A Review of:
Read, K. B, Koos, J., Miller, R. S., Miller, C. F., Phillips, G. A., Scheinfeld, L., & Surkis, A. (2019). A model for initiating research data management services at academic libraries. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 107(3), 432–441. https://doi.org/10.5195/jmla.2019.545
Objectives – To initiate or expand research data management (RDM) services within the participating libraries serving health sciences populations.
Design – Case report.
Setting – Six institutions consisting of three academic health sciences and three university libraries within the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Middle Atlantic Region in the United States of America.
Subjects – Between two and eight librarians participated from each institution, for a total of twenty-six librarian participants.
Methods – Pre-pilot phone interviews were conducted and included open-ended questions about RDM services, the library’s motivation for participating, and their degree of institutional commitment. To deepen their understanding of RDM, the participants were required to complete eight educational modules that included text, videos, and quizzes. The participating institutions received data interview questions to connect with their research community to be better informed about their attitudes, language, and practices. The participants also received a Teaching Toolkit, complete with slides, a script, and an attendee evaluation form. The participants were provided with a data series, consisting of branded classes for teaching over a designated period with instructors from within and outside of the library. Collaboration with library partners was encouraged as was the use of a focused marketing plan. In fact, a major component of the pilot was the expert support, provided through biweekly meetings that included marketing tips and presentations on such topics as clinical research data management and data visualization. Finally, post-pilot program interviews were conducted, and the open-ended questions covered the pilot program as a whole and its individual components.
Main Results – Of the six participating institutions, five institutions rated the RDM educational modules very positively. Conducting data interviews was valuable for all six institutions because it allowed the librarians to meet with researchers, build relationships, and use what they learned to develop RDM services for the future. The Teaching Toolkit was rated positively by the six institutions, especially for its adaptability, the time saved over developing the content from scratch, and its usability. Finally, the two institutions that held the data series courses stated that the series succeeded in further marketing the RDM services developed by the library.
Conclusion – The pilot project met its objectives: the librarians at the participating institutions completed the educational modules, administered the data interviews, and taught an RDM foundations class based on the Teaching Toolkit. In addition, a data series was hosted at two institutions. The components of the pilot project had the intended results at each institution, and the classes were reviewed favorably. Based on the pilot participants’ positive outcomes, the authors are certain that the freely available program materials would achieve success elsewhere.
Objective – To determine whether information seeking anxieties and preferred information sources differ between first-generation college students and their continuing-generation peers.
Methods – An online survey was disseminated at two public college campuses. A total of 490 respondents were included in the results. Independent variables included institution, year in college, and generational status. Instead of using a binary variable, this study used three groups for the independent variable of generational status, with two first-generation groups and one continuing-generation group based on parental experience with college. Dependent variables included 4 measures of information seeking anxiety and 22 measures of preferred information sources. Responses were analyzed using SPSS. One-way independent ANOVA tests were used to compare groups by generational status, and two- and three-way factorial ANOVA tests were conducted to explore interaction effects of generational status with institution and year in college.
Results – No significant differences in overall information seeking anxiety were found between students whose parents had differing levels of experience with college. However, when exploring the specific variable of experiencing anxiety about “navigating the system in college,” a two-way interaction involving generational status and year in school was found, with first-generation students with the least direct experience with college reporting higher levels of anxiety at different years in college than their peers. Two categories of first-generation students were found to consult with their parents far less than continuing-generation peers. The study also found that institutional or generational differences may also influence whether students ask for information from their peers, librarians, tutoring centers, professors, or advisors.
Conclusion – This study is one of the first to directly compare the information seeking preferences and anxieties of first-generation and continuing-generation students using a non-binary approach. While previous research suggests that first-generation students experience heightened anxiety about information seeking, this study found no significant overall differences between students based on their generational status. The study reinforced previous research about first-generation college students relying less on their parents than their continuing-generation peers. However, this study complicates previous research about first-generation students and their utilization of peers, librarians, tutoring centers, professors, or advisors as information sources, and suggests that institutional context plays an important role in shaping first-generation information seeking.
A Review of:
Brunskill, A. (2020). “Without that detail, I’m not coming”: The perspectives of students with disabilities on accessibility information provided on academic library websites. College & Research Libraries, 81(5), 768–788. https://doi.org/10.5860/crl.81.5.768
Objective – To understand the needs and preferences of users with disabilities for libraries’ accessibility webpages (webpages dedicated to information on disability and accessibility).
Design – Semi-structured interviews.
Setting – A large public university in the United States of America.
Subjects – 12 students who self-identify as having a disability.
Methods – Participants were asked about their expectations (if any) and experiences using library accessibility webpages, how they felt they should be organized, and where and how they would expect to find such webpages. Two lists were printed out and provided to the participants. The first, compiled from a previous study, listed common website headings (categories) under which accessibility webpages had been found, and this aided participants in selecting where they would go to find such a webpage. The second listed common types of information found on accessibility webpages. Participants were asked to use the second list to come up with their five highest priority items for accessibility webpages to cover. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed for responses to specific queries, but inductive coding was also used.
Main Results – In most of the five response clusters of interest to the author (experience/expectation of such a page existing, navigation and language preferences, overall tone and feel for the website, organization for the page, and content for the page), answers were mixed. No consensus emerged with respect to participants’ expectation of an accessibility webpage existing, how they would find the page (including the best website heading), and what content the page should contain. Participants noted that language should be welcoming and inclusive and vetted for sensitivity. The physical layout of the library and information about ambiance and furniture was frequently noted as being an important and overlooked detail to include. Some services, such as shelf pulling and online chat, were highlighted as appealing to those with “invisible” disabilities.
