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Sunday, May 15 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Poster Session 1: Poster Board Number 66

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Poster Board Number: 66
Title: Rethink Your Library Website: First Know Your End Users
Objective: To generate useful baseline data on library patrons’ general demographics, technology preferences, use of social media, information-seeking preferences, and perceived use of library resources for use in rethinking the design of the library’s website.
Methods: The Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library is an academic library at the University of Utah-Salt Lake City. The last major survey of patrons took place in 1995, prior to technological changes brought on by ubiquitous adoption of mobile phones, social media, and newer information resources. With the help of top-level administration in the university’s school of medicine, and colleges of nursing, pharmacy, and health, the library conducted an online survey of 1,671 faculty and staff using the SurveyMonkey web-based survey service. To encourage participation, respondents were entered into a drawing for one of five prizes, each of which included coupons for two free interlibrary loan orders and a one-hour research consultation with library staff.
Results: Of the 183 survey respondents, over 75% visit the library at least 1 time per semester. These visits are primarily to use print materials and secondarily for staff assistance in some form. Also, 92% of respondents visit the library website at least 1 time per semester, mainly to use online journals and databases. Third, nearly two-thirds of participants have browsed the web with a mobile device, and 85% use text messaging. Finally, like the students they work with, respondents are most likely to use Google when seeking background knowledge on a new topic, followed by PubMed and textbooks (print or electronic).
Conclusions: Faculty and staff patrons still think of the library in terms of books and staff. They are unaware of, or seldom utilize, regular communications from the library via newsletter or social media.
Author: Todd Vandenbark, Web Services Librarian, Systems, Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT

Sunday May 15, 2011 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Exhibit Hall A - Minneapolis Convention Center

Attendees (34)

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