usable libraries blog

usable libraries is a blog begun in 2011 by Emily Singley, a systems librarian at Harvard University.  The focus of the blog is library user interfaces, user experience, usability, and user research.  The blog regularly features libraries doing great work in the area of user-centric librarianship.

Of particular interest is a recent post:

“How college students really do research – findings from recent studies”

The posting looked at seven studies published within the last three years and includes narrative supporting these observations:

1)    Students do use library databases – though they often start in Google

2)    Discovery is not the problem – it’s knowing how to evaluate, analyze, and synthesize

3)    “If I can’t find it, it must not be there” – Students perceive their search skills to be better than they really are

4)    “What is it?”  Students have difficulty finding, using, and understanding library online resources

5)    Students use the resources they know best – even if completely wrong for their topic

6)    Wikipedia is more than an encyclopedia, it’s an access point

7)    “Good enough” –  not looking past the first page of results

8)    “I want it now” – ease and speed of access more important than quality or relevance

9)     Need help?  Ask Facebook, not librarians