Information seeking skills - some questions

I am intersted in getting some insights into how our library users develop and apply research skills to locate information that they need. For this purpose, I have developed five questions below. I encourgae everyone to participate in this discussion since different ideas generated in the process will help us to understand our user community better. Any feedback you can provide is much appreciated.

1.How effective is the bibliographic instruction vs individual/group consultations in teaching information skills to students?

2. How do we promote and teach RSS feeds/blogs availability to keep uptodate with new information from scholarly sources (journal articles, key word searching alerts in a database)? How do we know that our users are benefitted from RSS feeds of new information?

3. How do we incorporate Google Scholar so that both the Google Scholar and eresources not available (such as full text ebooks from Knovel, neurosciencenetbase, engnetbase, chemnetbase, online encyclopedias such as Ullmann's encyclopedia of industrial chemistry, conference papers from INSPEC and ei village, etc.) are efficiently used?

4. Weather conducting surveys on library resources would bring awareness of availability of them to faculty and students? if so, what may be the best ways to conduct them? How do we collect data? How can we interpret this data in teaching information skills?

5. Is the point of need instruction (when students and faculty need, they come and ask for information) vs. library created web sites/information delivery/workshops more useful on teaching information literacy skills?

Comments

Information seeking skills - some questions

"1.How effective is the bibliographic instruction vs individual/group consultations in teaching information skills to students?"

The user may not feel comfortable with the term "instruction." They may feel like the library is "helping" them do research, but that they get their "instruction" from their teacher. So you may get different results from all the following questions: "Were you able to find enough information" "Were you able to get the help you needed to complete your assignment" "Did the class help you write your paper" "Was the instruction in finding information given by the library useful" etc.

In the old days, librarians used to do "bibliometric" studies to test how the bibliographies of students writing papers differed after instruction, but design of such a study is a major undertaking.

"2. How do we promote and teach RSS feeds/blogs availability to keep uptodate with new information from scholarly sources (journal articles, key word searching alerts in a database)? How do we know that our users are benefitted from RSS feeds of new information?"

The problem may be that the popular RSS feeds rarely include scholarly journal citations and the existing databases mainly offer e-mail notification services. While there may be some hacks around this, RSS support through the major aggregators seems to be lagging. Is there a directory of scholarly RSS feeds (those that reference university-press titles and peer-reviewed journals)?

"3. How do we incorporate Google Scholar so that both the Google Scholar and eresources not available (such as full text ebooks from Knovel, neurosciencenetbase, engnetbase, chemnetbase, online encyclopedias such as Ullmann's encyclopedia of industrial chemistry, conference papers from INSPEC and ei village, etc.) are efficiently used?"

Are we creating an information-hierarchy? We tell the researcher, first search database x, then database y (maybe one of the databases is a meta-database), then search Google Scholar, then search the catalog? How should we differentiate our databases from Google Scholar? Why are these tools better? Or if not better, then why not start with Google Scholar? Are they separate but equal?

"4. Weather conducting surveys on library resources would bring awareness of availability of them to faculty and students? if so, what may be the best ways to conduct them? How do we collect data? How can we interpret this data in teaching information skills?"

I assume you mean "whether." Generally any kind of survey create awareness, but awareness can be good or bad. You can say, "the bibliographers choose THOUSANDS of new materials to add to our library each year. Which of the following collections of materials are you aware of: -electronic books -e-journals -online encyclopedias" or you could leave out the first sentence and the awareness may not be as positive.

"5. Is the point of need instruction (when students and faculty need, they come and ask for information) vs. library created web sites/information delivery/workshops more useful on teaching information literacy skills?"

Yes, but how do you define point-of-need when students are given, say, 5 weeks to complete a paper?

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