|Nancy B. Turner
Senior Program Officer for Research & Analysis
|Bonnie C. Ryan
Does the culture of librarians, expressed in their work tools and behaviors, hinder their connection with the changing learning and research practices of faculty and students? The Patterns of Culture project used ethnographic methodologies to explore these potential disconnects at the Newhouse School of Public Communications and the Library at Syracuse University. Building on the Rochester example for user research, open-ended interviews with faculty, students and librarians focused on actual work practice to elicit the different needs and barriers each group experiences in their work. Atlas.ti software was used to analyze sixty-one interviews. Differences by group were seen in the experience of barriers related to:
accessing online resources and finding information
technologies for communicating and staying current
engagement with students and instructional pedagogy
This presentation and discussion will center on how the method was realized, the insights it brought to bear on the data, and the usefulness of the approach for both illuminating user needs and fostering library organizational re-alignment. This project has been supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.