acrl research process example

Category: Education

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Know Your Users : 

Know Your Users Supplementary Podcast Research Process Example

Research Process : 

Research Process First-year student attempting to locate a video to use as a source for a research assignment. Confused about where to look for materials in the catalog, as well as LC call numbers. Student had two library instruction sessions

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Step 1: Identifies Item in Catalog : 

Step 1: Identifies Item in Catalog Misinterprets call Number as “Video Room 315” “RM” shelving is located on the fourth floor Not sure about where to go, the student goes to the reference desk for help

Step 2: At the Reference Desk : 

Step 2: At the Reference Desk The student staffing the reference desk is not there, leaving no one to help The student consults a bookmark giving call number locations, decides that the item is on the fourth floor based on where “V” call numbers are shelved “I’m guessing--it starts with VID so that’s on the fourth floor”

Step 3: Try the Circ Desk : 

Step 3: Try the Circ Desk Decides to ask at the circulation desk Is given incorrect information: “Videos are on the third floor” Videos are shelved in the stacks by call number

Step 4: Ask at the Media Center : 

Step 4: Ask at the Media Center The student goes to the third floor, but is confused because she can’t find “Room 315.” Asks for help at the media center, but the student tells her that she should ask at circulation. “The circulation desk downstairs deals with where things are. We’re mainly to check out equipment. . .things like laptops. I’m sorry”

Step 5: Read the Floor Plan : 

Step 5: Read the Floor Plan The student consults the third floor signage, but can’t find the call number on the map because it shows only one floor. “This is not helping me. . .”

Step 6: Return to the Circ Desk : 

Step 6: Return to the Circ Desk The student returns to circulation desk, and is finally given correct information Finds video in the stacks Total time to find item: 10 minutes Very few students will persist this long

Summary : 

Summary A minor gap in the student’s information literacy knowledge led to a major problem in finding the material Student approached three different service points and did not receive adequate help with her problem Small obstacles can lead directly to a failed search, negatively affecting students’ learning outcomes

Service Implications : 

Service Implications Additional directional signage Maps and/or locations displayed in catalog page alongside call number Common basic service requirements and training at all service points Increased training for library student employees

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