we spend significant amounts of time developing collections of quality information. Search engines have become a go-to source for quick, easy and not always reliable source of information; we see this as the noun became a verb, just “google” it.

One thing to note is how users are searching digital resource repositories like search engines and databases. Acknowledging and understanding the complexity or simplicity of the search process the patrons are using will help us know how they seek or gather information. Search engines have impacted how user think of finding information. Search engines utilize natural language searching, the behavior of the user would be typing in a question, as they would ask a librarian, rather than breaking down the topic through controlled vocabulary. This is important to remember because when patrons come to us for help and say they cannot find any information on their topic, we need to ask where they searched, how they phrased their search and what they are looking for.

Component 2: Justification of Evidence and Evidence:

My first piece of evidence I have included to show my understanding of the competency is an [Exercise2finalwriteup] from Libr244. This piece breaks down my search process for a specific problem, the summary of my behavior in seeking the information I needed to solve the problem. It shows the complexity of my information seeking behavior. It also shows the process of what information seeking (versus information gathering) looks like. This piece of evidence is 51 pages long, however you only need to focus on pages 1-2 for the evidence.

My second piece of evidence I have included is [LIBR202 Project #4 & LIBR202 Project #4 Table] this project addresses a specific topic and analyzes the difference of searching in two different manners, searching the library catalog and searching a database. I included this piece to show how the searching strategy and behavior changes based on the resource used. I have included with this the excel table which shows all of the search terms I used when searching for my topic. The search terms show how even in two controlled vocabulary environments terms the searching behavior evolves very differently based on search results.

My third piece of evidence I have included is a discussion post from Libr210, [when have you provide sufficient information]. This post answers the question, how would you determine *when* you have provided sufficient information in answer to a given reference question. I chose to include this piece of evidence to show my understanding of how the information seeking behavior varies from user to user. Sometime a user only wants one answer, like who won the World Series in 1999.

Conclusion:

Information seeking behavior varies, and with the growth of digital resources and web accessibility they will continue to vary widely. It is up to us to ask the questions to determine what the user is needing and wanting. “We are not supposed to be able to read their minds, we can watch and understand body language but we need to ask questions” (Watkins, Discussion post Libr210).

References:

Rubin, R. E. (2010). The Values and Ethics of Library and Information Science. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc.

Watkins, W. (2012) When have you provided sufficient information? [Discussion Post]. SJSU-SLIS.

Evidence:

LIBR202 Project #4

LIBR202 Project #4 Table

Exercise2finalwriteup

when have you provide sufficient information

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Use the basic concepts and principles related to the selection, evaluation, organization, and preservation of physical and digital items and collections.

Component 1: Statement of Competency

At the heart of a library is its collection. The purpose of this collection is based surely on the library’s mission. “As budgets remain tight, the allocation of scarce resources requires that libraries answer important questions about their primary functions so that they might make these allocations wisely” (Rubin, 2007, p185).

Upon entering the profession many information professionals are presented with an existing collection with in which they must help maintain, build and perfect. The key to maintaining a collection is to remember that the growth of the collection does not mean acquiring only but also shaping it towards the needs/desires of the patrons, weeding the collection of unnecessary items, adding quality material over quantity of material and securing it in the event of a disaster. “They [librarians] maintain the collections by reviewing titles for preservation, replacement, off-site storage, or removal” (Haycock & Sheldon, 2008, p51).

The hardest of these is shaping the collection to fit the needs of the patrons. Over recent years many libraries have adopted what has been referred to as PDAs or Patron Driven Acquisitions. While I worked at an academic library, the library budget has a set amount set aside specifically for PDA requests. I helped process these requests and while occasionally some of the selectors would submit requests through our PDA system, predominantly it was patron centered.

How PDA requests work is the library develops a set of standards for the types of material they want to receive PDA records from vendors. These standards can include publication date, exclusion or inclusion of certain subject material, inclusion/exclusion of material types, classification ranges and format (electronic, physical, serial, hard bound, etcetera). These records then get loaded into the library’s catalog so they are searchable by users and then when a patron clicks on the record of interest, if it is a PDA record they are usually prompted to click on a link (this is presented in the 856 field) that will send the request to the acquisitions department where they will then order the item. This form of collection building helps secure that the purchases (physical or electronic) for the collection are direct requests of the patrons.

Libraries spend a great deal of time and money on building their collections however it is vital that they also spend money on insuring the safety of their collections. They can do this by investing time in ensuring safety of the collection is also related to managing the facility, preservation of material, security of items against theft or crime, and having a disaster plan in place.

