Sunday, April 19, 2009

Libraries and users: theory and practice

The latest issue of AARL has a very interesting article by Michael Olsson “Rethinking our concept of users” He analyses a range of theories on user centred approaches to information research and summarises his research on “how academic researchers and theatre professionals (…) make sense of the culturally iconic author: William Shakespeare”. His analysis well supports his identification of Dervin’s argument that an information user should be seen in terms of their knowledge and expertise, rather than simply wanting to find information.

This article is well worth reading – it will be a while before it is available online through Informit and Ebsco – it’s in volume 40 number 1 pp 22-35.

Also a tip – if you read Michael’s summary of what looks to have been a very successful RAILS conference in the journal the link to the conference abstracts is (the reference in the journal doesn’t have the final l). I am looking forward to reading the full papers, particularly Matt Moore’s. It would be wonderful it the papers and PowerPoint presentations could all be online.