Conclusion – The needs and preferences of users with disabilities are varied and sometimes mutually conflicting. Based on the findings, fourteen recommendations are suggested, including providing detailed information about sensory aspects of the library, listing contact information (preferably to a named individual or group), providing useful headings within the page, and evaluating whether language on the website is welcoming.
A Review of:
Evanson, C., & Sponsel, J. (2019). From syndication to misinformation: How undergraduate students engage with and evaluate digital news. Communications in Information Literacy, 13(2), 228-250. https://doi.org/10.15760/comminfolit.2019.13.2.6
Objective – To determine how new undergraduate students access, share, and evaluate the credibility of digital news.
Design – Asynchronous online survey and activity.
Setting – A small private, liberal arts college in the southeastern United States of America.
Subjects – Participants included 511 incoming first-year college students.
Methods – Using the Moodle Learning Management System, incoming first-year students completed a mandatory questionnaire that included multiple choice, Likert scale, open-ended, and true/false questions related to news consumption. Two questions asked students to identify which news sources and social networking sites they have used recently, and the next two questions asked students to define fake news and rate the degree to which fake news impacts them personally and the degree to which it impacts society. The end of the survey presented students with screenshots of three news stories and asked them to reflect on how they would evaluate the claim in the story, their confidence level in the claim, and whether or not they would share this news item on social media. The three items chosen represent certain situations that commonly cause confusion for news consumers: (a) a heading that does not match the text of the article, (b) a syndicated news story, and (c) an impostor URL and fake news story. Researchers coded the student responses using both preset and emergent codes.
Main Results – Eighty-two percent of students reported using at least one social media site to access political news in the previous seven days. Students reported believing that fake news is a worrying trend for society, with 86% labelling it either a “moderate” or “extreme” barrier to society’s ability to recognize accurate information. However, they expressed less concern about their own ability to navigate an information environment in which fake news is prevalent, with 51% agreeing that it has only somewhat of an effect on their own ability to effectively navigate digital information. Of the three news items presented to them, students expressed the least confidence (an average of 1.55/4) and least interest in sharing (12%) the first news item, in which the heading does not match the text. However, only 14% of respondents noted this mismatch. In evaluations of the second item, an AP news item on the Breitbart website, 35% of students noted the website on which the article was found, but fewer noted that the original source is the Associated Press. Student responses to the third article, a fake news item from a website masquerading as an NBC website, show that 37% of students believed the source to come from a legitimate NBC source. Only 7% of students recognized the unusual URL, and 24% of respondents indicated that they might share this news item on social media.
Conclusion – The study finds that impostor URLs and syndicated news items might confuse students into misevaluating the information before them, and that librarians and other instructors should raise awareness of these tactics.
A Review of:
Popoola, B., Uzoagba, N., & Rabiu, N. (2020). “What’s happening over there?”: A study of the current state of services, challenges, and prospects in Nigerian medical libraries. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 108(3), 398–407. https://doi.org/10.5195/jmla.2020.607
Objective – This study examined the field of medical librarianship as it is currently practiced in Nigeria.
Design – Mixed methods: electronic survey and in-person interview.
Setting – The survey was advertised via an email list and a WhatsApp discussion group, both based in Nigeria. The interviews were requested directly by the authors.
Subjects – Librarians working in medical libraries in Nigeria for the survey; library heads for the interviews.
Methods – The survey was created in Google Forms and shared via the Nigerian Library Association’s email discussion list and the WhatsApp Group for the Medial Library Association of Nigeria. Question categories included personal and library demographics, library patronage/social media use, library services for users, and librarians’ training and challenges. Most questions were closed-ended. Survey data was analyzed in SPSS for response frequencies and percentages. The interviews were conducted in person. Questions covered topics such as demographics, challenges, and prospects (for medical librarianship in Nigeria). Interview transcriptions underwent thematic content analysis.
Main Results – The majority of the 58 survey respondents (73%) reported seven or more years of medical library experience. There was no consensus on classifications schemes used throughout medical libraries in Nigeria, with 43% using the US National Library of Medicine classification and 32% using the Library of Congress. Social media use also varied, but the majority (approximately 45%) reported using social media less than monthly to promote their libraries or programming.
Monographs were the main collection material reported by roughly 35% of respondents. Journals followed at approximately 24% while only 10% reported electronic resources as the main collection material. The majority of respondents (53%) noted that their library did not offer specialized services. Others (31%) reported “selective dissemination of information, current awareness services, or reference services” (p. 402) as specialized services; 7% reported literature searching. The majority of respondents (70-75%) rated their skill levels in evidence based medicine and systematic reviews as beginner/intermediate. Half of respondents reported that their libraries had not held any training programs or seminars for library users in the six months prior.
Interviews with library heads revealed that they all had high hopes for the future of medical libraries in Nigeria but also noted many challenges. These included a lack of cooperation between libraries, a lack of interlibrary loan services, budget deficiencies, and insufficient access to the internet. This mirrored survey responses, 50% of which noted access to electronic information was a “significant barrier to improved services” (p. 402) along with a lack of training (53%) and low library usage (57%).
Conclusion – Medical libraries in Nigeria face multiple challenges. Budgetary constraints, a lack of library cooperation, and internet accessibility limit the availability of electronic collections. The authors suggest that library associations in Nigeria focus on education and training opportunities for current and future medical librarians.
A Review of:
Masenya, T. M., & Ngulube, P. (2020). Factors that influence digital preservation sustainability in academic libraries in South Africa. South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science, 86(1), 52–63. https://doi.org/10.7553/86-1-1860
Objective – To define principles for the sustainable management and preservation of digital resources.