Libraries can ensure the safety of the collection by implementing RFID tags in items, security systems in entrance gates, locking down computer towers and securing the system. This will help minimize the possibility of acts of theft to the collection.

The agreement on the preservation of material will prove itself to be difficult as departments may have different ideas of what should and shouldn’t be a priority. Another instance that took place while I was working in an academic library was developing and implementing a new policy on serial subscriptions and binding policies. With electronic resources becoming ever more prevalent and accessible through database subscriptions libraries looking to be e-preferred libraries will look to eliminate print subscriptions, primarily dealing with serials. During this implementation policy there was discussion on which serials in the collection we would for sure continue the subscription to in both print and electronic format; it took several meetings before the decision was made. “A further challenge for managers is the changing nature of collections and service patterns and the accelerating rate of change” (Rubin, 2007, p493).

One of the most important aspects and often last on the list in collection maintenance is what to do in the event of a disaster, natural or not; “Developing such a plan requires time and effort, but is essential” (ibid, p489). Very few libraries have in their budget to maintain a perfect facility; disaster planning and facility management go hand in hand. Keeping the facility in good working order will help avoid unnecessary disasters such as water leaks during hard rain storms because corners were cut in repairing the roof.

When it comes to collection maintenance, development of the collection is priority. It is important to keep in mind the focus of the collection, the purpose of the collection and the quality of the collection. Having a collection of 1.2 million items where 60,000 or more items have not circulated in over 10 years does not maintain the aspect of quality. Weeding, sometimes viewed as a bad word in the library world, is essential is collection maintenance. Having policies in place specifically for the collection development will help make this process less painful and more rewarding for the library.

Component 2: Justification of Evidence and Evidence:

My first piece of evidence I chose to include is a discussion post on the [Disaster_Plan_Cornell]. I briefly reviewed and linked to Cornell University Library’s disaster plan. This piece of evidence shows my understanding of the importance of a disaster plan and having a policy in place as well as my ability to evaluate this policy in strengths and weaknesses.

My second piece of evidence I chose to include is a [Millennium Record Updating Procedures for Serials sent to stacks] I worked on when implementing a new policy into the collection dealing with serials management. This policy work was a collaborative effort with colleagues. I chose this piece of evidence to show my understanding of implementing new policies for collection maintenance. This policy required significant changes in how staff and student workers handled incoming serials as well as processing serials that were being sent to the stacks or removed from the collection based on a retention policy. This also shows my understanding and ability to work with other staff members to coming to an agreement on a policy for maintain the collection.

My final piece of evidence I included is a set of work from my Libr298 special studies course. This evidence includes: metaverse-library-sci-fi-exhibit-may-2013, a list of completed books that I created in the InWorldz Community Library science fiction collection and a list of authors and notations on their published works [ Science Fiction Books]. The magazine highlights the science fiction collection that was created for this particular exhibit. In the magazine on page 50 includes an excerpt about my work with InWorldz and the library collection I helped build. The excel worksheet shows my knowledge of adhering to specific collection standards: science fiction, open access, and if the book was digitized or had audio with it. This project required me and one other student to develop the collection for the library. We researched popular science fiction authors and listed works that either satisfied the criteria for the collection or were main contributors to science fiction and thus should be included in the collection. The word document is a listing of the authors I submitted for approval and the works I recommended we included in the collection.

Conclusion:

Understanding the basics to maintaining a library’s collection is knowledge every library professional should have. The collection is the heart of the library; it is what brings in funding, what brings in patrons, and why the library exists at all. Collection maintenance, development, weeding, preservation, and protection, is an ongoing process that takes precious resources however as the library’s heart, just as our bodies, without it we will cease to exist.

References:

Haycock, K. and Sheldon, B. (2008). The portable MLIS: insights from the experts. Westport: Libraries Unlimited.

Rubin, R. E. (2010). The Values and Ethics of Library and Information Science. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc.

Evidence:

Disaster_Plan_Cornell

Millennium Record Updating Procedures for Serials sent to stacks

metaverse-library-sci-fi-exhibit-may-2013

Science Fiction Books

completed books

Demonstrate understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods and of the evaluation and synthesis of research literature.

Component 1: Statement of Competency

When we think about research we think of the study of materials, articles, data, charts, images, survey responses etc. to help establish a conclusion of a previous unknown fact or to solve some sort of problem. Research is systematic, meaning there is a method of conducting research with an organized plan. This basics of this plan is to start with the development of a question or a problem followed by conducting primary research and secondary research of quantitative and/or qualitative data and analysis of this data. Research methodology in libraries takes this systematic approach.

