ALISE Conference 2009 Doctoral Poster Sessions

 

1. Katherine Wisser
The organization of knowledge and classification in early nineteenth century America
2. Susan Rathbun-Grubb
Leaving librarianship: Career paths of librarians who exit the profession
3. Natasha Gerolami
Architecture of a Virtual Library: a Deleuzian Approach to Library and Information Studies
4. Bradley Wendell Compton
The domain shared by computational and digital ontology: A phenomenological exploration and analysis
5. T. Patrick Milas
Citation, documentation, and information behavior at Harvard: A study of Ph.D. and Th.D. dissertation research processes
6. Linda Most
The library as place in rural north Florida: A study of the Gadsden County Public Library System
7. Rowena Li
The representation of nation political freedom on web Interface design: A comparison of government-based and business-oriented websites
8. Bi-Yun (Ruby) Huang
Analyzing a social movement's use of the internet: Resource mobilization and new social movement theories and the case of Falun Gong
9. Timnah Gretencord
In translation: Attracting Spanish-speaking participants to public programming
10. Marc Richard Hugh Kosciejew
Apartheid's documentary apparatus: The documentary construction of racial and ethnic identities in apartheid South Africa
11. Tommy Snead
Multi-method evaluation of access for individuals to records maintained by executive agencies
12. Lo-Chih Shen
Students' perceptions and academic achievement of E-learning course with librarians' service: A case study of a business class
13. Joonmin Kim
Performance Assessment of Online Learner Performance Using Effective Note-Taking in Chat in Online Learning (ENCO)
14. Annette Y. Goldsmith
Found in translation: A mixed methods study of decision-making by U.S. editors who acquire children's books for translation
15. Minjie Chen
What do we tell children about war?—the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) as depicted in Chinese youth literature
16. Colette Drouillard
Growing up with Harry Potter: What motivated youth to read?
17. Jen (J.L.) Pecoskie
Bridging ourselves: Understanding reading and social interaction
18. Andrea Japzon
Exploration of the knowledge of and motivation for learning preservation practices for personal digital information
19. Brian Kenney
The transformative library: A narrative inquiry into the outcomes of information use
20. Devendra Dilip Potnis
ICT & disadvantaged women from developing nations
21. Sheri Ross
The scholarly use of journals offered through the HINARI and AGORA programs
22. Jennifer Campbell-Meier
Factors influencing institutional repository development
23. Xiaoli Huang
Topicality reconsidered: A multidisciplinary inquiry into topical relevance relationships
24. Catherine L. Smith
Sensitivity to the results list: A response to poor system performance
25. Jung Sung Oh
Network analysis of shared interests represented by social bookmarking behaviors
26. Anindita Paul
Use of web analytics to understand library users' online behavior
27. Waseem Afzal
Intention to buy/sell online: A model depicting the role of individual, technological, and informational factors along with the moderating function of cultural traits
28. Stasa Milojevic
Small world of nanoscience: Structural parameters of coauthorship networks
29. Heather Hill
The contracting out of the public library: A critical discourse analysis
30. Jody K. Howard
The relationship between school culture and an effective school library program: Four case studies
31. Jennifer Crispin
Ruling relations and the teacher-librarian: An institutional ethnography
32. Sheri Anita Massey
Digital libraries in schools: The best practices of nationally certified school library media specialists

 

 

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1. Katherine Wisser
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

 

Title

The organization of knowledge and classification in early nineteenth century America

 

Purpose/Objective of Study

This study explores classification systems created and used by social libraries in the first half of the nineteenth century. The study examines the similarities and differences between these classification systems in order to understand how knowledge was structured prior to the American Civil War. Sample and Setting Sixteen catalogs from a variety of social libraries were examined. These catalogs were selected because they were classified, accessible, and represent several different types of social libraries (mechanics' institutes, mercantile libraries, society libraries, and athenaeums). The earliest dates from 1802 and the latest from 1858, and they come from various geographic regions.

 

Method

The methodology for this study includes a qualitative content analysis of classification systems in the sample catalogs and historical contextualization of the social libraries. Classification schemes were examined for their order, structure, and class name components. Data Collection Technique(s)

 

The data for this study constitute the classification systems reflected in the catalogs and primary source data from the libraries themselves (including annual reports, historical accounts, etc.)

 

Results

An examination of the sample classification systems shows that there is an overall adherence to Sir Francis Bacon's organization of knowledge but that individual differences reflect the type of social library. Geographic comparison does not reveal any appreciable difference, particularly in a North/South comparison, but a temporal comparison indicates some trends in granularity and class order. A comparison of class names for scientific topics illustrates a general agreement on class terminology, but some differences indicate the fluctuation of the time and evolving understanding of disciplines. Finally, the shifting location of Fiction and Theology classes illustrates a transformative approach to the function of libraries. The results of this work have implications for our increased understanding of the role that the organization of knowledge plays in the construction of bibliographic classification systems.

 


 

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2. Susan Rathbun-Grubb
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

 

Title

Leaving librarianship: Career paths of librarians who exit the profession

 

Purpose/Objective of Study

Staff and succession planning will be increasingly important to library administrators as an aging LIS workforce becomes eligible for retirement. Retaining early- and mid-career professionals is critical to preserving organizational continuity during this transition; however, little is known about turnover in librarianship, and whether the field is losing many librarians to information careers outside of libraries. This dissertation research investigates the career patterns of librarians who leave the profession, and those who indicate that they intend to leave within the next three years. The study explores differences between leavers and non-leavers, and the motivations for career change as articulated by those who intend to leave LIS. This type of research may provide useful guidance to both library administrators and LIS educators, in the areas of workforce planning, staff development and retention, LIS program development, and career advisement and placement.

 

Sample and Setting

The study analyzes a subset of the data collected for the Workforce Issues in Library and Information Science (WILIS) project, a large-scale retrospective career survey of graduates of North Carolina LIS programs (1964-2007). The subset consists of respondents who graduated with a Master's degree in library science, worked as a librarian or archivist in their first position after graduating from the LIS program, and are currently working (N=1,533).

 

Method

Quantitative and qualitative analyses of the survey data are conducted.

 

Data Collection Technique(s)

Respondents completed a web survey consisting of closed-ended and open-ended questions about their education, employment history, job details, work values, and job satisfaction.

 

Results

Only 11% of respondents have left librarianship. Their first jobs after their LIS program were in many types of libraries and professional roles, and their post-library careers show no consistent pattern of employment in particular industries. About half are working in LIS-related positions doing IT work or research, or in businesses that serve the LIS community. Former librarians have also migrated to positions in sales, law, government, administration, and education. These leavers are, on average, slightly older than their counterparts who stayed in the profession, but are otherwise demographically similar. Leavers are more likely to be self-employed and to have flexible work schedules. While leavers earn more than non-leavers on average, they are also working more hours than they would prefer. Leavers and non-leavers are similar in their levels of job satisfaction, and agree that it is "very important" to have a job that offers meaningful work, freedom, and leadership opportunities. Only 3% of respondents still working as librarians plan on leaving LIS within the next 3 years for reasons other than retirement. Most are currently in academic and special libraries, but other library settings are represented. The most common reasons cited for the intention to leave are stress/burnout, inadequate compensation, lack of flexible working arrangements, and the desire to use LIS skills in a different setting.

 


 

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3. Natasha Gerolami
University of Western Ontario

 

Title

Architecture of a Virtual Library: a Deleuzian Approach to Library and Information Studies

 

Purpose/Objective of Study

There have been several calls for a more rigorous theoretical foundation for library and information studies (LIS) over the years. These concerns have been raised because in the discipline of LIS there is a real and growing practice of not only training librarians but also ensuring they understand the importance of information and literacy in civil society. The objective of my dissertation, therefore, is to employ the philosophic work of Gilles Deleuze in order to experiment with a new theoretical framework in LIS. In this quest for theory, we need not only appeal to pre-existing values or categories. There has been a perceived need to reassert library values in the face of increased technological change and market takeover of the information sphere. Writers in information ethics have already expended some energy attempting to find foundations for a pre-given set of librarian values. We need not entrench existing values in librarianship, though, or even seek a balance between contending versions of such values. The point rather is to explode the existing categories upon which we have been operating. Deleuzian thought can be the detonator. The purpose of the dissertation is three fold:

  • To investigate the potential contributions the thought of Deleuze can make to library and information ethics.
  • To understand how new conceptual categories provided by Deleuze are necessary in information policy debates.
  • On the basis of Deleuze's concepts, to propose an information policy of openness, that is, a policy that does not foreclose the possibility of freedom, creativity and transformation.

Method

Deleuze defines philosophy as the creation of concepts. The purpose of philosophy is not to provide a description or representation of the world, concepts or images that mirror our "true" reality. The purpose is to create new concepts that respond to new problems. Yet, philosophical activity does not simply involve the creation of any concepts (some concepts are better than others) but rather the creation of new concepts in order to bring about a new form of social organization. By employing Deleuze's concepts and methodology, we can introduce a series of new questions and problems into LIS.

 

Results

Deleuze's concepts proved useful for rethinking the values articulated by librarians as well as the function of the library in society. I demonstrate that librarians dedicated to promoting freedom and better social organization need to rethink their commitment to static ideals and to the mere communication of information. Further, the elaboration of Deleuze's ontology permitted us to see the importance of the materiality of documents to the manner in which we organize. Further, Deleuze's notion of the assemblage was used as a means to understand how the public library functions in society which complicates our view of the democratic role of the library. I analysed the numerous disciplinary and control mechanisms used in the history of the public library and outlined the potential liberatory mechanisms.