Design – Survey and literature review.
Setting – Academic libraries in South Africa.
Subjects – Twenty-two academic institutions in South Africa.
Methods – The researchers evaluated four conceptual models of digital preservation and conducted a literature review for the same subject. Informed by these reviews, the researchers developed a questionnaire for South African academic institutions, distributed the questionnaire, and studied the results using statistical analysis software.
Main Results – Twenty-two of twenty-seven (81.5%) surveys were returned. Results indicated a broad consensus about which factors were important in sustainable digital preservation; all factors listed received anywhere from 86.3% to 100% agreement among respondents.
Conclusion – A proposed conceptual integrated digital preservation model recommends a three-pronged approach to address management-related, resource-related, and technological-related factors in sustainable digital preservation.
Objective – Online library guides can serve as resources for students and researchers conducting systematic literature reviews. There is a need to develop learner-centered library guides to build capacity for systematic review skills. The objective of this study was to explore the content of existing systematic review library guides at research universities.
Methods – We conducted a content analysis of systematic review library guides from English-speaking universities. We identified 18 institutions for inclusion using a Scopus search to find the institutions with the highest number of systematic review publications. We conducted a content analysis of those institutions’ library guides, coding for the types of resources included, and the stage of the systematic review process to which they referred. A chi-square test was used to determine whether the differences in distribution of the resource types within each systematic review stage were statistically significant.
Results – The most common type of resource was informational in content. Only 24% of the content analysed was educational. The most common stage of the systematic review process was conducting searches. The chi-square test revealed significant differences for seven of the nine systematic review stages.
Conclusion – We found that many library guides were heavily informational and lacking in instructional and skills focused content. There is a significant opportunity for librarians to turn their systematic review guides into practical learning tools through the development and assessment of online instructional tools to support student and researcher learning.
Objective - The objective of this study was to analyze trends in academic library reference chat transcripts with nursing themes, in order to improve all library services and resources based on the findings.
Methods - In Fall 2018, health science liaison librarians performed a qualitative study by analyzing 60 nursing chat transcripts from LibraryH3lp. These chats were tagged, anonymized, coded, and then analyzed in Atlas TI to identify patterns and trends.
Results - Chat analysis showed that librarians staffing chat are meeting the research needs of nursing patrons by helping them find full-text articles and suggesting the appropriate library databases. In order to further improve these virtual services, workshops were offered to Library and Information Science (LIS) interns and staff who answer reference chats. Nursing online tutorials and research guides were also improved based on the results.
Conclusion - This study will help academic libraries improve and expand services into the virtual realm, to support library employees and patrons during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Virtual reference chat is not going away; in the current academic environment it is needed more than ever. Using these library chats as the basis for additional chat staff training can reduce staff anxiety and prepare them to better serve patrons.
A Review of:
Pinto, M., Sales, D., & Fernández-Pascual, R. (2019). Gender perspective on information literacy: An interdisciplinary and multidimensional analysis within higher education settings. Library & Information Science Research, 41(4), 100979. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lisr.2019.100979
Objective – To identify gender differences that present in 26 information literacy (IL) learning competencies using a multidimensional subjective–objective approach.
Design – Two quantitative survey questionnaires, administered online.
Setting – Five Spanish public universities in 2014.
Subjects – Third- and fourth-year students in eight social science degree programs including information science, audiovisual communication, journalism, psychology, primary education, pedagogy, social work, and tourism.
Methods – Subjects were recruited using a stratified sampling approach. Two survey instruments were distributed online. The IL-HUMASS instrument uses Likert scales to measure students’ “belief-in-importance” (BI) of various IL competencies relating to searching, evaluation, processing, and communication–dissemination, as well as their self-efficacy (SE) regarding these competencies. The EVALCI-KN instrument measures students’ actual knowledge (KN) of the same IL competencies using closed answer options. The data were analyzed using descriptive and bivariate statistics and confirmatory factor analyses.
Main Results – The total number of valid surveys collected was 1,575 (sampling ratio of 10.39% of eligible students). No significant differences were found between female and male students’ BI, SE, or KN in the categories of searching and evaluation. Statistically significant differences between genders were found relating to SE and knowledge of information processing (with men having higher scores), and to knowledge of communication–dissemination (with women having a higher score). Overall, students’ KN scores were higher than their SE scores. Statistically significant differences were found among male students in all categories and dimensions except in SE of evaluation and BI of communication–dissemination and among female students except in BI of processing. Information science and pedagogy were the highest scoring degree programs in different dimensions and categories; tourism and social work were the lowest. Male students’ awareness of the importance of using print sources and assessing the quality of information could be improved; female students’ awareness of the importance of knowing information source typologies, academic codes of ethics, and intellectual property laws could be improved. The authors also state that male students’ KN should be increased in the areas of schematizing and abstracting information, handling statistical programs, and knowing the laws on information use and intellectual property, and they point to the need for instructional support to improve all students’ SE across all IL categories.