Once the problem or topic has been settled upon by the researcher the next step is to decide the type method the research (primary and/or secondary) will take. Of course, research rarely uses just one method but rather a combination; common research methods are basic research, applied research, evaluative research, quantitative research and qualitative research.

I want to first discuss the difference between primary and secondary research. Primary research is where the researcher collects original primary data through surveys, experiments, focus groups, etc. instead of using data sets already developed. Secondary research is the synthesis of existing research rather than primary research. Secondary research is conducted by gathering material on the topic at hand through databases and literature. Secondary research can also involve surveys and experiments but this data was not collected directly by the researcher. It is important to understand that primary and secondary research is the process in which the information is gathered for basic or applied research methods.

Now I want to discuss the different research methods that one can approach a problem or topic of interest with. Basic research often aims to answer questions based on curiosity and for the sake of gaining more knowledge; “Basic research is used to explore the fundamental bases of behavior, without regard to how those bases are manifested in the real world. Basic research aims to explain, predict, and describe” (Price & Oswald, 2006). Basic research tends to follow the scientific method approach of research.

Applied research, unlike basic research, is more concerned with solving real world problems and practical applications. This form of research is very common in libraries today as programs and services are evaluated, collections are maintained and funding is obtained. Applied research can take the form of evaluative research where surveys are conducted and data is gathered for evaluation, “it is increasingly common and important for librarians and other information professionals to assess the quality and effectiveness of their organization’s resources and services” (Haycock & Sheldon, 2007, p170).

Each of these forms of research, basic and applied, takes on a quantitative and/or qualitative approach to gathering information. A quantitative approach will deal primarily with numerical data or data that can be quantified. If a quantitative approach is taken specifically in a library setting, the researcher will work heavily with departments that gather statistical data such as access services and collection maintenance. This approach is well suited for creating generalized results. A qualitative approach focuses on observation of actual events, such as behaviors of users in their environment, engagement in activities and less on numbers. This approach aims to understand the how rather than the what.

Component 2: Justification of Evidence and Evidence:

My first piece of evidence I have included to show my understanding and master of this competency is a [Data Analysis] I did for Libr285. I selected this work because research is about gathering information, whether through primary or secondary research and analyzing this information. In this assignment I selected a data set that was published by The U.S. Department of Education, National Center of Education Statistics, Academic Libraries Survey. I chose this piece of evidence to show my understanding of analyzing quantitative research and developing conclusions based on the findings.

My second piece of evidence is a literature review I wrote on [Environtmental Scanning] for a strategic plan for Libr204. I chose this piece of evidence to show my understanding of conducting research and analyzing secondary resources in a basic research method. The literature review includes a summary of what current literature says on environmental scanning and includes information on the goals, principles, considerations and barriers of an environmental scan.

My final piece of evidence I have chosen to include is an [Annotated bibliography] I put together for an assignment in Libr204. I selected this work to show my ability to conduct professional research, gathering a list of resources for a specific topic. I chose to include an annotated bibliography because it shows my ability to evaluate sources and summarize their pertinence to the topic at hand.

Conclusion:

Research is vital to the growth of our profession; without primary research we would not be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of our programs and services. Studying what our colleagues have learned, experience and published helps us grow and expand our knowledge of current professional topics; “We strive for excellence in the profession by maintaining and enhancing our own knowledge and skills” (ALA, 2008). Secondary research would not exist if we do not participate and conduct primary research. It is important to understand the methodology of the research we conduct allowing us to improve to the development of ourselves, colleagues and the library as a whole.

References:

American Library Association, (2008). Code of Ethics of the American Library Association. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/proethics/codeofethics/codeethics.cfm

Haycock, K. and Sheldon, B. (2008). The portable MLIS: insights from the experts. Westport: Libraries Unlimited.

Price, Dr.  & Oswald, Dr. (2006) Basic vs Applied Research. California State University, Fresno. Retrieved from: http://psych.csufresno.edu/psy144/Content/Design/Types/appliedvsbasic.html

Evidence:

annotations

Data Analysis

Literature Review – Environtmental Scanning

Demonstrate proficiency in identifying, using, and evaluating current and emerging information and communication technologies.

