ERIC Number: ED459827
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Jun
An Ethnographic Study of Technical Support Workers: Why We Didn't Build a Tech Support Digital Library.
Cunningham, Sally Jo; Knowles, Chris; Reeves, Nina
There have been many studies in information science looking at the nature and frequency of information seeking activities by different groups. Instead of looking at groups of potential users who have already been studied in detail, this study identified a specific group who have had little attention paid to their circumstances. This paper describes the results of an ethnographic study of the information behaviors of university technical support workers and their information needs. The study looked at how the group identified, located and used information from a variety of sources to solve problems arising in the course of their work. The results of the investigation are discussed in the context of the feasibility of developing a potential information base that could be used by all members of the group. While a number of their requirements would easily be fulfilled by the use of a digital library, other requirements would not. The paper illustrates the limitations of a digital library with respect to the information behaviors of this group of subjects and focuses on why a digital library would not appear to be the ideal support tool for their work. (Contains 20 references.) (Author/AEF)
Descriptors: Access to Information, Behavioral Science Research, Electronic Libraries, Ethnography, Higher Education, Information Retrieval, Search Strategies, Technical Assistance, Use Studies, User Needs (Information), Users (Information)
Association for Computing Machinery, 1515 Broadway, New York NY 10036. Tel: 800-342-6626 (Toll Free); Tel: 212-626-0500; e-mail: email@example.com. For full text: http://www1.acm.org/pubs/contents/proceedings/dl/379437/.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE-CS Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (1st, Roanoke, Virginia, June 24-28, 2001). For entire proceedings, see IR 058 348.