Conclusion – Gender differences were found in various IL competencies as measured by the three scales (BI, SE, KN). Male students were found to believe assessment skills to be most important and to believe themselves more prepared in search skills; however, their actual knowledge was highest in the communication category. In comparison, female students prioritized communication skills and believed themselves more prepared in search skills, with their actual knowledge highest in the search and communication categories. Among both genders, weaknesses were found relating to BI in four competencies (use informal electronic sources, know information search strategies, schematize–abstract information, recognize text structure), to SE in six competencies (use printed sources, know information search strategies, assess quality of information, schematize–abstract information, recognize text structure, write a document), and to KN in five competencies (use printed sources, use electronic sources, use informal electronic sources, determine whether information is updated, and know the code of ethics in the academic field). The students’ mean score was higher for KN than for SE in searching, evaluation, and communication–dissemination. The authors recommend instruction or awareness-raising sessions to help students acquire IL competencies as well as to improve their self-esteem in these areas, with the design of these sessions incorporating the findings on gender differences. They also recommend a review of existing syllabi to help “incorporate the gender perspective into the classroom” (p. 8).
A Review of:
Reed, J. B., & Carroll, A. J. (2020). Roles for health sciences librarians at college and university libraries. Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, (94). https://doi.org/10.29173/istl42
Objective – To examine job postings for academic health sciences libraries to determine if they reflect the changing research needs of institutions of higher education and to compare these postings to similar, existing positions.
Design – Mixed methods data analysis of job advertisements collected through relevant job boards and mailing lists. The authors conducted qualitative content analysis using a modified grounded theory approach, completed two cycles of coding using NVivo 12, and calculated statistical significance using Fisher’s exact test.
Setting – College and university library and Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries job boards and mailing lists between September 1, 2018 and March 1, 2019.
Subjects – 104 unique posted job descriptions.
Methods – The authors conducted a thorough search of posted position descriptions (PPDs) for academic health sciences librarians across a number of job boards and mailing lists between September 1, 2018 and March 1, 2019. In addition to searching ALA JobLIST, MLA Find a Job, Association of College & Research Libraries Health Sciences Interest Group (ACRL HSIG), MEDLIB-L, and ACRL Science and Technology Section (STS), the authors also hand searched alumni and general library job electronic mailing lists using relevant keyword searching. Inclusion criteria for PPDs included research support and other research-related responsibilities for the health sciences. The authors excluded any PPDs describing administrative or non-professional positions. Following review, the IRB determined that the research design did not qualify as human subjects research. After data collection, the authors categorized the PPDs using the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) geographic regions and by the type of institution—college and university libraries (C&UL) or Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL). Using modified grounded theory, the authors identified emergent themes from the PPDs and applied descriptive coding. Then, the authors merged categories to create overall themes. Using NVivo 12 to facilitate the mixed methods content analysis, the authors ran text queries to identify major themes in the position roles and responsibilities, required and preferred education, and required and preferred qualifications sections. They also noted themes they expected to see that did not emerge in the PPDs, as well as emerging roles for health sciences libraries that are identified in the literature but did not appear as major themes in the included PPDs. Finally, the authors utilized Fisher’s exact test to calculate statistical significance.
Main Results – In the quantitative analysis, the authors identified 60 AAHSL and 44 C&UL PPDs out of the 104 total job postings. Positions were available from all 8 NNLM Regions and across 32 states, though they were not all equally distributed. Most of the positions (64 of the 104) were located in the NNLM Middle Atlantic, Southeastern/Atlantic, and Greater Midwest regions. The Southeastern/Atlantic and Greater Midwest regions made up nearly half of the included PPDs. However, the New England region had the most postings per capita. In the qualitative analysis, an ALA-accredited MLIS or equivalent degree emerged as a near-universal requirement across all PPDs. The authors noted that the few PPDs that did not require this degree typically referenced it in the preferred education section or described a proxy to the MLIS. Furthermore, 57% of C&UL positions compared to 27% of AAHSL positions listed preferred education (p=0.0004) that was usually related to health and science disciplines that the position supported.
There was significant overlap of required qualifications for AAHSL and C&UL postings. The authors also identified a list of hard and soft skills noted in the PPDs’ required qualifications sections, including experience with specific tools, expertise in library services, and interpersonal skills. However, reportedly emerging skills in data sciences, open science, grant experience, and research impact assessment were absent in many PPDs. The authors found statistically significant differences between two themes in the PPD roles and responsibilities including collection management (p=0.0004) and systematic reviews (p=0.03). Additionally, the authors found no statistically significant differences for required qualifications between AAHLS and C&UL PPDs. They did find statistically significant differences for two preferred qualifications including the Academic of Health Information Professionals (AHIP) credential (p=0.0042) and experience with systematic reviews (p=0.0009). The AHIP credential and experience with systematic reviews were absent in the C&UL PPDs and referenced rarely in AAHSL postings. Though diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) qualifications were frequently referenced in C&UL PPD requirements, the authors noted that research libraries have failed to make meaningful change in diverse candidate hiring and retention, but also pointed to the rapid adoption of DEI qualifications in PPDs within a short period of time.
The authors highlighted that the roles and responsibilities reflected traditional librarian duties and referenced more emerging skills and research needs than any other section of the PPD. Assessment and systematic reviews appeared more often in the roles and responsibilities sections of AAHSL and C&UL PPDs in comparison to the combined required and preferred qualifications sections of all the PPDs. A more traditional responsibility, collection management, also appeared more frequently in the roles and responsibilities section of PPDs than in the experience section, suggesting that most hiring committees feel confident that librarians who fill positions will be successful in performing collection management tasks despite experience. The authors noted that collection management, one of the most common themes that emerged from the data analysis, appeared more frequently in C&UL PPDs and theorize that AAHLS may have dedicated collection management departments.
