Users' Feedback and Computer Logs

910 Words4 Pages
Library has become the hub for students to access information to accomplish their academic task. Apart from the information, the library put in place many systems to ensure readily available materials for the users. It is important for the librarians to understand their user’s information needs. This is because diagnosing user needs through the study of information behavior facilitate in improving the efficiency of the information services. The challenge to understand user needs increased with the advancement of information and communication technology. It changes the way user search and use information whether for personal or educational purposes. The new generation today maximizes the use of information technology to complete their task (Newby, 2003). However information searching is a complex behavior (Shenton, 2007). The way users apply whatever knowledge they have to search for online information remains indistinctive to the librarians. Users may employ varying strategies on diversity of materials and resources in order to meet a range of needs in related to issues, demand and interest. In order to provide effective services, the librarians must be able to understand the users information behavior. Librarians are always seeking to learn about the expertise, expectations and information-gathering patterns of the users (Betne, 2008). The convenience of assistance in the form of reference librarians helps users in finding information. However, the widespread uses of the Internet (Cardina, 2004) change the reference work. Search engines have been used as the main tool to dig into Web-based information (Spink & Jansen, 2008). Yet, with all the advancement in technology, the core function of librarians’ remains, that is to provide assistance in selection, evaluation and organization of the resources (Moyo, 2002). In the present day, online searching is a daily activity for many people and the function of reference help desk should be adjusted for this. It is common for a library to conduct survey on their users in order to obtain users feedback or identify users’ information needs. The downside of using a survey is that it depends on the ability of users to recall and may be based on what the user perceived. In contrast to survey, unobtrusive method such as analysis of transaction logs will give evident on the actual information behavior of the users. Blecic et. al (1998) defined transaction log analysis as the detailed and systematic examination of each search command or query by user. Transaction log files provide a record of all different search types that a user have carried out on the system along with the system’s responses in chronological order.
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