|Jens Hofman Hansen
State and University Library (Aarhus, Denmark)
In fall 2005 a consortium of four libraries conducted field studies and held workshops to gather information on how the needs of the core users are fulfilled by research libraries. The investigation was meant to reveal how the users utilize these resources today, and, on the basis of the qualitative data, suggest how the hybrid research library of the future can improve its services. The investigation focused on three key aspects of the hybrid library:
1. How the library’s web interface can be improved
2. What role the library’s employees will have in the future
3. What role the physical library should play
The work resulted in the construction of three personas representing the archetypal usage patterns which were observed in the course of the investigation. It is easy to imagine that an actual user can incorporate traits of all the personas, or can, over time, evolve from one kind of user to another.
The field studies provided input to subsequent workshops where ideas were tested. An idea of presenting the library staff as part of a search result was well received whereas ideas about establishing chat sessions were turned down.
The talk will provide an overview of the methods used, experiences, and results.