Conclusions – While the research literature documents new roles and emerging skills for academic health sciences librarian positions, the authors noted that PPDs do not frequently reflect those emerging roles and skills, and maintain traditional health sciences librarian skillsets. The authors concluded that library administrators should design position descriptions that are user centred and match the changing research needs of the local community. PPDs should reflect changing priorities by including less weight towards the MLIS degree, shifting traditional skillsets from required experience sections to preferred experience sections, adapting the language of PPDs to be more inclusive and welcoming for a diverse pool of candidates, and adding an emphasis on DEI responsibilities. By creating position descriptions that are user focused, library administrators and hiring committees make meaningful investments for their communities and their strategic priorities.
Objective – In consideration of emerging national Research Data Management (RDM) policy and infrastructure, this literature review seeks answers to the following questions:
1) What is the most effective way for a Canadian research university to build capacity among library and campus-wide research support staff, with a view towards providing coordinated RDM support services for our researcher community?
2) What international training models and course offerings are available and appropriate for a local context?
3) What national guidelines and best practices for pedagogical design and delivery can be adapted for a local context?
Methods – This literature review synthesizes a total of 13 sources: 9 articles, 2 book chapters, and 2 whitepapers. The whitepapers were selected for a narrative literature review because of their focus on case studies detailing train-the-trainer models. Within the 13 sources we found 14 key case studies. This review serves as a supplement to the 2017 CARL Portage Training Expert Group white paper, “Research Data Management Training Landscape in Canada,” the focus of which was to identify RDM training gaps in order to recommend a coordinated approach to RDM training in a national environment.
Results – The narrative review of case studies revealed three thematic areas. Firstly, pedagogical challenges were identified, including the need to target training to RDM support staff such as librarians and researchers, as they comprise distinct groups of trainees with divergent disciplinary vocabularies and incentives for training. Secondly, the case studies cover a broad range of pedagogical models including single or multiple sessions, self-directed or instructor-led, in-person or online instruction, and a hybrid of the two. Finally, RDM training also emerged as a key factor in community building within library staff units, among service units on campus, and with campus research communities.
Conclusion – RDM training programs at local institutions should be guided by a set of principles aligned with the training methods, modes of assessment, and infrastructure development timeline outlined in a national training strategy. When adapting principles and training strategies to a local context, the following trends in the literature should be considered: librarians and researchers must have meaningful incentives to undertake training in RDM or to join a community of practice; disciplinary-specific instruction is preferable to general instruction; a librarian’s own training opportunities will influence their ability to provide discipline-specific RDM instruction to researchers; in-person training opportunities improve learning retention and produce beneficial secondary effects, whereas online instruction is most effective when paired with an in-person component; generalized third-party RDM training should be adapted to local context to be meaningful. Future directions for RDM training will integrate into open access and digital scholarship training, and into cross-disciplinary, open science communities of practice.
Objective – Library anxiety experienced by students has been discussed extensively for many decades. While the phenomenon is widely recognized, little attention has been paid to seeing its specific effect on marginalized sections of the society. The study attempts to understand the library anxiety experienced by students at three different universities in Assam. Assam is the only state in Northeast India to have private, state, and central universities. These universities draw their student populations from several different hill states in Northeast India, all of which face significant socio-political-economic challenges.
Methods – A stratified random sample technique was used for the study. A total of 150 questionnaires were distributed equally among the three universities in Assam and found 119 questionnaires were fit for analysis. The study adopted the modified and validated version of the Bostick Library Anxiety Scale developed by Anwar, Al-Kandari, and Al-Qallaff (AQAK) in 2004, with 32 item statements and 4 categories. The questionnaire is divided into two parts: Demographic Variables and the Library Anxiety Scale. The categories used for the study were: Category 1 (Staff Approachability) – 11 statements; Category 2 (Feelings of Inadequacy) – 6 statements); Category 3 (Library Confidence) – 8 statements; and Category 4 (Library Constraints) – 7 statements.
Results – The study hypothesized that factors such as gender, the language of instruction, type of university, and caste or community do not influence library anxiety among Northeast India students. However, the study's findings suggest that type of university influences library anxiety among students and its three constructs. Tezpur university students experience a higher level of library anxiety. Although no overall significant difference in the level of library anxiety was observed among students across gender (p=0.278, p> 0.05), the language of instruction (p=0.023, p> 0.05), castes and communities (p=0.223, p> 0.05), there was a significant difference in one construct of library anxiety among students based on gender (feelings of inadequacy), the language of education instruction (staff approachability), caste and community (feelings of inadequacy).
Conclusions – Results from the present study provided compelling evidence to suggest that many students, irrespective of their gender, the language of instruction, type of university, discipline, and caste or community experience library anxiety. The difference levels of library anxiety among independent variables indicate a critical lack of information literacy skills. Overall, library anxiety scores among the students were moderate; some categories such as staff approachability, the feeling of inadequacy, and library constraint are the attributes of the students' anxiety. However, the findings of the study also suggest that students are confident in using the library. They are optimistic, enthusiastic, and keen to use library resources.
A Review of:
Walker, D. (2020). Libraries and the REF: How do librarians contribute to research excellence? Insights, 33(1), 6. https://doi.org/10.1629/uksg.497
Objective – To measure the extent to which libraries’ contributions to United Kingdom (UK) university research excellence were referenced in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 unit-level research environment statements, and to make recommendations to libraries for increasing their visibility in the research setting.
Design – Content analysis of an existing corpus.
Setting – Evaluation of research environments conducted as part of the UK REF 2014 assessment.
Subjects – 1,891 unit-level research environment statements submitted for REF 2014.
Methods – Each unit-level research environment statement was categorized in terms of how extensively it referenced library or librarian contributions: no mention, brief mention, or substantive mention. The
frequency and percentage of each level of mention are reported overall and by disciplinary panel.