Component 1: Statement of Competency

“From its earliest days, the true power of the Internet lay in the ability of the network to enhance communication” (Farkas, 2007, xix). With the introduction of the internet not only has communication ways changed but the way we access information has changed. Before the web, information was accessed within highly structured systems with which librarians knew best how to navigate to these structures and databases to find information for the user. This was a well-known need for a librarian. With the implementation of algorithms and spider crawling in web search engines such as Google and Bing, navigating these systems and finding information, albeit maybe not be of highest quality, has become common knowledge to the 21st century user. New technologies and the digital age have forced libraries to reevaluate their function and role within the society. Libraries will not disappear, as many suggest instead they will thrive as long as those within them evolve and adapt with new technologies.

One major impact of technology is the ability to navigate our resources remotely, many of our patrons are no longer needing to come to the library and that’s okay. However, this means that we must go to where our patrons are, social media platforms. We want to communicate with them, learn about what they are interested in, what they want to “get” from the library. It is imperative that libraries develop an online presence and make themselves available remotely, as we do with our resources. This means that we as information professionals need be cognitive of how to use these technologies such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Flickr.

Beyond communicating through social media avenues we also need to be able to serve our patrons by being proficient in current and up and coming technologies. This includes physical hardware (e.g. tablets, eReaders, smartphones, and mobile devices) but also software such as cloud services (e.g. Google Drive or Drop Box), presentation services (e.g. Prezi, Glogster), collaboration services and webpage building services. The library will continue to be the place to look for the newest New York Times best seller but on top of that we will be the place to try new technology and develop innovative software, a prime example of what libraries will evolve towards with technology is North Carolina State University’s state-of-the-art library, The Hunt Library (http://youtu.be/BzL8MHbBtiY).

I introduce the Hunt library for multiple reasons. First, it touches base on the funding and cost of technology implementation. Funding, budget cuts, short staffed are all unfortunately common terminology within information professionals. The design and building of the Hunt library cost a significant lump of change, $115 million to be exact. Technology is not cheap, especially when you are expected to offer it to your users, it is the new norm. Library administration will be spending a significant amount of time on funding technology adaptation and less on budgets for collection development.

Second, as you learn about the technology that has been put in place at the Hunt library; the collection is only 1.5 million books and housed in a Robot-driven BookBot storage and retrieval system which uses only about 1/9 of the space that was used when storing the books on shelves. The bot retrieves book request via a computer click and within minutes; the technology not only saves space but time as well. The space that has been freed up from the stacks has been honed in on collaboration, technology creation and innovation and maker-spaces. I mention these facts because the core vision of the library was to provide the “ability for our students, faculty, and partners to immerse themselves in interactive computing, multimedia creation, and large-scale visualization” (Hunt Vision, 2013). This is what library spaces will evolve to, because of technology.

Component 2: Justification of Evidence and Evidence:

The first piece of evidence I have included for this competency is the link to the JPG files of a library brochure I created at a prior library using Photoshop [LibraryBrochurep1] [LibraryBrochurep2]. I chose to include this piece of evidence to show that I understand the importance of knowing new technology and using it within your work place. This is but one software application that I know, but it is a very common and highly sought after skill by patrons. While I was working as a Library Director, I wanted to create better digital resources and more aesthetically pleasing library material so I learned the basics of Photoshop and have gradually taught myself more techniques and am able to teach others the basics of using this software. I know that because I was willing and desired to learn this software that I have a very useful skill for our profession as we move towards more digital resource development and web design.

The second piece of evidence I included is a link to a [Prezi presentation] that I created for an information literacy course at a previous job; this piece is included in a folder because there are data files that need to be contained with the presentation in order to view it offline. When you open this file which I have shared using the cloud storage DropBox, you will need to open only prezi.exe to view the presentation. I included this piece of evidence to demonstrate my mastery of using technology tools to produce a presentation for a library workshop. Also, by sharing it through my cloud storage DropBox I have also demonstrated my ability to work with the newest form of storing files on a cloud service.

The final piece of evidence I have included here is a [screen shot of my web portfolio] & included a [link to the webpage] that I built. This piece of evidence shows my understanding of digital recourse and using technology to communicate to remote users the information that I want to share with them. Although this is a personal page, it support the ultimate goal of the library which is to provide access to information to our users. This piece of evidence also shows my mastery in the skill of web design and creation which is highly sought after in libraries as their online presence is the most important aspect of their marketing and advocating their use.

Conclusion:

These technologies: BookBots, collaboration tools, social media interaction, and software for program creation, web design or photo editing will be things that we as information professionals should know the basics of. If we want our users to use these tools then we need to know how to teach them or help troubleshoot basic problems. Libraries will become information and technology hubs and less book storage.

