Friday 13th November, 2015
4:30pm to 5:15pm
Subject Guides are a common feature on Library Web Sites. Librarians believe that the content they include on these guides helps students, but what do students really think? The researchers used usability testing as a way to affect change in librarians’ perspectives. The Libguides examined were guides currently available publicly on the website. The guides were chosen because they represented the two ends of the spectrum at the institution, with one being highly comprehensive and the other being shorter and offering more “best bet” type of information. Librarians were asked to complete a brief survey to determine their attitudes and preferences towards the guides and then preformed a usability test on two guides. Students completed the same usability testing, but were asked different questions about preferences and usage. Results showed where students and librarians were in agreement and where their preferences differed. This information allowed the researchers to share with guide creators what students were really looking for and to redesign guides to better reflect best practices.
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