Dataset

Questions asked of Swinburne Library shelving staff across a three month period at the end of the academic year: September to November 2009

Swinburne University of Technology
McKay, Dana ( Contributor ) Conyers, Ben ( Contributor )
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ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Adc&rfr_id=info%3Asid%2FANDS&rft_id=http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/88343&rft.title=Questions asked of Swinburne Library shelving staff across a three month period at the end of the academic year: September to November 2009&rft.identifier=http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/88343&rft.publisher=Library, Swinburne University of Technology&rft.description=We know that library users often get lost looking for physical items, however there has been little research on how library users search the shelves or what causes them to fail to find what they are looking for. The researchers carried out a preliminary investigation into library users’ difficulties searching the shelves. To get an initial picture of exactly what kind of problems library users face when searching for physical items, they asked shelving staff to collect the questions they were asked in a three month period at the end of the academic year (01 September to 17 November 2009). Shelving staff are highly visible in the library and available at the point of need when users get lost; this makes them ideally placed for contextual data collection about users’ problems. To facilitate data collection the researchers provided data sheets that had spaces for campus, date, whether or not the user already had a Dewey decimal number and a free-text description of the user’s problem or question. Participation in data collection was voluntary, so the queries collected are not a universal sample; however issues staff reported were fairly consistent, and thus are probably representative. Over the three months that this study ran, 183 enquiries, problems and questions were recorded by shelving staff; these enquiries were spread across the five main Swinburne campuses in Australia. 54% of the library users who consulted shelving staff in this study already had a Dewey decimal number. In the free-text enquiry field, some staff recorded problem or enquiry, some recorded assistance offered, and some recorded both. Provided here are a PDF copy of the data sheet used by shelvers for capturing information; and the results of the study. The results are presented in a single Excel spreadsheet with 41 rows and 183 columns of data. Rows categorise the data by the type of problem library users encountered. Columns indicate the campus and date of the question, and whether or not the user already had a Dewey decimal number for the item. End users will require Microsoft Excel or the equivalent to open the spreadsheet.&rft.creator=McKay, Dana &rft.creator=Conyers, Ben &rft.date=2009&rft.relation=http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/1832838.1832852&rft.coverage=144.975417,-37.817639&rft_rights=Copyright © 2009 Dana McKay and Ben Conyers.&rft_subject=Computer-Human Interaction&rft_subject=Information and Computing Sciences&rft_subject=Information Systems&rft_subject=Librarianship&rft_subject=Library and Information Studies&rft_subject=Organisation of Information and Knowledge Resources&rft_subject=Library and Archival Services&rft_subject=Information and Communication Services&rft_subject=Information Services&rft_subject=Classification Schemes&rft_subject=Dewey Decimal Classification&rft_subject=Human Factors&rft_subject=Information Seeking&rft_subject=Information Storage and Retrieval&rft_subject=Libraries&rft_subject=Library Users&rft_subject=Shelving&rft_subject=Swinburne Library&rft.type=dataset&rft.language=English Access the data

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Copyright © 2009 Dana McKay and Ben Conyers.

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We know that library users often get lost looking for physical items, however there has been little research on how library users search the shelves or what causes them to fail to find what they are looking for. The researchers carried out a preliminary investigation into library users’ difficulties searching the shelves. To get an initial picture of exactly what kind of problems library users face when searching for physical items, they asked shelving staff to collect the questions they were asked in a three month period at the end of the academic year (01 September to 17 November 2009). Shelving staff are highly visible in the library and available at the point of need when users get lost; this makes them ideally placed for contextual data collection about users’ problems. To facilitate data collection the researchers provided data sheets that had spaces for campus, date, whether or not the user already had a Dewey decimal number and a free-text description of the user’s problem or question. Participation in data collection was voluntary, so the queries collected are not a universal sample; however issues staff reported were fairly consistent, and thus are probably representative. Over the three months that this study ran, 183 enquiries, problems and questions were recorded by shelving staff; these enquiries were spread across the five main Swinburne campuses in Australia. 54% of the library users who consulted shelving staff in this study already had a Dewey decimal number. In the free-text enquiry field, some staff recorded problem or enquiry, some recorded assistance offered, and some recorded both. Provided here are a PDF copy of the data sheet used by shelvers for capturing information; and the results of the study. The results are presented in a single Excel spreadsheet with 41 rows and 183 columns of data. Rows categorise the data by the type of problem library users encountered. Columns indicate the campus and date of the question, and whether or not the user already had a Dewey decimal number for the item. End users will require Microsoft Excel or the equivalent to open the spreadsheet.

Created: 09 2009

Created: 17 11 2009

Data time period: 09 2009 to 17 11 2009

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144.975417,-37.817639

144.975417,-37.817639