References:

Farkas, M. G. (2007). Social Software in Libraries: building collaboration, communication, and community online. New Jersey: Information Today, Inc.

NCSU Libraries (2013). The Hunt Library. Information Retrieved from: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/huntlibrary

Evidence:

Library Brochure Images

librarbrochurelibrarbrochurep2

Website Screenshot

Web_Portfolio 

Prezi Presentation Link

Photo contest in your library. Oh and #hashtags

I have been given the task of developing the procedure/plan/integration of using Instagram at SCCLD.

For those of you who live under rocks, Instagram is an application available on both Android & Apply phones. The people at Instragram describe it as:  a fastbeautiful and fun way to share your life with friends and family. I’d describe it as an app used specifically for photo (& now video) sharing.

This app can be linked (as most others) to share parallel to Facebook & Twitter. It also recognizes hashtags & account tagging (how else do you get to shame your friend with the candid snap of them sneezing, no really!); this is all relevant information to note.

Robin Davis with Emerging Tech in Libraries wrote on incorporating Instagram into your library SUCCESSFULLY: Spread the love. Hashtag like crazy. Within reason. ( Read more here: Using Instagram in Libraries

So we want to incorporate Instagram and we want to come in with a BANG! so we are going to make our first big attempt at a photo contest. We know we will use the following: Hashtags (#SCCLD & #[whateverwedecideonforthecontest], tagging (@sccld) & we want to focus on library programs. Other questions we need to answer include: How do we announce it? When do we announced? and How long do we let it run?

Without rehashing what has already been said by others here & here.

This is what I perceive our tentative plan with the Contest to get our Instagram started:

Announce on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Library News Section (?) the contest. Include in the announcement the hashtags necessary for recognition; the focus for the contest – Library Programs tagging – @SCCLD and let it ride! (advertise the contest at least once a week.)

#hashtag

FYI: Hashtags started with IRC (internet Relay Chat) and programming for denoting topics/groups, Chris Messina took the idea and implemented it in Twitter. The use of hashtags became increasingly popular and useful; this lead to the adoption of their use by Instagram & Facebook (as a form of tagging topics) – why do the hashtags matter? If you still live under your rock, this is why #hashtags are important.

“So to keep it simple, people are only one hashtagged word away from possibly being seen by thousands, if not millions of people through social media.” ( Read full article here: The importance of #hashtags

Hashtags are what will make our stuff BIG, or at least provide the option. In the contest, using the appropriated hashtags, we [administrators] will be able to track the submissions across platforms, by searching for our decided upon hashtag. So, yes Hashtags are important, despite this video here:

However it is important to note what Davis said earlier, Hashtag within reason 2-4 relevant per post Hashtags is acceptable.

Facebook. The form of reference/advertising/reader’s advisory AIO

While perusing through posts on Facebook checking insight stats etc. I found myself spot in the middle of a fantastic reference opportunity. Conversation went as follows:

Patron (name not given for lack of permission): I wish you guys would have more audio books!!! I loved listening to the help while I cooked dinner and cleaned house!! Audio books are such a joy!

SCCL (me at the time): Have you checked out the OverDrive service or OneClick Digital? You can check out audiobooks there. http://www.sccl.org/browse/ebooks-and-econtent/eaudiobooks /Whitni

Patron: Yeah. That’s where I get the audio books from. I really really wish they would order Gone with the wind!!!

SCCL: Tessie Garcia the Saratoga Library & Woodland Library have audiobook copies available for checkout for Gone with the Wind.http://sccl.bibliocommons.com/… You can place a hold and pickup it at your home library. /Whitni

Patron:  Thank you!!! I’m going to go order them right now!! Thank you thank you thank you!!!

SCCL: You are most welcome. I hope you enjoy the book! Come back and let us know how it was. Make sure you get both parts, there is a part one and part two. /Whitni

Patron:  I most certainly will!!! How do I submit an application for a book order request? Gone with the wind has a sequel called Scarlet. I would love for Santa Clara County Library to carry it! It would be greatly enjoyed by those who love Gone with the wind as I do!

SCCL: [patron] you can suggest a purchase here: http://www.sccl.org/node/95944/Whitni

Through this conversation we went from complaint > resolved complaint > advertising of services > hearing the patron > helping the patron find what they need/want > use of services by patron.

This conversation had so many elements to it, I would soundly say it was the “perfect” librarian conversation. Best part, it is public. Others will see the Q & A interaction (positive feedback) and learn from it and I didn’t have to repeat it 20 times to reach them.

Facebook served a great purpose and allowed for this interaction to take place.