 


 

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4. Bradley Wendell Compton
Florida State University

 

Title

The domain shared by computational and digital ontology: A phenomenological exploration and analysis

 

Purpose/Objective of Study

The purpose of this study is to describe what the researcher believes to be a domain shared by two areas of philosophy: computational ontology and digital ontology. Computational ontology is

  • The area of philosophy that goes into the development of information systems of the same name; and
  • Information systems developed with semantic network capabilities and engineered using analytic ontology for its philosophical framework.

Digital ontology is the casting of Being in terms of digital phenomena that takes into account Heidegger's ontology, particularly his care structure, or the temporal nature of human existence concerning past, present, and future (1962).

 

Sample and Setting

The Basic Formal Ontology (BFO) created by the Institute for Formal Ontology and Medical Information Science (INFOMIS) was chosen as an instrumental case study to represent the philosophy used to develop formal computational ontologies. Formal computational ontologies are highly structured semantic information organization and retrieval systems defined using the most fundamental entities, universals, classes, and relationships in reality. Additionally, this research compares and contrasts the development of such computational ontologies (from the analytic tradition) with what Rafael Capurro (2006) and Michael Eldred (2001) refer to as digital ontology (from the continental tradition).

 

Method

This is a qualitative exploration of computational and digital ontology. It is primarily theoretical and philosophical, but addresses a computational ontology manual as an instrumental case study: the BFO developed by INFOMIS (Smith & Grenon, 2004; Spear, 2006). Herbert Spiegelberg's (1960) outline for the steps of the phenomenological process guides the methodology. These steps are
I. Investigating Particular Phenomena
II. Investigating General Essences
III. Apprehending Essential Relationships
IV. Watching Modes of Appearing
V. Exploring the Constitution of Phenomena in Consciousness
VI. Suspending Belief in Existence
VII. Interpreting Concealed Meanings
Moreover, the distinction between analytic and continental ontology frames this research.

 

Results

Unlike more controlled and quantitative projects, no one can concisely present the conclusions of this type of research. As a whole, the research is what it was designed to be: a comparative description of these two areas of philosophy demonstrating how they differ, what they have in common, and what they have to offer one another. An open question stretches from beginning to end as to whether, despite their similarities, these two areas of philosophy are ultimately philosophically incommensurable. For many reasons, the researcher cannot answer the latter with a simple "yes" or "no."

 


 

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5. T. Patrick Milas
Florida State University

 

Title

Citation, documentation, and information behavior at Harvard: A study of Ph.D. and Th.D. dissertation research processes

 

Purpose/Objective of Study

In 2008, religious intolerance continues to stratify barriers between communities. The significance of religion in decision-making is not unique to fundamentalist violence; it exists in Bush's faith-based approach to decision-making, warranting investigation of faith's impact on user-defined relevance of information. This study's purpose is to explore problems in information behavior faced by the dichotomy between faith-related and secular research expectations transparent in the interpersonal information sources acknowledged in doctoral dissertations.

 

Sample and Setting

The research setting is Harvard University where dissertations are written in two mutually exclusive degree programs - one which prepares future administrators and ministers, and one which prepares future academicians.

  • Doctorate of Theology (Th.D.)
  • Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

From the sampling frame of Dissertation abstracts (1998-2007), Milas took a stratified random sample by creating a matrix with cells assigned in relative proportions according to the study population's distribution of Th.D. and Ph.D. dissertations. Based upon the relative quantity of dissertations, 9 Th.D. and 31 Ph.D. dissertations' acknowledgements sections were randomly selected from their respective strata to comprise a sample of 40 dissertations' acknowledgements out of 265 ( ˜ 15%).

 

Method

To operationalize the variables of degrees in the units of analysis (acknowledgements), Milas adopted Brenda Dervin's revised sense-making theory with its barrier component. At the 2006 Annual Meeting of ASIS&T, Dervin confirmed the conceptualization of degree type as a barrier in her model, stating, "[it is] potentially impacting students throughout their [doctoral dissertation] research" (October 8, 2006, personal communication).

 

Quantitative: bibliometric analysis of the frequency with which the acknowledgements of the respective degrees' dissertation acknowledge affiliates of their own degree programs

 

Qualitative: hermeneutic content analysis of acknowledgees' roles in each unit of analysis, following a codebook (tested by Hyland, 2004) limited to students, faculty, librarians, and interpersonal "others" (e.g. clergy, family etc.)

 

Data Collection Technique(s)

1) documented all interpersonal information sources who are acknowledged by first and last name;
2) identified each acknowledgee's affiliation with Harvard per the 2007 catalog;
and
3) coded all confirmed Harvard affiliates by program affiliation.
To analyze the data, Milas:
1) counted the number of unique affiliates from each program occurring in each acknowledgement;
2) aggregated the frequencies of Th.D. and Ph.D. affiliates acknowledged in Th.D. and Ph.D. dissertations; and
3) measured the aggregated data from the Th.D. and Ph.D. dissertations' acknowledgements in terms of the percentage of the stratified sample that each comprises.

 

Results

1) Ph.D. dissertations cut across the "barrier" of degree program;
2) Th.D. dissertations exhibit interpersonal insularity in the Th.D. program;
3) Ph.D. dissertations refer to more librarians than Th.D.s; and
4) Th.D. students acknowledge more clergy.


A preliminary conclusion is that degree types should be considered during reference interviews to better identify what information sources may be most helpful in the dissertation research of the social networks of future ministers and future religion teachers, respectively.

 


 

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6. Linda Most
Florida State University

 

Title

The library as place in rural north Florida: A study of the Gadsden County Public Library System

 

Purpose/Objective of Study

Research into the concept of "library as place" attempts to understand the role of library buildings as destinations, physical places where people go for various reasons ranging from the most obvious -- making use of the library's resources and services or seeking to fulfill an information or reading need -- to less easily identified reasons that may include using the library's building as a place to make social or business contacts, to build or reinforce community or political ties, or to create or reinforce a personal identity. The research question asks: How are the Gadsden County Library System library buildings functioning as places? It is answered by answering sub-questions about adult library users, user and staff perceptions of library use, and observations of actual use of library facilities. The findings are contextualized using a framework built of theories from human geography, philosophy, sociology, and information studies.

 

Sample and Setting

This study takes place in the three libraries -- Quincy, Havana, and Chattahootchee -- that make up the Gadsen County Public Library System, located in rural North Florida and serving approximately 48,000 residents, the majority African-American. The study population includes all adults between the ages of 18 – 65 physically present in the library during the study period, and library public service staff members.

 

Method

This case study replicates a mixed-methods case study conducted at the main public libraries in Toronto and Vancouver in the late1990s and replicated in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2006 to explore the role of the public library as place in a community. It features a single case: the Gadsden County Public Library System, with three embedded units of analysis: the three library branches.

 

Data Collection Technique(s)

The study uses three data collection methods to collect both quantitative and qualitative data from two groups: surveys and interviews of adult library users, interviews of library public service staff members, and structured observations – seating sweeps – of the people using the libraries. The data analysis triangulates findings from each section to answer the research questions.

 

Results

Thematic analysis based on the study's conceptual framework is attempting to determine whether any of the previously identified roles public libraries play as place are evident in these library locations. Data collection is currently underway. Preliminary thematic data analysis indicates that at least three concepts from the theoretical framework – libraries support the generation of social capital, libraries are informational places, and libraries facilitate the formation of the neutral public sphere -- will be relevant to explaining how this community's library goers use their public libraries as place.

 


 

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7. Rowena Li
University of North Texas

 

Title

The representation of nation political freedom on web Interface design: A comparison of government-based and business-oriented websites

 

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to explore the representation of national political freedom on web interface design by using Power Distance, one of the culture dimensions identified by Geert Hofstede, as a measurement. This study also aims to determine if there are any differences between government-based websites and business-oriented websites in representing national political freedom.

 

A pilot study was conducted to validate ten Power Distance indicators identified from previous research on cultural dimensions with the intent of establishing a measurement for determining a country's national political freedom on web content and interface design. The result showed that seven out of ten proposed indicators are valid Power Distance indicators. Consequently, the principal research applied these seven indicators in coding 312 websites selected from 39 countries and analyzed national political freedom represented on these websites with content analysis method. The result of two-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) indicated that large differences exist in web interface design, which in turn reflects the aforementioned national political freedom.

 

The mean effect of freedom level between free-country Group, Partly-free-country Group and Not-free-Country Group was statistically significant (p = .003). So was the mean effect of website type between government-based and business-oriented websites (p = .000). The interaction between the freedom level and website type was also significant (p = .041). Thus, we conclude that web interface design represents a country's political freedom and government-based websites embody more of a nation's authority and supremacy than business-oriented websites do. It is expected that this study furthers our exploration in culture dimensions on web interface design and advances our knowledge in sociological and cultural studies of the Web.

 


 

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8. Bi-Yun (Ruby) Huang
Indiana University, Bloomington

 

Title

Analyzing a social movement's use of the internet: Resource mobilization and new social movement theories and the case of Falun Gong

 

Purpose/Objective of Study

We present a dissertation study that investigates Internet use by Falun Gong practitioners living outside of China in response to the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) crackdown. This study explores the relationship between the Falun Gong social movement and its Internet use through the lens of new social movement theory and resource mobilization theory.

 

Sample and Setting

This study, conducted in the Mid-Western area in the United States, uses purposive and snowball sampling in its recruitment of Chinese, Taiwanese, and American participants. The majority of subjects are from China who practice Falun Gong in the United States. Participants in the questionnaire survey are also drawn from countries in Asia and the United States in order to validate the findings. A total of ten participants are recruited for interviews, five participants for observation, and one hundred participants for a survey.

 

Method

Using an interpretive perspective, this research employs a mixture of qualitative, quantitative and content analysis methods to explore and assess the insights and experiences of informants. This combination of approaches is necessary because of the wide range of data needed to lend depth and clarity to investigate the complex issues embedded in the Falun Gong social movement's Internet use.

