On 15/03/2013 20:45, Kevin M Randall wrote:
James Weinheimer wrote:
It’s just too bad that nobody really knows what the public needs since nobody has done any research on it.
Why do you keep saying this, over and over and over again? It is simply not true. Studies have been done are are being done, and you can find them if you look for them.
Then point some out, but please, not just simply “Rah! Rah! RDA” and “How best to prepare for RDA” but researches that try to find:
- what are the problems that members of the people have with the library catalog (not the library website, other databases libraries subscribe to, or Google)
- researches that are not limited only to library science students or librarians
- that RDA and FRBR structures offer solutions to the problems they have found. That is, that people need WEMI structures and that the changes with RDA will have results that people will be able to find the information they need easier than they do today.
I haven’t found any, although there is a mass of research done on how people work with library websites as a whole, or, “how do we teach users to search the library catalog correctly” (as part of information literacy). When there has been research done, they have found mostly that “library users find the OPAC difficult to understand and use, with unintelligible descriptors and complex organizational concepts, resulting in confusing search experiences with problematic results.” http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/2584474/1954456581/name/Information_Technology_in_Librarianship__New_Critical_Approaches.pdf#page=228
One article, “Accessing the collection of a large public library: an analysis of OPAC use” by Vivienne Waller http://libres.curtin.edu.au/libres20n1/Waller_Ref.pdf mentioned this:
“In the 1980s and 1990s, a vast amount of research was conducted on OPAC use. This has necessitated the periodic publication of review articles. Large and Beheshti (1997), for example, review more than seventy pieces of research on OPAC use published between 1990 and 1996, while Tenopir (2003) summarises more than 200 pieces of research on this topic published between 1995 and 2003. Although fairly recent, most of this research was undertaken in a technological context very different from now. For example the review of the literature in Bates (2003) relies on studies conducted before the mid 1990s, a time when few people had experience with using the Internet, and before the widespread use of Internet search engines. Markey (2007) describes the 1980s as the golden age of the online catalogue “because library users depended on it almost exclusively for finding information on the topics that interested them” (n.p.). In 1995, Internet search engines were known to only a small minority with access to the Internet. By contrast, in the month of April 2008, Google handled 5.1 billion queries in the US alone (Google Milestones, 2008).”
I agree completely. The way people “access information” has changed totally since the 1990s and even since 2003. Web2.0 didn’t really start going until 2002. YouTube didn’t begin until 2006! In my own recollection, this seemed much father back in time, but this shows “Internet Time” where changes are occurring at a frightening rate. Internet Time must the be equivalent of decades or centuries. And remember, FRBR and the “user needs” were figured out pre-web.
Certainly, absolutely nothing I have found has demonstrated that either RDA or FRBR will make it substantially better for the public, although many articles simply state it.
But if you or others, can point me in directions of research that has worked with users, and demonstrates convincingly that RDA and FRBR makes it easier for them to find the information they want, that would be great!