This pilot study aims to explore whether a research library like Roskilde University library (RUb) can use social technologies to disseminate its resources and increase user involvement through the digital interface. We included the students' digital information retrieval and use of the physical library, to get an overall picture of students' information search strategies in relation to their studies. Our conclusion is based on 12 semi-structured interviews with first and second year students from the three bachelor programmes at Roskilde University; Bachelor of Arts, Science and Social Science. The findings should therefore only be regarded as indicative. Further research should be done to determine whether our findings are representative.
In relation to the digital resources, the students use to find materials they need for their study, did 50% of the students use Google as a first entry to get an overview of the topic. The other 50% used library catalogs and their electronic resources, as the primary source to find relevant material. Students continue to use the physical library, partly for group work, but also to obtain help from a librarian. Two thirds of the students either used the "Book a librarian" facility, or received personal guidance at RUb.
Our results further indicate that there is no immediate enthusiasm of the students to meet the research library at social networks like Facebook. If RUb decides to be present at such a social network, it is essential that it carefully considers the aim and purpose of being there, taking into consideration that students do not use social technologies just because they are available. They must be meaningful and relevant to them. In addition, it is necessary to promote actively the social technologies already being offered by RUb, such as Chat, RSS, and "Write a review". Students do not automatically notice that they exist. The seven students that were aware of the Chat feature were introduced to it at a library introduction course. The other features had gone unnoticed (RSS), or were only known to two ("Write a review"). Our results confirm existing research that the predominant majority of students are passive users of social technologies.
|Number of pages||50|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|
- social technologies
- web 2.0
- research libraries