The purpose of this paper is to understand patterns in information behavior of academic librarians, individuals who influence information technology adoption in academic libraries and parent institutions. Librarians’ perception of their student patrons’ information behavior was also investigated.
An exploratory study investigated professional and personal information behavior of eight librarians employed by various academic institutions in the Greater New York City area. The data were collected in face-to-face interviews and analyzed using the content analysis technique.
The study found that librarians’ institutional affiliations had no effect on their information behavior. The patterns in librarians’ information behavior at work and leisure suggest that those behaviors are influenced by contextual variables, personal preferences and tasks, and are no different from the general population. Overall, librarians had accurate, evidence-driven understanding of their student patrons’ information behavior.
The study findings have limited generalizability due to the small sample size and limited geographical pool of participants.
Academic library is often seen as the hub of the adoption of information technologies as librarians introduce new digital content and resources to the rest of academia. Understanding information behavior of academic librarians contributes to understanding factors that are affecting technology adoption in academia overall, and can potentially inform recommendations for optimizing academic library offerings.
The study is an original investigation of the relationships between institutional characteristics and librarian demographics, librarian information behavior at work and leisure, and librarians’ perception of students’ information behavior and information preferences.
McDonald, E., Rosenfield, M., Furlow, T., Kron, T. and Lopatovska, I. (2015), "Book or NOOK? Information behavior of academic librarians", Aslib Journal of Information Management, Vol. 67 No. 4, pp. 374-391. https://doi.org/10.1108/AJIM-12-2014-0183Download as .RIS
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