Main Results – Across all panels, only 25.8% of the statements included substantive references to the library or librarians; most of these were lists of electronic and physical collections, but they also included discussions of the research support services offered by librarians. There were disciplinary differences in the extent of the references to libraries, from 7.2% containing substantive references in a panel examining science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) units to 44.0% containing substantive references in the panel examining arts and humanities units.
Conclusion – In REF 2014, libraries and librarians were rarely discussed in unit-level research environment statements. While this lack of representation may be due to shortcomings of the library’s relationship with the university’s research office, librarians could use a number of approaches to becoming more visible in the REF 2021 research environment statements. Specifically, they could highlight their roles in: ensuring discoverability and accessibility of information resources to researchers; improving research practices through teaching informational and organizational skills, providing direct support to research students and staff, and providing research data management services; managing the research information systems that capture and make discoverable the university’s non-article research outputs; providing support in relation to the responsible use of bibliometrics and other measures of article quality and impact; further developing article impact by training researchers to use social media to their advantage; developing open research initiatives; and assisting with the REF submission process.
A Review of:
Makri, S., & Buckley, L. (2020). Down the rabbit hole: Investigating disruption of the information encountering process. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 71(2), 127–142. https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.24233
Objective – To understand when and why information encountering episodes are interrupted.
Design – Naturalistic observational and interview study.
Setting – Personal network of the study authors in London.
Subjects – Fifteen personal contacts of authors, aged 22-60, recruited via word-of-mouth and social media.
Methods – Each participant was asked to conduct a search on a self-chosen topic. The researchers took notes and recorded search interactions and think-aloud protocols. After the search, a follow-up interview asked whether the participant had unexpectedly encountered any interesting or useful information; if so, the researchers asked for more details about that episode. If not, they conducted a critical incident technique interview, focused on a memorable example of a past information-encountering episode. The researchers used inductive thematic analysis to analyze the data, augmented with constant comparison across the data and the themes to ensure analytical rigor.
Main Results – The most frequent point at which participants interrupted an information encountering (IE) episode was near its beginning, when the searcher noted an information stimulus but then immediately returned to the active information-seeking task. IE episodes were also interrupted 1) after the searcher examined the encountered content but did not explore it further, and 2) after the searcher explored it but decided it was not useful.
The factors that influenced interruptions of IE episodes included the searcher’s reluctance to invest the time and effort needed to engage with the encountered information, due to the importance or urgency of the active information-seeking task; the searcher’s reluctance to leave the active information-seeking task, seeing IE as a distraction from that task; the searcher’s reluctance to multitask, i.e., to keep track of both the IE episode and the active information-seeking task; the searcher’s reluctance to risk a dead end; the searcher’s reluctance to be seduced by the “shiny thing” of encountered information (p. 136) and to drift too far away from the active information-seeking task; and the searcher’s reluctance to get “caught up” emotionally in the IE episode (p. 138), a “temptation that is satisfying only in the short-term” (p. 138).
Conclusion – Overall, the results help us understand when and why disruption of IE can occur. When an IE episode begins, the searcher is not able to estimate the time and effort required to pursue it or the fruitfulness of following it through. Thus, factors associated with the primary information-seeking task (e.g., its importance or urgency) and with the searcher (e.g., ability to multitask) tend to influence decisions about when to interrupt an IE episode.
A Review of:
Dougan, K. (2016). Music, YouTube, and academic libraries. Notes, 72(3), 491-508. https://doi.org/10.1353/not.2016.0009
Objective – To evaluate how music faculty members perceive and use video sharing sites like YouTube in teaching and research.
Design – Survey Questionnaire.
Setting – 197 music departments, colleges, schools, and conservatories in the United States.
Subjects – 9,744 music faculty members.
Methods – Schools were primarily selected based on National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) membership and the employment of a music librarian with a Music Library Association (MLA) membership. Out of faculty members contacted, 2,156 (22.5%) responded to the email survey. Participants were asked their rank and subspecialties. Closed-ended questions, ranked on scales of 1 to 5, evaluated perceptions of video sharing website use in classroom instruction and as assigned listening; permissibility as a cited source; quality, copyright, and metadata; use when items are commercially unavailable; use over library collections; comparative ease of use; and convenience. An open-ended question asked for additional thoughts or concerns on video sharing sites and music scholarship. The author partnered with the University of Illinois’ Applied Technology for Learning in the Arts and Sciences (ATLAS) survey office on the construction, distribution, and analysis of the survey data through SPSS. The open-ended question was coded for themes.
Main Results – Key findings from closed-ended questions indicated faculty: used YouTube in the classroom (2.30 mean) more often than as assigned listening (2.08 mean); sometimes allowed YouTube as a cited source (2.35 mean); were concerned with the quality of YouTube recordings (3.58 mean) and accuracy of metadata (3.29 mean); and were more likely to use YouTube than library resources (2.62 mean), finding it easier to use (2.38 mean) and more convenient (1.83 mean). The author conducted further analysis of results for the nine most reported subdisciplines. Ethnomusicology and jazz faculty indicated a greater likelihood of using YouTube, while musicology and theory/composition faculty were more likely to use library resources than others. There was little significant difference among faculty responses based on performance subspecialities (e.g. voice, strings, etc.). Overall, open-ended faculty comments on streaming video sites were negative (19.3%), positive (19.3%), or a mixture of both (34.1%). Themes included: less use in faculty scholarship; a need to teach students how to effectively use YouTube for both finding and creating content; the value of YouTube as an audio vs. video source; concerns about quality, copyright, data, and reliability; and benefits like easy access and large amounts of content.
Conclusion – Some faculty expressed concern that students did not use more library music resources or know how to locate quality resources. The study suggested librarians and faculty could collaborate on solutions to educate students. Librarians might offer instructional content on effective searching and evaluation of YouTube. Open-ended responses showed further exploration is needed to determine faculty expectations of library “discovery and delivery” (p. 505) and role as the purchaser of recordings. Conversations between librarians and faculty members may help clarify expectations and uncover ways to improve library resources and services to better meet evolving needs. Finally, the author recommended additional exploration is needed to evaluate YouTube’s impact on library collection development.
A Review of:
Canuel, R., Hervieux, S., Bergsten, V., Brault, A., & Burke, R. (2019). Developing and assessing a graduate student reference service. Reference Services Review, 47(4), 527–543. https://doi.org/10.1108/RSR-06-2019-0041
Objective – To evaluate the effectiveness of a reference training program for graduate student employees that seeks to encourage use of reference interview and instruction techniques in virtual and in-person reference interactions.
Design – Naturalistic observation with qualitative content analysis.
Setting – A large, public research university in Montreal, Canada.
Subjects – Three graduate students in Library and Information Science employed by the university library to provide virtual and in-person reference services.
Methods – After completing a training program, the three participants provided virtual and in-person reference training for two consecutive semesters. They self-recorded their desk interactions in a Google form. These self-reports, along with their online chat transcripts from QuestionPoint, were the subject of this study’s analysis. Focusing on the QuestionPoint data, the authors coded the transcripts from these participants’ online reference interactions to reflect the presence or absence of a reference interview and various instructional techniques in their responses to patrons. Also, all in-person and virtual questions were examined and categorized as being either transactional or reference questions. Reference questions were further categorized as basic, intermediate, or advanced questions.
Main Results – Of the chat transcripts analyzed, 49% were classified as containing reference questions rather than transactional questions. At the desk, 21.9% of interactions were coded as reference questions. Taking the two semesters together, 232 of 282 virtual reference questions were considered basic, while 41 were labelled intermediate, and 9 classified as advanced. Similarly, of 136 desk reference questions, 120 were classified as basic, 14 as intermediate, and 2 as advanced. In their coding of chat transcripts, researchers indicated whether the interaction contained no reference interview, a partial reference interview, or a complete reference interview. Virtual chat transcripts from both fall and winter semesters showed that no reference interview took place in 77.3% of interactions. Authors noted evidence of partial reference interviews in 19.3% of fall transcripts and 21.5% of winter transcripts. Complete reference interviews took place in 3.4% of fall and 1.2% of winter transcripts. Additionally, authors found that 65.5% of chat transcripts contained elements of instruction, with Modelling and Resource Suggestion being the most prevalent forms.
Conclusion – Because the graduate students used complete or partial reference interviews in a small number of their virtual reference questions, the authors of this study determined that more emphasis ought to be placed on reference interviews, particularly virtual reference interactions, in future training programs. Graduate students employed instructional strategies in observed virtual reference interactions, a promising trend.
Objective - The aim of this study was to evaluate Integrated Library System (ILS) use in university libraries in Nigeria in terms of their adoption, performance, achievements, and shortcomings and to propose a rigorous model for ongoing evaluation based on use of candidate variables (CVs) derived from the approach used by Hamilton and Chervany (1981) and from evaluation criteria suggested by Farajpahlou (1999, 2002).
Methods - The study adopted a descriptive survey design. Nigeria is made up of six geo-political zones including: North-East (NE), North-West (NW), North-Central (NC), South-South (SS), South-East (SE), and South-West (SW). The population for this study comprised Systems/IT and E-librarians in the university libraries from all six of the geo-political zones of Nigeria. Because of the large number of universities in each of the zones in Nigeria, a convenience sampling method was used to select six universities representing federal, state, and private institutions from each of the six geo-political zones of Nigeria. A purposive sampling method was used to select the Systems/IT and E-librarians who were directly in charge of ILS in their various libraries. Therefore, the sample for this study was made up of 36 Systems/IT and E-librarians from the 36 selected universities in Nigeria. The instrument used to elicit responses from the respondents was an online questionnaire and was distributed through the respondents’ email boxes and WhatsApp. The questionnaire administration received a 100% response rate.
Results - Findings revealed that university libraries in Nigeria have made remarkable progress in the adoption and use of ILS for library services. The findings also showed that much has been achieved in the use of ILS in library services. Evidence in the study indicated that the performance of the ILS adopted in the selected university libraries in the area of data entry and currency, accuracy, reliability, completeness, flexibility, ease of use, and timeliness was encouraging.
Conclusions - Adoption and use of ILS in libraries is changing the way libraries deliver services to their patrons. Traditional methods of service delivery are different from the expectations of the 21st century library patrons. The transformation seen in the university libraries in Nigeria using ILS was tremendous and is changing the narratives of the past. However, several shortcomings still exist in the adoption and use of ILS in university libraries in Nigeria. Overcoming some of the limitations would require a conscious effort and decisiveness to ensure that librarians and library patrons enjoy the best services that ILS can offer. ILS developers should consider the dynamic needs of libraries and their patrons and incorporate specific candidate variables (CVs) in their ILS designs to enhance the quality of the services being offered to the library patrons.
A Review of:
Hajibayova, L. (2017). Students’ viewpoint: What constitutes presence in an online classroom? Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, 55(1), 12–25. https://doi.org/10.1080/01639374.2016.1241972
Objective – Determine student perceptions of online learning.
Design – Survey questionnaire.
