Featured Post: How Undergraduates Evaluate Sources

Photo of a card sorting exercise, with 5 columns of content attached to a wall.

Source evaluation is an important skill in our information landscape, which is why librarians teach this concept to students during course-integrated information literacy sessions. As part of an IMLS grant, our research team is conducting a two part study to understand the impact of library instruction on students’ evaluation of sources. In this post, we discuss the use of a questionnaire and role-playing interviews to learn more about students’ confidence in their evaluation abilities.

Exploratory Research After Launch: Interviewing Users About Library Search

Word cloud of interview themes, such as results relevance, filtering, record display, call number, course reserves, advanced search, Boolean queries, etc.

U-M Library’s Library Search launched in 2018 as a unified search engine application containing five previously distinct interfaces: Catalog, Articles, Databases, Online Journals, and Library Websites. Library Search was a big change for users, and an increase in user support requests suggested that further exploration was needed to pinpoint user pain points. The authors began an exploratory study that helped understand users’ experiences and identified areas for continued work.

Approaches to Library Assessment Using Multiple Data Sources

Image of 3 circles, representing a survey, a data store, and a library shelving area.

This blog post presents how the use of multiple streams of data benefited two recent U-M Library studies. For example, one recent study merged survey data, U-M human resources data, and Library document delivery data to provide a very rich picture of how diverse groups on campus use and experience the Library’s document delivery service. Some advantages of joining multiple data sources in assessment projects are discussed in the context of the two example studies.

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