How to Find Out More about Library Use - A Choice of Research Methods?
In Fall 2009, AUP Librarian Michael Stöpel conducted research on library use and research behavior at the American University of Paris. The objective was to identify entrance points to improve library services and to respond to new challenges in the information environment (internet) underlined by Nicholas & Rowland’s book Digital Consumers (2008). The research was guided by two main questions: how many students use the library and why some students do not use the library. The idea was to make two research methodologies work together (quantitative and qualitative) profiting from the benefits of both methodologies (Deacon 1999). The focus of this presentation is less on the results but on the choice of research methods in order to get a good understanding ('thick description') of library use/non-use (Geertz 1973).