Setting – An online class in the School of Library and Information Science at a Midwestern US public university.
Subjects – 45 graduate students in an abstracting and indexing class.
Methods – Class participants filled in an online questionnaire at the end of the semester. The survey covered topics related to collaboration, communication, modes of instruction, and assessment. The researcher calculated frequency counts for questions and did a correlation analysis.
Main Results – For collaboration the author found that 62% of students expressed no or limited interest in participation in collaborative projects. Factors for successful completion of group projects included member commitment, instructor involvement, technology tools (discussion boards, wikis, blogs), group size (3–5 people preferred), and the nature and design of the project.
Preference for communication frequency via email ranged from daily to never with the highest percentage (28.57%) preferring once a week. Communication frequency through the learning management system (LMS) was similar. The largest percentage of students preferred communication 2–3 times per week for virtual (38.89%) and face-to-face (41.67%) office hours. The correlation between communication via LMS and virtual office hours was r = 0.89, p
Students preferred asynchronous over synchronous lectures and activities. Preference for frequency was once a week. There was a correlation between synchronous lectures and synchronous activities (r = 0.77, p
Student preferences for the frequency of overview and discussion of class materials were roughly equal in distribution (daily, 4–6 times/week, 2–3 times/week, weekly, or never). There was a correlation between synchronous overview and asynchronous overview of class materials (r = 0.93, p
Conclusion – This study found students had limited interest in collaborative projects. It was also found that regular communication with the teacher was important. Students preferred asynchronous instruction and activities. They also preferred individual assignments for evaluation.
Objective – The purpose of this study was to explore in the current academic library environment, the relationship between library collections data (collections’ size, expenditures, and usage) and faculty productivity (scholarly output). The researchers also examined the degree to which new and existing library metrics predict faculty productivity.
Methods – Demographic data (e.g., faculty size, student size, research and development expenditures), library budget data (e.g., collection expenditures), collection use data (e.g., full-text article requests and database searches), and publication output for 81 doctoral granting universities in the United States were collected to explore potential relationships between research productivity, collection use, library budgets, collection size, and research expenditures using partial correlations. A hierarchical multiple regression was also used to ascertain the significance of certain predictors of research productivity (publications).
Results – A correlation existed between the number of publications (research productivity) and library expenditures (total library expenditures, total library material expenditures, and ongoing library resource expenditures), collection size (volumes, titles, and ebooks), use of collection (full-text article requests and total number of references in the articles), and research and development expenditures. Another key finding from the hierarchical multiple regression analysis showed that full-text article requests were the best predictor of research productivity, which uniquely explained 10.2% of the variation in publication.
Conclusion – The primary findings were that full-text article requests, followed by library material expenditures and research expenditures, were found to be the best predictor of research productivity as measured by articles published.
A Review of:
Zimmerman, M.S. (2020). Mapping literacies: Comparing information horizons mapping to measures of information and health literacy. Journal of Documentation, 76(2), 531–551. https://doi.org/10.1108/JD-05-2019-0090
Objective – To evaluate information horizons mapping as a valid measure for assessing information literacy and health literacy compared to three validated information and health literacy measurements and level of educational attainment.
Design – Quantitative data analysis using multiple regression and the Anker, Reinhart, and Feeley model as the conceptual framework.
Setting – A small university-centered community in Iowa City.
Subjects – 149 members of the university community.
Methods – The author conducted a power analysis to determine a minimum sample size required for maintaining study validity and selected the Anker Model of conceptual framing for health information-seeking behavior. This is a three-phased model that explores the information seeker’s predisposing characteristics, engagement in health information seeking, and outcomes associated with information seeking. Recruited participants completed three assessments—the Tool for Real-time Assessment of Information Literacy Skills (TRAILS), the Health Literacy Skills Instrument (HLSI), and the Brief Health Literacy Screen (BHLS)—and drew information horizon maps illustrating what sources of information they tend to seek for health-related questions. The author calculated information horizon map results using a scoring system incorporating the number and quality of information sources identified in the maps and applied multiple linear regression analysis and Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient to participants’ scores from all four assessments as well as their level of educational attainment to determine strengths of relationships between variables.
Main Results – In the information horizons map results, participants identified an average of 6.9 information sources with a range of 3–13 and received an average score of 18.8 in information source quality with a range of 4–45. The author applied multiple linear regression to predict the number of information source counts on the information horizons map based on HLSI, TRAILS, and BHLS assessment scores and level of educational attainment and found a significant relationship (p=0.044). A significant relationship also existed between quality of source scores on the map based on HLSI, TRAILS, and BHLS assessment scores and level of educational attainment (p=0.033). Removing the educational attainment variable produced an even stronger significant result. Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient supported the findings of the multiple regression analysis and revealed a strong relationship between source count and scores on the BHLS (r=0.87) and HLSI (r=71) but a weak relationship between source counts and TRAILS score and level of educational attainment. Source quality had a weak relationship with BHLS scores (r=0.24), a moderate relationship with the HLSI scores (r=0.50), and a weak relationship with TRAILS scores and educational attainment.
Conclusions – The data analysis suggests a significant relationship between information horizons mapping and health literacy but not information literacy or level of educational attainment. This data supports findings from the author’s previous research examining the relationship between information horizon maps and information literacy scores for refugee and immigrant women. It also suggests that information horizons mapping may facilitate storytelling that reflects the complexity of participants’ health literacy ability and may introduce the potential to assess low-literacy level populations. More research is needed to examine the quality and complexity produced in information horizons maps. This methodology may be applied to investigate better techniques for assessing the health literacy levels among populations that struggle with prose-based assessments.