- 1st Nov 2009
In these turbulent times, with the challenges of a constantly changing job market, shifting information-seeking behaviour and a vast array of new resources continually being produced, library and information services need to constantly keep one step, or more, ahead of their users. The benefits of analysing user behaviour are self-evident: better strategic planning, cost benefits and better use of budgets, better marketing, satisfied customers, satisfied management, and a library or information unit that is central to the needs of your parent organization. However, paradoxically, user needs and levels of expectation, including those of remote users, are often not fully explored. This accessible text goes back to the basics and investigates the following key issues: why this book; defining your users; understanding users - the what, why, where, when, how and who; what is the current knowledge of user behaviour and needs - is it really predictable; great expectations - how LIS professionals can manage and train users; using information about past user behaviour; making the most of knowing your users; keeping track of changes in what users want; tracking the future - electronic and social networking; and, future perfect. This book will help any library or information professional anywhere to take a fresh look at this important area and to tackle it in their organization, so as to ensure that their users will always obtain exactly what they want. Webmasters and knowledge managers will also find much to interest them.
1. Why this book? 2. Understanding users – the what, why, where, when, how and who 3. What is the current knowledge about your users and their needs – is it really predictable? 4. Great expectations: how LIS professionals can manage and train users 5. Using information about past user behaviour 6. Making the most of knowing your users 7. Keeping track of changes in what users want 8. Tracking the future 9. Future perfect? Appendix 1. Reading list and references Appendix 2. Where to go for further information.
Sheila Pantry OBE BA FCLIP manages an independent information services consultancy and electronic publishing business, including websites. She has had a long and varied career in information management in a range of industry sectors, and also in government as Head of Information Services for the Health and Safety Executive. She specializes in worldwide occupational health, safety and fire information and is an experienced trainer, writer, editor and lecturer. Peter Griffiths BA FCLIP is an independent information specialist with a particular interest in library and information services, knowledge management and the wider aspects of information management in the public sector. He was formerly Head of Information in the Office of the Chief Information Officer, Home Office, London. He is an experienced trainer, writer and speaker, and is the 2009 President of CILIP: the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals.
"In a time of economic constraints this practical book gives ideas on how to ensure that your services are aligned with your user needs. It is not a magic bullet, but it gives information workers a wealth of practical how-to ideas which are supported by numerous examples and an extensive reading list." - Library Management "This book provides a myriad of practical and somewhat detailed ideas on how to assess what your LIS user wants, what you have and how to make up the difference. Pantry and Griffiths discuss current issues such as Web 2.0 applications more in an effort to make readers aware rather than offering practical suggestions on implementation. Yet the reader is not left feeling dissatisfied. This work contains a sizable annotated bibliography for each chapter as well as a section titled Where to Go for Information...Overall, this book is recommended to LIS managers and supervisors. It would make a practical and worthwhile contribution to any collection." - Australian Library Journal