How college students *really* do research – findings from recent studies

We hear a lot about how college students “only search in Google these days” or “never look past the first page of results.”   How true are such commonly held assumptions?  Are they supported by recent examinations of student research behaviors?  For answers, I looked at seven studies published within the last three years.  Here is what…

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Usable Library of the Week – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

This week’s usable library is: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign What I like: Site recently redesigned – big improvement over their previous site! Library Technology shows available items at a glance – from flash drives to dry erase board accessories Libraries and Hours display what libraries are currently open Search tool returns “bento-box” like results…

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Usable Library of the Week – Westerville Public Library

This week’s usable library is: Westerville Public Library, Ohio What I like: Integrated “Global Search” across site and collections – try searching “Storytime” to see both events and books Suggest-as-you-type feature in search – can easily get to items without viewing full search results Overview  page under “Books, Movies, and More” allows users to easily browse…

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Usable Library of the Week – University of Minnesota

This week’s usable library is: University of Minnesota Library What I like: Minimal space on home page devoted to marketing, leaving more room for user services Right sidebar on home page with direct links to courses and popular  databases, as well as A-Z lists Point-of-need help embedded throughout the site, and presented in user-friendly, easily…

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Usable Library of the Week – Hennepin County Public Library

This week’s usable library is: Hennepin County Public Library What I like: Recently redesigned:  The previous design had a left menu with somewhat jargon-heavy links like “databases” and “subject guides.”  The new site has a modern, fullscreen, fully responsive layout with large, clean fonts, lots of white space, a prominent search box, and less clutter.  The…

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Why library websites should not be designed by committee – Reblog of “The Ugly Truth About Library Websites”

I just read this post by M. Ryan Hess from 2013 and found it well worth a reblog: The Ugly Truth About Library Websites Hess points out that the poor usability of  library websites is often due to how they are created: by committees of  librarians, with little or no usability training, who are under…

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Usable Library of the Week – Brigham Young University

This week’s usable library is: Brigham Young University What I like: Recently re-designed:  Modern, attractive, and fully responsive Non-bibliographic content such as library services and even librarian’s names are included in single search box discovery tool Library instruction is embedded throughout the site:  see the Articles page, with prominent text “why should I also try databases…

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Usable Library of the Week – Sacramento Public Library

This week’s usable library is: Sacramento Public Library  What I like: Online Services Login Guide at point-of-need on Research page Connect page features all social media in one place FAQ and “How Do I” on both home page and in navigation; prominent and usable Clutter-free layouts with large, readable fonts and lots of white space…

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Putting the user first – a book review

This recent ALA publication belongs on every librarian’s “must read” shelf: Putting the User First: 30 Strategies for Transforming Library Services By Courtney Greene McDonald Publisher:  ACRL Date: August, 2014 ISBN: 978-0-8389-8732-2 Don’t be fooled by the size of this book (7 inches, 104 pgs): it is jam packed with practical advice.  McDonald provides 30 strategies…

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Usable Library of the Week – MIT Library

This week’s usable library is: MIT Libraries What I like: Their homepage: recently redesigned!  See before here.  Updated look, good mobile functionality, and more intuitive menus.   LibGuides and research assistance is prominent on the homepage: “Research Guides and Experts” E-Resource troubleshooting page

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