As developing M-libraries services is a fairly new idea, researching how effective they are or what users want from them is even newer.
This page is a space to discuss research methods and examples of research into m-library services in order to share practice and support one another in this burgeoning area.
The ideas below were generated by participants in a workshop on Researching M-Libraries held at the Second International M-Libraries conference.
- Action research evolves as practice happens; responds to real time and life occurrences
- Sponsored use programmes offer low cost access to equipment but what of vested interests?
- Case studies - highly individual. Of limited value beyond the contexts that generate them?
- Video/audio diaries exploit affordances of the mobile tools but can simply become performances?
See posters on Qualitative and Quantitative research methods developed by Anne Hewling.
- Involve participants in the design of the research & road-testing
- Analysis of existing data (e.g. search logs; equipment ownership statistics)
- Surveys – online/print/voice - must be clearly worded and take account of local language and culture
- Equipment/user tracking
Please add tips from your own experience
Reasons to be cheerful
- Sample population could also be used to comment on behaviours of non-users (their peers)
- Paper form used outside coffee shop (Tim Hortons) with incentive of $1 gift certificate resulted in a good –sized sample of a mix of people. Anecdotally seemed to be more successful than a draw for an iPod.
Things to be aware of
- Value of researching information-seeking habits (what do we really learn?)
- Speed of change
- Have we defined mobile? What is mobile device?
- Privacy issues
These were generated by workshop participants at the Second International M-Libraries Conference. Please add your own examples to help others learn when particular methods are appropriate.
Problems and prospects of m-libraries development in Bangladesh
- Joint research project between developing country and Bangladesh.
- Could outsource the development of the survey.
- Sample mobile users what they thing of possible services – examples, government services notices, weather notification for fishermen
- Survey would need to be voice and in local language.
How to deliver surveys as Users' Interest Surveys
- What devices users have and want
- Using IT dept and registrations data for campus no.s of laptops
- Health sector – intranet not internet. Have need to make own versions of Google Analytics.
- Privacy issues - collect but don’t look at.
- What actually produces changes in behaviour & does it improve learner care?
- Issue – speed of change
Example posters of search – what do folks look for?
- Analysis of search logs.
- Top 1000 search terms
- Mobile user vs. users – differences, overlap
- Mobile delivery (endpoint) vs. mobile discovery (tool)