ERIC Number: ED478085
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Putting Knowledge To Work Effectively: Assessing Information Needs through Focus Groups.
Perry, Valerie E.
This paper describes how focus groups were used to assess the effectiveness of the University of Kentucky's Agricultural Information Center (AIC) in providing patron services. The AIC serves 1,100 undergraduate students, 370 graduate and postdoctoral students, and 1,700 faculty and staff in the College of Agriculture. In August 2000, the AIC conducted nine focus groups consisting of 36 faculty, staff, graduate students and postdoctoral students. The feedback shared by these focus group participants was instrumental in redefining both the immediate goals and the Five-Year Strategic Plan of the AIC. Immediate goals included creating an effective marketing plan, redesigning the library instruction seminars, and improving other public services offered. The data gained from the focus groups gave the AIC a clear picture of how these goals can best be achieved. The paper addresses the purpose of focus groups and the specific steps taken by the AIC at each of the following stages: (1) planning for focus groups, including goal setting, session locations and times, participants, focus group questions, and the moderator; (2) implementing focus groups, including the environment, moderator, participants, and data collection; and (3) analyzing focus group data. Future plans and ways that the resulting information from the focus groups has helped to improve public services are also discussed. (Contains 3 references and 11 suggested readings.) (MES)
Descriptors: Academic Libraries, Agricultural Colleges, College Faculty, College Students, Focus Groups, Higher Education, Information Centers, Library Planning, Library Services, Special Libraries, User Needs (Information), Users (Information)
For full text: http://www.sla.org/content/Events/conference/2002annual/ confpap2002/papers2002conf.cfm/.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A