Today I’m blogging from a conference on student (and generally young adult) library users hosted by LAUC-B. I’m about to go into a breakout session with e-learning specialist Char Booth on community-centered research. Here’s a great new book:
In it Booth presents practical tools for getting to know what tools and technologies local communities actually need and want. Yes, “research is where it’s at.” No more technology for technology’s sake. While Booth’s writing about academic libraries, the concepts and tools in this document offer valuable insights for public libraries and for nonprofit information centers. Speaking personally, this has been an area of my work for a long time — first, trying to select appropriate new technologies for then-Web 2.0 novice staff and community members (at a grassroots nonprofit), and later, researching and sequencing reference tools for public library users in Contra Costa County, CA. In all instances we need more models for thoughtful community research.
“This book by Char Booth examines one institution’s efforts to move away from technolust and towards a ‘culture of assessment.'” Read it.
Informing Innovation: Survey Instrument (PDF 268 KB): Download a template library/technology survey instrument, which can be adapted to customize a local environmental scan similar to the Ohio University Libraries project
Dynamic Webcast (Flash Video – Streaming): View a dynamic webcast of Char Booth and Chris Guder’s 2009 ACRL National Conference presentation, “If You Build It, Will They Care?”, which summarizes findings and practical applications of the Ohio University Libraries student environmental scanning project.