Abstract: Meeting Users in Their Spaces: Key Findings on Discovery to Delivery

Dr. Lynn Silipigni Connaway & Cathy King; OCLC (United States)

OCLC Research has been studying how individuals get their information and resources and how they engage with technology for almost two decades. We have learned that convenience often is one of the factors that most drives individuals’ decisions for getting information and resources. However, convenience is a moving target and is dependent upon the context and situation of the individual’s need. Many factors will influence the decision-making process, such as how quickly the information or resource is needed, how important that information is to the individual need, and how much effort is required to get access to the information or resource. Our findings indicate that individuals often do not consider the library as the first place to get information and sometimes do not consider libraries at all. This often is attributed to the complexity and misunderstanding of library processes for acquiring resources and to not knowing resources or options for accessing and acquiring these resources through the library. Many individuals opt for open content since it is easy to discover and readily and quickly available in full-text.   

We have conducted semi-structured individual interviews with approximately 45 undergraduate and graduate/post graduate students and faculty in Australia and the US to identify how they discover, access and acquire resources and why they make these choices and decisions, including their format preferences. We also have conducted focus group interviews with resource sharing and ILL librarians in Australia and the US to identify their workflows and to discuss ideas to improve these processes to better meet the needs of their users. The presenters will report on the findings from these studies and provide ideas and recommendations for enhancing the discovery to delivery experience.