 

Data Collection Technique(s)

Four data collection techniques are used: in-depth interviews; field notes of observations (e.g., participants use of the Internet, group activities, experience sharing conferences); the group's documents and related materials (e.g., websites, email messages, books, flyers, pamphlets, publications, readers, and photos); and a survey.

 

Results

The findings of this study show that the use of the Internet has opened up opportunities for Falun Gong practitioners to facilitate mobilizing efforts. Falun Gong practitioners use various Internet applications, develop innovative software (such as dialers and mailers) and modify existing technologies to suit their needs. Moreover, practitioners have been able to access and acquire various resources including money, knowledge, education, work spaces, and materials. This study also shows that Internet use allows practitioners to makes use of a range of online tactics to mobilize online and offline actions and to decrease the impact of CCP's counteractions. Internet use is a catalyst for the formation of collective identity and enforces the network of the participants. However, several pitfalls such as surveillance and censorship from the CCP, a need of face-to-face communication, and lack of computer knowledge by practitioners limit the effectiveness of Internet use.

 

In sum, Falun Gong practitioners use of the Internet is manifested in five ways: they fully embrace the use of the Internet; develop innovative software and modify technologies that are applicable to the Internet; make use of a variety of tactics to decrease the impact of CCP's counteractions; increase collective identity and reinforce the network of the participants; and interact rapidly at a lower cost.

 


 

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9. Timnah Gretencord
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 

Title

In translation: Attracting Spanish-speaking participants to public programming

 

Purpose/Objective of Study

This study is an investigation and analysis of the process of developing new partnerships among public service agencies and making more durable connections with local Spanish-speaking families in a small, Midwestern city. The study seeks to answer the question: "What forces motivate and demotivate members of this minority community to participate in public programs designed to increase participants' ability to self-direct?" The project began as an attempt to import, adapt, and study a public library program for English language learning immigrant youth, titled "Earphone English," which initially did not attract participants at the local site. This blocked research effort led in turn to an investigation of the group-making activities involved in (a) the local "Earphone English" project, (b) the strategizing, partnering, and trust-building activities that resulted in a later, successful summer program for the target population, and (c) the attempts of another organizing committee to interest the partnerships of the first project in new work.

 

Sample and Setting

The study relies on a purposive sample of public service agency employees and Spanish-speaking family members, especially parents and grandparents.

 

Method

The data collection and analysis methods are qualitative—the analysis draws on actor-network-theory to trace the associations between the human and nonhuman factors that are active in the data.

 

Data Collection Technique(s)

The data was collected via participatory observation and interviews over the course of more than a year of outreach work.

 

Results

Factors such as the terms of employment, family demands such as food preparation, access to transportation, and social connections function as motivators and demotivators to minority involvement in public service programming. However, the impact of these factors is altered among individuals and families who self-identify as information and help sources for their social circle. Employment at a public service agency is usually associated with such gatekeeper status, though such employment is only one of several potentially causal factors resulting in gatekeeper status. These gatekeepers describe what may be termed religious or ethical ‘conversion experiences' to the work of gatekeeping, experiences that continue to define the ideals that motivate their ongoing gatekeeping work. The in-process ‘conversion' of the researcher and a minority member to certain such ideals illustrates some possible keys to gatekeeper recruitment. The recruitment of additional gatekeepers is essential to future success both in public service agency outreach and in minority community activism.

 


 

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10. Marc Richard Hugh Kosciejew
University of Western Ontario

 

Title

Apartheid's documentary apparatus: The documentary construction of racial and ethnic identities in apartheid South Africa

 

Purpose/Objective of Study

The purpose of my research is to analyze the constitutive effects of documents and documentary practices. Documents and documentary practices are mundane, but ubiquitous, features of modern life. They are the lifeblood of agencies, institutions, states, and personal lives. Documents appear everywhere in modern life from school transcripts to plane tickets to gift receipts to drivers' licenses. For my purposes, I argue that a document is a print, audio, or electronic record of information – whether it be a sign, a written agreement, a piece of legislation, a recording, or digital file – that provides specific information and evidence, and that can be used to discover, support, or prove a hypothesis, theory, assertion, or fact. But I extend this concept of a document further through an analysis of the documentary practices and institutions that give a document the inertia, momentum, and power to make ‘things'.

 

Sample and Setting

My focus is on the documentary apparatus of Apartheid South Africa (1948-1994). I argue that Apartheid's documentary apparatus – its many documents, along with their associated practices and institutions – helped construct South Africans' racial and ethnic identities. Apartheid's documentary apparatus helped to ensure the ideological mission of total segregation at both the macro and micro levels. On the macro level, the creation and subsequent separation of different racial and ethnic identities were drafted, adopted, and turned into law through legislative documents. On the micro level, these identities were further reinforced through mundane and daily routines with personal documents and public signs. I argue that this documentary apparatus provided a tangible link between an individual and his or her racial and ethnic categories, thereby transforming these categories into reality. This transformation was facilitated by the seamless movement of documents through various governmental ministries, security checkpoints, bureaucratic agencies, businesses, and social institutions. As the documents made their way through the system, one's racial and ethnic identity became a fact that controlled their life.

 

Method

My methodological approach to Apartheid's documentary apparatus is a unique one. My research is theoretical as I undertake a documentary approach to analyzing how racial and ethnic identities were constructed. A documentary approach is not to be confused with textual analysis, which examines the content – or text – of documents ; rather, a documentary approach traces, examines, and analyzes how documents operate within institutions, what practices they require and demand in order to acquire inertia and momentum, and how they interact with other documents, institutions, and actors.

 

Data Collection Technique(s)

My data collection techniques concentrate on data-mining the vast Apartheid literature for mentions and discussion of documents. It is an interdisciplinary approach, drawing from numerous sources in various disciplines, that involves close examination of the literature to mine and uncover Apartheid's complex documentary apparatus.

 

Results

As my research is theoretically based, my concluding analysis is that documents and documentary practices indeed have powerful constitutive effects. In Apartheid South Africa, documents helped chain individuals to their designated racial categories, forcing upon them specific racialized identities that, through further documentary practices, established, enforced, and entrenched them as ‘facts'.

 


 

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11. Tommy Snead
Florida State University

 

Title

Multi-method evaluation of access for individuals to records maintained by executive agencies

 

Purpose/Objective of Study

The problem this study addresses is access through federal web sites to records maintained by executive agencies that contain personal information as defined by the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a). Privacy Act statutory provisions, as amended in 1988 provide individuals rights of access to records that contain personal information about or relative to the individual where individuals must first make a request for access and agencies must then address the request, i.e. to either fulfill or deny the request (5 U.S.C. 552a). The primary body of laws, Congressional oversight, judicial interpretations, research, and debate related to access via the Privacy Act emphasize agencies' response to requests for access. Very little work addresses how agencies provide individual's information on how to request access.

 

This study takes an exploratory approach that employs an iterative, multi-method evaluation of selected Executive agencies to understand access for individuals through agency web sites to agency records that contain personal information. Agencies typically provide access to records through their web sites in the form of guidance procedures. Guidance procedures, for purposes of this study refer to procedures that provide:

 

Information to individuals about statutory provisions of the Privacy Act related to requests for access to information; Information on how agencies must respond to requests; and/or Information on how individuals may submit requests.

 

To gain an understanding of the request process for individuals, the research of this study focuses on how selected federal agencies provide information related to an individual's request for access to records through federal web sites, the success of agencies provision of the request information, and how the provision affects the interaction between individuals and agencies.

 

Sample and Setting

Evaluation of 64 Executive department/agency web sites

 

Method

Qualitative and quantitative

 

Data Collection Technique(s)

Policy Analysis – assessment of selected key issues.
Usability Study – measures related to the usability and usefulness of types of guidance procedures.
Web-content Review – measures of types and kinds of guidance procedures.
Privacy Act Requests Review – measures relative to steps required for submitting a request and response of selected agencies to requests.

 

Results

Preliminary results indicate most agencies provide some guidance procedures through their web sites; however, this information is inconsistent across the study sample's executive departments (with included associated departmental agencies) and across agencies in specific departments. Results also identify barriers that inhibit individuals' abilities to submit requests for access to records, such as:

 

Availability, usability, and usefulness of agency provided guidance procedures offered on how individuals make a request;
No or incomplete agency contact information for the request; and/or
Requirements that individuals must identify, or describe systems of records that contain relevant records.

Additional barriers include lack of definitive information on fees charged and required/suggested elements of a request (i.e. contact information, proof of identify, delivery of requests by mail, fax, email, etc.).

 


 

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12. Lo-Chih Shen
University of Idaho

 

Title

Students' perceptions and academic achievement of E-learning course with librarians' service: A case study of a business class

 

Abstract

This study presents the quantitative assessment of e-learning with library service in higher education. It examines students' perceptions and academic achievement in an undergraduate business course in which students are required to complete several online learning modules integrated with traditional learning methods. Performance and efficacy of the e-learning programs are assessed and articulated based on students' perceptions and academic achievement. Important factors such as e-learning elements and library service that affect students' academic achievement are also identified and examined. Collective analyses have shown that e-learning instruction is manifested as a viable, effective alternative in the blended learning environment.

 

Purpose/Objective of Study

Performance and efficacy of the e-learning programs are assessed and articulated based on students' perceptions and academic achievement. The purpose of this study is to examine students' perception of integrating online components such as e-learning elements and library service in an undergraduate business course in which students are required to complete several online learning modules with traditional learning methods with traditional instruction.

 

Methods

The study will utilize two statistical procedures for the analysis of survey data and students' academic achievement.

 

Data Collection Technique(s)

The survey designated e-learning platform: black board, was performed after the completion of the course, Fundamental of Credit Analysis and Risk Management. The students who were enrolled in the course, subsequently, were the focus group of this study. A focus group is used as a preliminary research technique to explore ideas and attitudes toward a certain issue.

 


 

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13. Joonmin Kim
Florida State University

 

Title

Performance Assessment of Online Learner Performance Using Effective Note-Taking in Chat in Online Learning (ENCO)

 

Purpose/Objective of Study

In an online class, communication between instructor and student is significantly different from that in a traditional face-to-face class. Chat technology is mainly used to support synchronous interaction in online learning. The logs of chat sessions may serve as lecture or discussion notes that include all interactions between instructor and students. The current problem with chat logs is that, while they may be comprehensive records of the textual messages exchanged during a given time, the ability to select or personalize these records is lacking. The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of providing note-taking functionality to online chat logs on students enrolled in graduate online learning courses. ENCO (Effective Note-taking in Chat in Online Learning) is intended to offer benefits to participants in an online learning environment, and is expected to improve learning performance.

 

Sample and Setting:

Online learning class participants will use a tool, ENCO (Effective Note-taking in Chat in Online Learning), to select message lines in chat logs individually, save the lines, and retrieve the lines. The subjects for this study will be recruited from graduate students enrolled in at least one of three online courses offered at Florida State University, College of Information.

 

Method

In this experimental design, null hypotheses have been developed and applied.

 

Data Collection Technique(s)

About sixty students will be recruited to voluntarily participate in the experiment, and will be divided into two groups (experimental and control group). Test scores and completion time in both pre-test and post-test will be measured and compared. Also, focus group interview in chat will be conducted.

 

Results

This research will be conducted in November, 2008, and data will be collected and analyzed. t-test with paired observation will be applied to analyze the collected data of test scores and completion time.

 


 

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14. Annette Y. Goldsmith
Florida State University

 

Title

Found in translation: A mixed methods study of decision-making by U.S. editors who acquire children's books for translation

 

Purpose/Objective of Study

Foreign children's books translated into English matter to young readers in the U.S. for intellectual, literary, and pedagogical reasons, yet very few are published. Little systematic research documents the decision-making process of editors, the first gatekeepers. Research questions: How do current U.S. children's trade acquisitions editors select culturally conscious children's books written in a foreign language in a foreign country to be translated into English for the U.S. market? What are the barriers editors encounter? What are the helps/resources to which they have access? How do they perceive the value of publishing translations? Two versions of sense-making, Brenda Dervin's (communications) and Karl E. Weick's (organizational psychology), inform the study. Using two similar but not identical theoretical perspectives adds depth to the analysis, providing "binocular vision" as anthropologist Gregory Bateson says.

 

Sample and Setting

The study was carried out in the U.S. from May to July, 2008. The target population was all children's acquisitions editors whose firms were current members of the Children's Book Council (CBC), or were members over the past five years. Since not all editors could be identified through contacting CBC members, the sample became purposive.

 

Method

The participant selection model, a variant of the mixed methods sequential explanatory design, was employed. A web-based survey preceded interviewing. A regression model representing the a priori theory of what factors would influence editors in their decision making was fit to the survey data. The respondents whose propensity to publish translations deviated most strongly in a positive or negative way from what the regression model predicted (the off-diagonals) were selected for interviewing.

 

Data Collection Technique(s)

Email invitations were sent to 153 editors, of whom 93 responded. The survey response rate was 61%, which is considered good for a web survey. Five positive and five negative off-diagonals were interviewed for about an hour each by telephone.

 

Results

The analysis was iterative, working between the quantitative and qualitative data. It was predicted that editors were monolingual and did not publish translations primarily because it is an expensive undertaking. The findings suggest a more nuanced picture. The top-ranked motivation for publishing is a positive personal response to such a book (37%), which, if strong enough, can overcome the financial barriers. The Bologna Children's Book Fair (46%) was ranked as the most important resource, and it is expensive to attend. Of the 36.6% of editors with the ability to read and evaluate a manuscript in a language other than English, the editors' second language is more apt to be French (29.3%) than Spanish (8.6%). The single most important barrier for editors is reliance on reader's reports when they cannot read in the language of the original – not cost. Bilingual interviewees (30%) consider having a second language an asset even if it is not the language of the translation at hand, believing that it makes them more open-minded. 73.6% of subjects with a second language thought it was important or very important to themselves publish translations. Numerous other decision-making findings will be presented.

 


 

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15. Minjie Chen
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 

Title

What do we tell children about war?—the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) as depicted in Chinese youth literature

 

Purpose/Objective of Study

This study examines how the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) and the hotly contested topic of Japanese war crimes have been represented in Chinese youth literature, particularly in the popular format of lian huan hua (illustrated story books and comic literature), published in mainland China from World War II till the present. It reviews the main subject matter of stories about the Sino-Japanese War and analyzes the way violence and trauma are depicted in text and images for young readers. The purpose of this study is to assess the quality of Pacific War information provided to Chinese youth through popular literature. It also intends to disclose how the patterns of war stories changed as the political and cultural climate shifted in China.

 

Sample and Setting

A total of 350 Chinese-language lian huan hua titles relating to the Sino-Japanese War and published from 1938 through 2002 are examined.

 

Method

Content analysis. For every story, the researcher catalogs the following aspects: cover image, time setting, geographical setting; political/military membership and age/gender of the main protagonist, subject matter, genre, and reference to war crimes. The main characteristics of each aspect are thus revealed.

 

Data Collection Technique(s)

The 350 titles analyzed in the study are all the unique titles that the researcher could locate through comprehensive searches in four Chinese libraries, one major Chinese online bookstore, and a proprietary database of digitized books.

 

Results

The majority of Sino-Japanese War stories in Chinese lian huan hua focus on the military confrontations between China and Japan. They celebrate the military victories achieved by armies, guerilla forces, and armed civilians led by the Chinese Communist Party during World War II. Male war heroes dominate the central figures of these stories. When female main protagonists appear at all, they are often woman warriors demonstrating exemplary skills in combat and leadership.

 

There are few stories which give credit to contributions made by the Chinese Nationalist government, which the Communist Party defeated in the subsequent civil war (1946-49), or by the American allies, which soon became Communist China's enemy during the Cold War. Such stories were published either before the Communist Party took over China in 1949, or after the end of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976).

 

There are few stories which focus on civilians' experiences during World War II. Major war crimes committed by Imperial Japan, such as the Nanking massacre of 1937, millions of "comfort women" who were forced to serve in military brothels, and the Japanese biological warfare, are hardly mentioned in the great majority of the titles examined. A few such books were published in the early 1950s but suppressed for political reasons, and a few more appeared only after the late 1990s, prompted by the widely reported denials of Japanese war crimes and controversies about the Japanese history textbooks.

 


 

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16. Colette Drouillard
Florida State University

 

Title

Growing up with Harry Potter: What motivated youth to read?

 

Purpose/Objective of Study

The purpose of this study was exploration of the overarching research question "What motivated youth to read the Harry Potter series?" This was addressed through three sub-questions:

 

What are the general reading interests, habits, and attitudes towards reading of the young readers who participated in this study?

 

What factors do young readers identify as initially attracting them to Harry Potter?

 

What factors do young readers identify as motivating them to continue to read Harry Potter?

 

Over two hundred peer-reviewed essays on the subject of Harry Potter have been published; however, very few of these included noteworthy focus on young readers and their response to Harry Potter. While each of these studies strove to contribute to better understanding of one or more perceived explanations for the appeal of the Harry Potter series for young readers, nearly all conclusions were constructed from adult and researcher perceptions of young readers' responses rather than depictions of reading experiences articulated by young readers themselves.

 

The methodology employed in this study brings in the authentic voices of readers, allows comparison and extension of the adult point of view on why youth read Harry Potter, and expands general knowledge and understanding of reading motivations, interests, habits and attitudes.

 

Method

The Explanatory Design model of mixed methods research was selected for this research. The first phase was administered via web-based questionnaires. Both quantitative and qualitative questions exploring the relationship of young readers who grew up with Harry Potter and the factors they identified as impacting their motivation to continue reading Rowling's series during the ten years the books were published. Qualitative interviews were conducted during the second phase in order to explore more fully themes and data collected in the first.

 

Data Collection Technique(s)

The first phase of data collection was conducted using the online survey tool SurveyMonkey.com.
The second phase of data was collected during interviews using a prepared protocol and IM (their choice) technology with four selected survey respondents in order to clarify or expand upon trends identified during analysis of phase one.

 

Results

Requests for participants were posted on a variety of popular Harry Potter fan websites resulting in a purposeful sample of over 600 responses from subjects meeting the dissertation sampling criteria. Analysis of results are in progress and will be included should this abstract be selected for presentation in the ALISE Doctoral Poster Competition

 


 

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17. Jen (J.L.) Pecoskie
University of Western Ontario

 

Title

Bridging ourselves: Understanding reading and social interaction

 

Purpose/Objective of Study

Reading for pleasure is often assumed to be the endeavor of the solitary reader, but reading is increasingly being recognized as a social activity, particularly in the work of Elizabeth Long (2003). My study integrates both socially based reading research and studies of marginalized populations and extends this research on reading for pleasure by examining it in the context of a group of readers who have not been studied. This population includes the lives of adult, self-identified lesbian women.

 

Sample and Setting

This poster examines a section of data which explores participation with a book club of women who have constructed a lesbian-safe space in which to meet, discuss a specific book choice, and to socialize. The book club is comprised of 12 women (13 including myself) who self-identify as lesbian or lesbian-friendly.

 

Method

This research is qualitative in nature.

 

Data Collection Technique(s)

The research presented in this poster uses the method of participant observation of a formal book club. I participated in six consecutive monthly book club meetings and audio-recorded these sessions, which lasted from one hour 40 minutes to two hours in duration. The audio-recorded sessions were transcribed, fieldnotes were made after each session, and data was analyzed using grounded theory. The data was coded to identify emerging themes.

 

Results

Emerging from the data collected from the six session book club case study is a convergence of the worlds of the book club members, other readers, books, and those surrounding the book. To use metaphor, the social worlds of readers "bridge" within the group and towards others.

 

Firstly, the group has forged a community around books and secondly, the book club exists as an entity that is wider than reading for only the individual reader or the group. Within the space of the book club, the club members work hard to construct and maintain their small community, as a community. Rules are implemented to preserve social order. The group also preserves their group history in order to push forward the identity of the group as a whole. The individual members of the group work together in discussion to define ‘good,' as in what is appropriate for the group to select and read. This definition constructed collectively works to enable the group identity of the group and bridge their interests with the outer publishing industry.

 

Also emerging from the data is evidence of the book club existing as an entity that is wider than reading for one or for many. Data suggests that reading is not only solitary and social in nature but is more complex. Members of the book club demonstrate that reading together involves the complex elements of trust and friendship between readers. This third way of reading reaches beyond the social and into the emotive.

 

This research reflects on the diversity around the understanding of reading practices, especially in relation to marginalized populations and organized reading.

 


 

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18. Andrea Japzon
Drexel University

 

Title

Exploration of the knowledge of and motivation for learning preservation practices for personal digital information

 

Purpose/Objective of Study

This research investigates information behavior as it relates to the preservation of personal digital content. The research will examine several dimensions of preservation and personal digital information: what steps individuals are taking towards digital preservation; their affective responses to digital information; how preservation decisions are informed; and the value they place on their digital information. Additionally, this research will explore individual experiences as they relate to both digital and physical information as representations of personal memories. As most digital preservation research is focused outside of personal computing, personal digital collections, and everyday information, this research intends to contribute to digital preservation research and to serve those individuals who wish to preserve digital information and collections for their own sake and the sake of their family history.

 

Sample and Setting

Twenty-six participants were recruited from public library friends groups from a large metropolitan region on the east coast of the United States. Participants were selected based on the following criteria: own a personal computer, between the ages of 18 and 65, use the public library, and have an interest in preserving their own digital information. Participants were interviewed at various public locations convenient to all.

 

Method

Qualitative research methods are employed as such methods are best used when studying the beliefs, behaviors or cultural aspects of human phenomena. Data analysis entails the use of the constant comparison method to reduce data, to create an initial coding scheme, and to build theory. Additionally, descriptive statistics are used to compare participant's technical environments.

 

Data Collection Techniques

Two information representation techniques are employed in conjunction with semi-structured interviews. First, participants are asked to complete two personal information matrices. The matrices are designed to gather information on the types of digital content collected and the places of storage for the different types. After the participants have completed the interview, they are given two blank maps and asked to fill in the three zones of the information source horizon. The theory of information source horizons (Savolainen & Kari, 2004) is used to explore the continuum of physical and digital information, and to elicit the criteria participants use to determine the value of their personal information.

 

Results

Early analysis has found that individuals are collecting a great diversity of digital content types and are storing that content in a distributed manner across multiple digital devices and web services. The use of web services is motivated by the desire to share access to personal information and to shift the storage burden from personal digital devices to distributed web services. Preliminary analysis of the study's data has suggested that participants are ambivalent about the need for digital preservation and are overwhelmed by long term access issues. Further analysis will produce an emergent theoretical framework describing the information behaviors and affective responses associated with personal digital information preservation.

 


 

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19. Brian Kenney
University of North Texas

 

Title

The transformative library: A narrative inquiry into the outcomes of information use

 

Purpose/Objective of Study

This research is motivated by several simple questions: what happens after people find or encounter information? What outcomes, if any, do people report as resulting from these information experiences? Does the information they located or encounter "enable them to get on with their lives?" (Todd, 1997, p. 352). In restricting these questions to information activities (seeking, finding, encountering) situated in the context of the public library, then what claims can then be made about the library as agency in people's lives?

 

Sample and Setting

Twelve participants, all self-defined "regular users" of the Fayetteville Public Library, Arkansas, were selected through the ‘snowball technique." To provide the richest data, a homogenous group of participants—all women, between the ages of 55 and 70—was chosen.

 

Method

This preliminary, qualitative study assumes an interpretive, naturalistic approach. It was informed by constructivist theory, especially the works of John Dewey, Jerome Bruner, and Brenda Dervin. The methodology was narrative analysis. Honoring individual agency, each participant was a considered a case, and narratives from each case were analyzed thematically to arrive at an understanding of information outcomes within each participant's life. Subsequently, a cross-case analysis was conducted to consider general concepts that might emerge among the participants.

 

Data Collection Technique(s)

Using a modified version of Wengraf's Biographic Narrative and Semi-Structured Methods, two sets of interviews were generated for each participant: the first elicited the participant's life story while in the second the participant recounted their experiences using public libraries, reflecting on any associations they had with these experiences. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and entered into NVivo for analysis. For half the participants, a third interview was conducted to probe more deeply into specific narratives.

 

Results

Nearly all of the participants recounted narratives of library use that strongly echo Mezirow's theory of transformative learning, perhaps the leading theory of adult learning, defined as "a process by which previously uncritically assimilated assumptions, beliefs, values, and perspectives become more open, permeable, and better justified," (Cranton, 2006, p. vi). In some cases the library seemed to be a participant in the transformation, in other instances library-derived content seemed to generate the process. While this research cannot make the claim that the participants experienced transformative learning, the number of instances that reflect transformative learning makes it likely that, among regular library users, the library may well play a role in fostering transformative learning. These results help to bridge a gap in information behavior research and contribute to our knowledge of the outcomes of information activities while providing a deeper understanding of what makes the use of the library personally meaningful.

 


 

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20. Devendra Dilip Potnis
University of Albany - SUNY

 

Title

ICT & disadvantaged women from developing nations

 

Purpose/Objective of Study

Study plans to explore the linkage between Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and evolving information behavior of disadvantaged populations from developing nations; and the role of ICT in shaping that information behavior.

 

Sample and Setting

Mobile cell-phone is chosen as a technology representing ICT. Income, health and education are some of the most widely used criteria to measure the extent to which a population is disadvantaged (Bourguignon and Chakravarty 2003)*. By applying income as a criterion, disadvantaged population is identified. India has the world's largest number of population under the poverty line in a single country (IndiaOneStop 2008). Hence, India is chosen as the context for this research study. After applying stratified sampling with 6 filters, backward class (the lowest in the social hierarchical structure of India) women who own and use mobile cell-phones and earn less than US $1 per day by working at a domestic business set up in rural India, are identified as one of the most disadvantaged populations from developing nations thus forming the sample.

 

Method

Sequential Explanatory Mixed Methods Research Design (Creswell and Plano Clark 2007)
a. Mixed Methods = Combination of qualitative and quantitative data
b. Sequential = The first phase of data collection and analysis is followed by the second phase of data collection and analysis
c. Explanatory = Data collected in the second phase explains data collected in the first phase

 

Data Collection Technique(s)

In the first phase, quantitative data are collected from a stratified sample of approximately 121 disadvantaged women working in a small village called Bhor, district Pune, state Maharashtra, India. Findings gathered through group administered surveys in the first phase are expected to exhibit patterns or trends of evolving information behavior demonstrated by the sample. Further, these patterns or trends will be categorized into 2 categories based upon demographic factors such as age, level of education, or marital status of the sample. Approximately, 10 participants from each category will be identified, located, and interviewed for the second phase of design. Telephonic interviews in Marathi, a native language, will be carried out to understand respondents' evolving information behavior due to use of mobile cell-phones. Conceptual content analysis followed by relational content analysis will be carried out to process the corpus of interview transcripts translated in English.

 

Results

Results are expected to reveal a journey of backward class, financially disadvantaged women from rural India, when using mobile cellphones. Various economic, psychological, demographic, environmental, inter-personal and mobile cell-phone related characteristics are expected to influence information behavior of disadvantaged women from rural India. The results are also expected to inform users' information-seeking, information exchanging, and information processing and use in the context of developing nations and mobile cell-phones. The degree of robustness for existing theories of human information behavior developed in the Western context will be revealed, when applied in an alien context characterized by disadvantaged women from developing nations and mobile cell-phones.

 


 

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21. Sheri Ross
Florida State University

 

Title

The scholarly use of journals offered through the HINARI and AGORA programs

 

Purpose/Objective of Study

The Health Internetwork Access to Research Initiative (HINARI) and the Access to Global Online Resources in Agriculture (AGORA) programs provide free access to academic journals through the internet to researchers in the developing world. The objective of the programs is to engage researchers in the scholarly communication process through the scholarly use of these journals. However, little is known about scholarly journal use by these researchers to inform the outreach and training efforts. A citation study was conducted to explore the patterns of use of scholarly journals by researchers in eligible countries before and after the introduction of the programs.

 

Sample and Setting

The complete set of bibliographic data for citations made by researchers from 108 eligible countries for each year from 2000-2007 were analyzed.

 

Method

This is a descriptive, quantitative study.

 

Data Collection Technique(s)

The citation data were downloaded from the Science Citation Index and the Social Science Citation Index. They were matched against HINARI and AGORA title lists in a database developed for this purpose. The frequency of citations made to journals in the HINARI, AGORA, and Control sets. The Control set contained all journal titles in the Thomson Scientific Abbreviated Title List that were not offered through the HINARI and AGORA programs. The annual percent change in the frequency of these citations were calculated and analyzed for suggestions that the HINARI and AGORA programs positively impacted the scholarly use of the journals by these researchers. The data treatment for each country, sub-region and region was guided by twelve research questions. Results were summarized and interpreted at the regional level.

 

Results

The data revealed that for most geographic groups, life science and agricultural researchers became more engaged in formal scholarly communication after the initiation of the HINARI and AGORA programs and more so than other scientific and social scientific researchers within the geographic group, suggesting positive program impact. However, data for other geographic groups suggested that their researchers have not become more engaged in the scholarly communication process. Data for some sub-regions of Africa and Oceana suggested that the formal scholarly communication of researchers there have not been impacted the introduction of the HINARI and AGORA programs.

 

Results varied both among regions and among sub-regions within a region. Regional results were not indicative of all constituent sub-regions. Asia demonstrated the most consistency between regional and sub-regional results. Africa demonstrated the most variation between regional and sub-regional results. It is recommended that the most basic level of analysis available with this data set, the country level, be used to inform program planning as aggregated results may mask patterns of scholarly communication in discrete geographic areas.

 


 

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22. Jennifer Campbell-Meier
University of Hawaii

 

Title

Factors influencing institutional repository development

 

Abstract

The development of an institutional repository (IR) is one of the more complex projects that librarians may undertake. While many librarians have managed large information system projects, IR projects involve a larger stakeholder group and require support from technical services, public services and administration to succeed. A survey by Lynch and Lippincott (2005) found that more than 40% of the ninety-seven U.S. doctoral universities surveyed have developed an institutional repository. A significant increase in the development of repositories is expected with technology and process improvements. This study investigates the factors influencing the development of institutional repositories at academic institutions, identifying factors that influence repository development. Using a comparative case study analysis approach to gather and analyze data, a detailed account and analysis of academic institutional repositories was formed. While many factors influence development, IRs are impacted by the development of a narrative, the use of project management beyond technical development, and the inclusion of the campus community in the development process. This study contributes to a more informed understanding of the development of IRs and provides a model for repository development.

 

Purpose/Objective of Study

By identifying crucial factors in IR development and the challenges that the factors pose, a developmental framework can be identified for libraries interested in IRs. Improving IR development may impact other types of libraries or collections wishing to share a digital collection among its members. A framework based on the case studies may provide a model that will aid other university libraries in developing IRs in the future. The factors in the study focuses on the steps taken during IR development, including: studies, policy decisions, timelines, resources and costs. In addition, the study seeks to identify the key stakeholders necessary for project success. Identifying stakeholders and other key factors will provide an enhanced understanding of the role of an IR at an institution of higher education, as well as a model for the development of IRs.

 

Sample and Setting

A number of Web sites associated with open access and institutional repository development maintain links to sites with institutional repositories. Ten university repositories with 2,000 to 9,000 items available in the collections were emailed and asked to participate in this IR development study. Six institutional repositories and three subject repositories located at institutional repository sites were chosen of the study.

 

Method

This study used comparative case study analysis to investigate the development of nine IRs. Comparative case study analysis highlights the similarities and differences between cases, identifying areas that have direct implications for IR development. By interviewing those involved with IR development at several institutions, noticeable patterns or regularities of IR development became apparent. Using multiple cases, developed in different contexts, expands the generalizability of the findings. In addition, multiple cases expand the usefulness of the research that are planning and developing IRs, especially since much of the information about development is local and not published.

 

Data Collection Technique(s)

Data was collected from multiple sources, including semi-structured interviews and analysis of operational and archival documents. For each case study, data was analyzed during the collection process and interviews were coded and categorized. Then cross case analysis was used to compare and contrast individual case studies, identify relevant themes and draw conclusions. A semi-structured interview approach was selected to address the ambiguous language of institutional repositories as well as local terms and meanings that may be unique to the individual cases.

 

Results

IR developers need to define what an IR is and make sure those involved in the project have the same definition. In institutions where liaison librarians are expected to assist with content recruitment, developers must include the liaisons in the decision making process or at the very least discuss IR development with them and explain what their roles will be. The primary findings of this study relate to the importance of incorporating these components into IR development:

  • The use of a narrative approach;
  • The addition of project management practices; and
  • The development of campus communities.

 


 

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23. Xiaoli Huang
University of Maryland

 

Title

Topicality reconsidered: A multidisciplinary inquiry into topical relevance relationships

 

Purpose

To advance thinking on the conceptual nature of topical relevance and discover a broad range of topical relevance relationships. Limiting topicality to just topic matching results in systems' failure to detect more complex topical connections needed to respond to diversified information needs.
The inquiry
1. develops a unified typology of topical relevance relationships through synthesis of thinking from communication, rhetoric, cognitive psychology, education, information science, argumentation, logic, law, medicine, and art history;
2. analyzes empirical data to test the typology against various contexts and further refines it.

 

Sample and Setting

Using purposeful sampling, three relevance datasets were gathered to achieve variation in form, domain, and context:

 

Dateset A B C
Setting Relevance assessment Question answering Subject cataloging
Domain Oral history Medicine Arts
Information type Audio (transcribed) Text Image
Participants 12 History students Physicians 9 catalogers
Sample 123 relevance assessments with assessors' notes 20 pairs of clinical questions and answers 34 sets of cataloging data (descriptors & catalogers' notes)

 

Method

Using qualitative content analysis, the inquiry focuses on meaning and deep structure:

  • Part 1: close reading of literature, "increasing exposure to different theories" from multiple disciplines functions as "triangulation";
  • Part 2: in-depth examination of empirical data using "elementary line-by-line analysis" (Strauss, 1987), facilitated with Nvivo 2.

Both parts culminate in inductive development of a typology.

 

Data Collection

 

A: Relevance assessments come from the MALACH (Multilingual Access to Large Spoken Archives) speech retrieval test collection:

  • Relevance scores (0~4) plus justifications, 240893 records;
  • Assessors' notes, 275 documents.

123 relevance assessments were selected to maximize the variety in assessors and topics ("maximum variation sampling").

 

B: Clinical questions and answers were gathered from

  • Family Practice Inquiries Network (www.fpin.org)
  • Parkhurst Exchange (www.parkhurstexchange.com)

C: In the CLiMB (Computational Linguistics for Metadata Building) project, nine catalogers indexed art images and provided notes on their thought process. The analysis examines the relationship between each subject descriptor and the image.

 

Results

A hierarchy of 160 topical relevance relationship types, in three major facets:

 

Facet Definition Sample relationships characterized by the facet
Function based What functional role a pieceof information plays in theoverall structure of a topic Matching topic: reference, elaboration, summarization,definition, interpretation ...
Context: environmental setting, assumption, background,condition …
Comparison: metaphor, analogy, contrast …
Method: approach, instrument, technique …
Goal: motivation, purpose … Evaluation
Reasoning based How information contributes to users' reasoning about atopic Reasoning by analogy
Reasoning by contrast
Rule-based reasoning (deduction)
Generalization (induction)
Causal-based reasoning:
forward / backward inference
Content based How information connects to a topic semantically General/specific
Whole/part (partonomy): process/step …
Object/attribute: adjective, adverbial …
Class/subclass (taxonomy)

 

The typology can be used to

  • teach students how to think about a problem;
  • equip reference librarians to explore with the user to identify relevant information from multiple angles;
  • design systems that retrieve a fuller range of relevant information;
  • arrange search results by relevance type ("Social context", "Contradictory cases", "Indirect evidence", "Methods", etc.), providing a multi-faceted view of a topic that dovetails with the user's thinking.

 

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24. Catherine L. Smith
Rutgers University

 

Title

Sensitivity to the results list: A response to poor system performance

 

Purpose/Objective of Study

The study examines how searchers respond when a search engine performs poorly.

 

Sample and Setting

36 participants were recruited on the campus of a large mid-Atlantic university, including students and non-students.

 

Method

The study is a 3X3 factorial experiment. Three groups of participants each searched in three blocks of search topics. Each participant searched on the same 12 topics. Four topics were assigned in each of the three blocks. The order of topic assignments was balanced across blocks and groups. In the first block of searches, all participants searched using standard Google. In the second block, each group used a different system. The control group continued to search using the standard system. Participants in the other two groups searched using one of two versions of the system. One group used a version with consistently degraded performance (CLR group). The other group used a version in which performance varied with each query entered (ILR group). In the last block of searches, participants in all three groups again searched using the standard system. Participants were never told that the system had changed. In the experimental instructions, participants were told that a hypothetical boss needed as many good information sources as possible for each topic. Participants were paid $15 for their time, and were told that an additional $40 would be paid to the participant who found the most good information sources and the fewest bad sources. There was no time limit on searching.

 

Data Collection Technique(s)

A pre-experiment questionnaire gathered demographics and beliefs about Internet searching. Two questionnaires obtained beliefs about each search. After receiving a topic statement, but before beginning to search, the participant completed a pre-search questionnaire, which gathered information about topic familiarity and expectations for the search. After each search ended, the participant completed a post-search questionnaire, which gathered information about the participant's assessment of the search. The experimental system recorded all queries entered, results lists returned, and items identified as good information sources.

 

Results

The general linear model was used to extract effects due to participant, topic, and the position of a search in the 12 searches. Contrast analysis tested the effect of the degraded systems on searcher behavior and success. For each measure, the analysis tested the significance of the difference between a block-to-block change for the control group and a block-to-block change for one of the other groups. The analysis found for both groups, no significant differences from control for the number of good sources found and the time taken to complete a search. Participants using either poor system did exhibit greater sensitivity than did those in the control group. Sensitivity is defined as the fraction of good sources displayed that were identified as good sources by the participant. If a good source was available in the results returned by a degraded system, a searcher was more likely to identify it than was a searcher using the standard system.

 


 

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25. Jung Sung Oh
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

 

Title

Network analysis of shared interests represented by social bookmarking behaviors

 

Purpose/Objective of Study

The overarching purpose of this study is to improve our understanding of the social bookmarking phenomenon. In particular, this study focuses on the dual nature of social bookmarking as a personal bookmark management tool and as social software, and investigates the ways in which coherent interest space(s) may emerge, within the broad information space of a social bookmarking site, from the patterns of connections among users who have similar bookmarking behaviors and/or shared interests.

 

Sample and Setting

As a setting for the study, a popular social bookmarking site, delicious.com, is chosen. In order to capture both the breadth and the depth of the huge information space of the site, two complementary methods of sampling were used. First, a large sample of recent bookmarking activities was collected into a dataset called recent, to capture the breadth of activities. Second, for representing the depth of the space, a sample of users and a sample of URLs were drawn from the recent dataset, and for each sample set, the entire history of bookmarking activities associated with each element was collected.

 

Method

This study consists of two phases. The first phase examines the cumulative distribution of bookmarking activities in the information space. Quantitative measures are defined to assess the level of accumulation of activities across users and resources, and to characterize the dataset in terms of diversity and commonality of interests. The second phase applies network analytic methods to a specific part of the information space defined by a set of sample users and their respective personal information spaces.

 

Data Collection Technique(s)

Collecting data from delicious.com was done using two different methods. The recent dataset was collected from January 14, 2008 to April, 21, 2008 through the subscription of the Really Simple Syndications (RSS) feed provided by the site. From the recent dataset, 10,000 sample URLs and 10,000 sample users were randomly selected, and every page associated with each sample was crawled. A dedicated crawler was developed to get relevant pages from delicious.com and parse them.

 

Table 1. The size of each dataset

Dataset No. of postings No. of users No. of URLs
Recent 1,226,472 288,727 999,835
URL History 1,654,005 470,456 10,000
User History 3,598,153 10,000 2,496,027

Results

The first phase of the study is complete and the second phase is in progress. The main question addressed in the first phase is whether we observe a certain level of shared interests within the community. The question was looked at from two combined views: a resource-centric view and a user-centric view. From the resource-centric view, among other measures, the proportion of resources shared by multiple users was examined. In the recent dataset, up until 1,226,472 new postings were made by 288,727 different users, there were only 102,690 URLs posted by multiple users. Examination of the URL history dataset, however, revealed that the majority of those URLs (61.78%) were shared by multiple users. From the user-centric view, the number of bookmarks shared with other users as well as the total number of bookmarks a user has were calculated and compared. In the recent dataset, on average, a user made 11.5 postings and 26.25% of them were shared with others. In the user history dataset, a user, on average, has 372 bookmarks and 66.35% are shared. Overall, the level of overlap is low in recent activities but increases significantly over time, suggesting that while interests of delicious.com users are diverse and broad, the community as a whole has developed a considerable amount of shared interests over time.

 


 

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26. Anindita Paul
University of Missouri

 

Title

Use of web analytics to understand library users' online behavior

 

Statement of problem

Human Information Behavior (HIB) literature has a rich collection of studies and theories that elucidate the information behavior of users that has implications on issues of general information interaction of a user with his or her environment as well as user behavior on the Web (see, Theories of Information Behavior, 2005). With the advent of internet, the information user's behavior has undergone considerable changes. Various studies in HIB have investigated the information seeker's behavior applying the HIB theories to Web users such as ‘Work Task Information Seeking' (Hansen, 2005), ‘World Wide Web Information Seeking' (Turnbull, 2005) and ‘Web Information Behavior of Organizational Workers' (Detlor, 2005) etc. A limitation of the HIB studies is the generalizability of the results. A focus group and survey usually used in these studies involve a limited number of users (Starkweather & Wallin, 1999) and have issues with selfreporting (Herring, 2001) respectively. The purpose of this study is to understand how Web analytics can be used to get a picture of the academic library's online user behavior across its user 2 population. This would increase the required generalizability needed in user behavior studies. This research attempts to connect the user behavior studies in HIB to the data obtained using Web analytics on the academic library website. Such a connection will provide researchers and library practitioners a common purpose by enabling researchers to extend their understanding of the user's online behavior to a larger population and providing practitioners supporting data on the usage of the library's online services.

 

Sample and Setting

Setting – University of Missouri libraries
Sample – Data captured by Google analytics
Six members of the library's usability committee

 

Method

The study involves quantitative analysis using analytics data. However, a part of the study involves qualitative analysis. The study has been divided into three stages as described – Stage 1) involves interpreting the analytics data captured for the library website for Spring 2008 semester; Stage 2) involves interviewing the library's usability committee members using an ‘Interactive Group Interview'; Stage 3) involves interpreting analytics data of the Fall 2008 semester. The inputs from stage 1 and stage 2 apply towards interpreting the users' behavior as posed by the analytics data in a library context which then is used to interpret the analytics data in stage 3). The research questions that the study addresses are as follows:
1) How can Web analytics data be used to interpret the information behavior of the website visitor?
2) How Web analytics, as a tool for libraries, need be set in order to capture the library website's visitor behavior?
3) How Web analytics data can be interpreted to inform library decision making?

 

Results

The study is yet to be completed and is in its Stage 3 data collection phase. The study would provide an approach to understand users' behavior through data captured by analytics and the application of analytics in a library setting, and hence studying its efficacy in providing support to library decision making. User behavior researchers would get a perspective to expand on the user studies by to a larger population. Since Web analytics has been widely used by the commercial sector, an understanding of how does analytics benefits libraries, would benefit researchers as well as library practitioners. It will also provide a way to supplement qualitative studies by pointing out probable areas of further research and also for increasing the validity of findings.

 


 

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27. Waseem Afzal
Emporia State University

 

Title

Intention to buy/sell online: A model depicting the role of individual, technological, and informational factors along with the moderating function of cultural traits

 

Purpose/Objective of Study

Interaction denotes a process that is important to achieve an objective. Individuals interact with various natural and artificial entities to accomplish the goals. The nature, constituents, and complexity of an interaction depend on the underlying objectives of the involved actors. The societies of the pre-industrial era were marked with the interactions that involved greater interpersonal communication, decision making with limited information, and acquisition of goods involving human intermediaries. Institutions with physical manifestations emerged and were designated, depending on the purpose, for different interactions; for example, libraries for the provision of information, schools for the acquisition of knowledge, and markets for trade of goods. The industrial revolution significantly altered the scope of human needs and associated interactions. Subsequent technological advancements led to the emergence of a new avenue, the Internet, which has placed the information at the heart of human interactions. The Internet has provided individuals with an unprecedented amount of information and facilitated the choice processes. Consequently, the dependence of humans on information has increased tremendously. Everyday life in the current arena is full of human information interactions and online buying/selling represents one of them. Despite the ubiquitous nature of human information interaction there is an apparent lack of a theoretical framework that can be used to propose a model capable of empirical validation so that coherent statements contributing to the theory of human information interaction in the virtual environment can be generated. The current study has used online buying/selling as a surrogate for human information interaction to provide a framework for theory construction pertaining with the interactions in the virtual sphere. Basing on this framework a model has been proposed, which postulates the interplay of individual, technological, informational, and cultural features during online buying/selling. By conceptualizing online buying/selling as a surrogate for human information interaction, synthesizing the relevant multidisciplinary literature, proposing a model and providing means for methodological validation, this study has made a valuable contribution both towards the theory of human information interaction and the knowledge base of Library & Information Science.

 

Sample and Setting

The student body at a Midwestern University served as the sample. The students belonged to different countries, with a diverse mixture of demographic and cultural properties. The questionnaire was distributed to forty eight subjects, all of whom provided the requested information in a classroom setting.

 

Method

This was a quantitative study. Descriptive statistics were calculated to ascertain the properties of the sample; whereas an inferential statistical method (Regression Analysis) was employed to examine the validity of the proposed relationships.

 

Data Collection Technique(s)

A questionnaire was developed by including items from the previous studies. Additional questions were developed to better contextualize the phenomenon in question. The reliability and validity of the questionnaire was assessed with the Factor Analysis. The questionnaire was divided into three sections and the instructions pertinent to each were provided to the subjects.

 

Results

  • The concern with the privacy and security of information impedes the use of the Web.
  • Females were found to be using the Web more for buying than males do. Gender also found to be an important attribute in terms of the knowledge of the Internet.
  • An in-group (including family and peers) plays an important role in developing one's disposition towards using the Web for buying/selling.
  • The perception of a person about the usefulness of an innovation impacts the adoption behavior.
  • The perception regarding the ease with which an innovation can be used influences the adoption.
  • Information privacy-security, perceived usefulness, and subjective norm affect the inclination of a person towards using the Web for buying/selling.

 


 

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28. Stasa Milojevic
University of California, Los Angeles

 

Title

Small world of nanoscience: Structural parameters of coauthorship networks

 

Purpose/Objective of Study

The goal of my study is to explore the utility of network analysis in mapping the structure and modeling the dynamics of modern scientific fields or disciplines. The approach is being applied on nanoscience, which I study as a complex dynamic system. Nanoscience, a research field that manipulates objects having a size of 1-100 nanometer, is young and interdisciplinary, thus serving as an excellent case study. The study aims to answer two main questions: (1) What are the structure and the dynamics of nanoscience? and (2) Is network analysis a useful method of mapping and modeling the structure and the dynamics of scientific fields? Answering these questions helps me establish the utility of network analysis for understanding how present-day disciplines form, organize, and develop. And specifically, it describes and explains properties and processes that shape nanoscience.

 

Sample and Setting

I use the formal literature of nanoscience as data. The major source of data for my study is NanoBank, a digital library of articles, patents and grants in the field of nanoscience covering the period from 1970 through 2006. The study of a scientific field as a complex network is only possible with statistically large and complete datasets. NanoBank, with over half a million articles selected according to well-defined principles, is ideal for such analysis.

 

Method

Methods employed for mapping the structure are bibliometrics and social network analysis. Method used for modeling the dynamics is mathematical modeling.

 

Data Collection Technique(s)

The problem of delineation in this study was to a great extent addressed by using a database of field-specific publications. The database includes a set of nanoscience-related articles selected from ISI Thomson Scientific databases based on the occurrence of terms identified by subject specialists and by application of probabilistic retrieval techniques.

 

Results

By analyzing coauthorship networks I have been able to clearly show the process of the emergence of nanoscience as a new field of science. I find that while nanoscience starts as a relatively unorganized field of fairly isolated researchers in early 1990s it coalesces around new intellectual developments. At that time nanoscience researchers became part of one connected group, known as a giant component, reaching 90% of all authors.

 

By analyzing the clustering coefficient and the average path length between researchers I also show that nanoscience collaboration network represents a small world network, so that on average only six steps separate one author from another. In agreement with other studies I find that the collaboration in nanoscience has intensified in recent times. The number of collaborators per researcher has been increasing, especially since 1990. This is related to the increase of number of authors per article, which in turn follows closely the author productivity. Next I study different subfields of nanoscience (those related to e.g. physics, chemistry and biosciences) and find that they exhibit different collaboration and productivity patterns. However, as the field coalesced these differences have in some cases narrowed.

 


 

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29. Heather Hill
University of Missouri

 

Title

The contracting out of the public library: A critical discourse analysis

 

Purpose/Objective of Study

The public library has, at least since the nineteenth century, traditionally been a public service – provided by local tax monies and staffed by public employees. In the last eleven years, however, some city and county governments have decided to outsource the management of the public library to a private vendor. A contract for services requires a dialogue between the local municipal government, the community, and potential contractors. What is under investigation here is the power relationship between those three groups that, at times, have different or competing interests. It is proposed that the contracting process may show a power struggle between the local government and the contractor where the community loses. The contractual process is a discursive event where definitions of the public library and criteria for providing good service are decided or created.

 

Sample and Setting

As there are only a small number of communities that have taken this path, as of yet, all fourteen of the cities or counties that have contracted out the management of their public libraries are a part of the data and analysis.

 

Method

The outsourcing of public library management is a discursive event. Critical discourse analysis (CDA), in the vein of linguist Norman Fairclough, is the tool utilized here to investigate the power relations in the contracting process especially in examining the citizens of the community's role in supporting or resisting the idea to outsource the public library. CDA is a tool for investigating both the form and the function of a discourse and is an appropriate tool for examining and understanding the public library as it exists within the contracting situation.

 

Data Collection Technique

The data used for this study are the documents that are in effect the contracting discourse. The request for proposals from the community that describes the community and the type and level of service expected, the proposals written by prospective contractors, and the final contracts that detail what services are the focus of the contract and on what criteria the contractor's performance will be judged are all informative documents for this study. These three documents are the core discourse relating to the contracting out of the public library. Additional data came from letters to the editor of local newspapers and notes from city council meetings detailing the public's public sentiment towards the idea of outsourcing their public library.

 

Results

While the extremity of the power relations in the discourse are not as strong as what was suspected before the study a few key findings show the enormous power of the contractor to control the discourse in the contracting process as well as power to determine the criteria used to evaluate their own performance in carrying out the contract. Additionally, the contracting process itself is shown to be a norming event, where local governments work to justify their decision to explore outsourcing even against public opposition.

 


 

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30. Jody K. Howard
Emporia State University

 

Title

The relationship between school culture and an effective school library program: Four case studies

 

Purpose/Objective of Study

Although there are national standards for establishing effective school library programs, some school librarians have been unable to implement this model which calls for the librarians to act as instructional partners with classroom teachers so that information skills instruction takes place within the context of ongoing classroom activity. This begs the question why some librarians are unable to establish such programs while others fail. There is research literature in Education that acknowledges the importance of school culture as a factor in instructional innovations. Yet this is not an issue that has been much addressed in Library Information Science (LIS) literature regarding school library programs. Examining the school culture in schools with effective school library programs will identify factors that support implementing this model. This research describes a multiple case study of four schools in the K-12 arena. Each of the schools has received a national award identifying the library as an effective library based on the national criteria set by the American Association of School Librarians. The purpose of this research is to determine and identify any common patterns in the culture that exists at each of the schools. Identifying common patterns will assist school librarians in working with the existing culture of their schools to make it more conducive to helping them establish an effective school library program.

 

Sample and Setting

The setting for this research is four different schools in the K-12 arena with the following configurations: Pre-K -4 elementary school; 5-12 middle and upper school; 9-12 magnet high school; and 9-12 high school. The schools are located in four different states and were chosen because they had recently received a national award identifying their schools as having effective school libraries.

 

Method

The method for this naturalistic research project is qualitative, following the acceptable practices of conducting multiple case studies. A single case study was conducted at each school and the data were analyzed. After all four case studies were analyzed, a cross case analysis was performed.

 

Data Collection Techniques(s)

The researcher spent three days at each school conducting interviews with teachers, administrators, and school librarians. During this time, the researcher also observed classes, interactions between staff members, and interactions with students. Specific documents from each school were reviewed. The data was coded and analyzed using N-Vivo.

 

Results

Common themes illustrating the culture at each school include collaborative practices of the administration and staff, the leadership style of the principal, and the high expectations for the students and the staff.

 


 

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31. Jennifer Crispin
University of Missouri

 

Title

Ruling relations and the teacher-librarian: An institutional ethnography

 

Purpose/Objective of Study

The way the school librarian does his or her job is shaped in part by the relationship the school librarian has with administrators and teachers within the school. These relationships are governed by unseen forces in the institutions of education, librarianship, and school librarianship. I will use institutional ethnography methods to investigate how discourses of education and school librarianship influence those relationships and affect the school librarian's work. The participants will be viewed as experts on their situation and partners in the research.

 

The purpose of this study is to learn more about the local and extra-local forces affecting the work and life experience of teacher-librarians. A better understanding of the daily work lives of middle school librarians will help librarians advocate for their libraries more effectively, by getting a clearer picture of where the power lies. It will show other librarians new ways of looking at the way their work lives are shaped by the institutions they work within. Library organizations can also understand better how they can advocate for school librarians. It will also help library school students understand what their future work life might be like.

 

Sample and Setting

This study takes place in a middle school library in the Mid-west. The key informant is the school teacher-librarian. The chosen library is selected on the basis of accessibility to me as a researcher. I am deliberately not choosing a site based on measurements of achievement in education or in librarianship. It might turn out that the site I have access to is a library that is considered successful. However, those measurements of achievement are not key to my ethnographic approach. I am not looking for explanations for why a library is successful. Rather, I am interested in a picture of the experiences of the school librarian.

 

Method

This research is an institutional ethnography starting from the standpoint of a teacher-librarian working within the education and library institutions in a specific community. Institutional ethnography methods use the actual experiences of people to examine unseen or unobservable relations governing institutions. These unseen relations might have a great effect on the perceived importance and effectiveness of the school library.

 

Results

The results will include details about how the teacher-librarian negotiates the institutions she works within and what level of power the institutions exert on her life. The study will also examine the effects of decisions from the past on the teacher-librarian's work.

 


 

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32. Sheri Anita Massey
University of Maryland

 

Title

Digital libraries in schools: The best practices of nationally certified school library media specialists

 

Purpose/Objective of Study

Despite extensive literature on classroom teachers' technology use, few researchers have explored how school library media specialists (SLMSs) use technology. Fewer have examined how SLMSs use digital information resources to support teaching and learning. This study investigates the technology integration behaviors of SLMSs who have voluntarily obtained national certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) in addition to local certification. The goal of the study was to identify skills and techniques that NBPTS-certified SLMSs have in common when using digital libraries and other networked information resources to support the school curriculum.

 

Sample and Setting

Ten National Board-certified K-12 SLMSs from public school districts in the College Park, Maryland, area

 

Method

A qualitative interview study design was used to convert what previously existed as tacit knowledge related to digital library use into explicit knowledge that can be shared with others.

 

Data Collection Technique(s)

Data were gathered from in-depth individual interview with ten SLMS, stimulated recall interviews with three SLMSs, a focus group interview with four SLMSs, and artifacts related to teaching with digital libraries.

 

Results

A preliminary coding scheme was derived from the NBPTS Library Media technology innovation standard, which requires candidates to demonstrate expertise in providing access to technology systems, teaching effective use of technology, engaging learners with technology, and using technology to enhance the curriculum. Sub-themes emerged from the data in the form of strategies the SLMSs developed to meet the standard.

  • Providing access to digital libraries: district and state collective bargaining to negotiate lower costs thus strengthening technological infrastructure; mental flexibility in the face of technology failure and policy restrictions; balancing print and non-print collections that address the needs all members of the learning community; moving outside the library media center and using mobile devices to communicate with an learners and staff
  • Teaching digital library use: strengthening digital library and technology skills through ongoing personal experimentation, formal training, and networking; conducting group and personalized training for students, staff and parents throughout the year; embedding digital library and research skills instruction into content area contexts; informing digital library developers of usability challenges and offering suggestions
  • Engaging learners with digital libraries: maximizing the inherently engaging quality of digital libraries with traditional library techniques such as reference interviews and strong instructional design
  • Supporting the curriculum with digital libraries: incrementally building trust and developing relationships with teachers that lead to co-designing lessons; diffusing information literacy skill and research process instruction throughout the school and connecting to standardized tests; extending personal understanding of curriculum and providing immediate assistance to colleagues via school and community involvement

This study is one of the first to investigate the behaviors of NBPTS-certified SLMSs. Findings from this research inform the development of SLMS preparation programs.

 

 

 
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