STUDYING STUDENTS TO ENHANCE LIBRARY SERVICES AT RUTGERS UNIVERSITY:
PRINCIPLES AND PRIORITIES FOR MOVING FROM RESEARCH TO REDESIGN AND DEVELOPMENTOF THE LIBRARIES WEBSITE
THE FINAL REPORT OF OUR ETHNOGRAPHIC RESEARCH PROJECT
We carried out this ethnographic research project t o investigate the research behaviors of Rutgers University undergraduate studentsgraduate , students, and faculty in
an effort to discover how library and information resources are used, in particular the Rutgers University Libraries website. We intended that the research would
highlight ways in which the website might be improved both to enhance the research experience for users and to attract new users.
This final report details the principles and priorities developed by the core team for guiding improvements to the Libraries website. Project methods and detailed results
are contained in two reports available on the Libraries website at: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/groups/ethnography/reports.shtmlAlso . at the same
location are coded comments from the surveysofgraduate and undergraduate students and review reports with specific recommendations from relevant councils and
committees on the coded comments contributed by survey respondents.
The study gathered a great deal of dataThe . various reports describe the "what" of improving our website. The design team will determine the “ how. ”
The Libraries website needs to be viewed quite differently by librarians and library staff than it has been to date. Instead of being a vehicle for library information, it
must become a tool. Website users do not want to read and be instructed, except perhaps by choice. They desperately need and want the website to carry out actively
what they need to have done. As Roy Tennent has written:
“You know you want it. Or you know someone who does. One search box and a button to search a variety of sources, with results collated for easy review.
Go ahead, give in—after all, isn't it true that only librarians like to search? Everyone else likes to find .”
Our results confirm this view.
Digital Libraries- Cross- Database Search: One- Stop Shopping , by Roy Tennant. Library Journal, 10/15/01. Viewed February 3, 2010: