Find sources of qualitative training & support at UNC. How to search for and evaluate qualitative research, integrate qualitative research into systematic reviews, report/publish qualitative research. Includes some Mixed Methods resources.
A few gems for librarians inspired by UNC Chapel Hill HSL Librarians
Most of these were discussed at or inspired by discussion of qualitative research methods at HSL's July 9, 2017, monthly meeting of librarians and graduate assistants primarily in the Clinical, Academic, & Research Engagement Department (formerly User Services). These represent a small sampling of some well-known library ethnographies and ethnographers. Also included are a few examples of other qualitative research related to libraries or librarians or by librarians. Nominations of additional examples, including those using wide variety of qualitative or mixed-methods research methods, are welcome.
Nancy Fried Foster Rochester Studies (anthropology in libraries)
Studying Students: A Second Look revisits the ground-breaking ethnographic work done by the University of Rochester’s River Campus Libraries and serves as a follow-up to Studying Students: The Undergraduate Research Project at the University of Rochester (2007). Almost ten years after beginning the first study, the authors asked themselves how undergraduates had changed and whether they still engaged in the same work practices. To find out, the team conducted a new study, the Undergraduate Research Refresher, from 2011–2013. This book reports on the new study and draws comparisons to the original work.
Studying Students: A Second Look presents the results of further ethnographic projects at the University of Rochester’s River Campus Libraries. Topics range from how college students “learn the ropes” to their use of technology and how they study and write their research papers. The volume also discusses what professors expect of their students along with the similarities and differences among faculty, student and librarian research practices. Filled with ideas for applying the findings, the book provides additional insight into the place and role of libraries in the academy.
Projects that inspired and were inspired by the work done at the University of Rochester on participatory design of academic libraries. These projects employ a participatory design process to build and improve academic library spaces, services and technology. For more information contact Nancy.Foster(at)Ithaka(dot)org.
Donna is an anthropologist working with ethnographic methods and analysis to inform and change policy in higher education, in particular in and around libraries, learning spaces, and teaching and learning practices. She is Associate Professor for Anthropological Research at the J. Murrey Atkins Library at UNC Charlotte. Donna has conducted anthropological research in libraries at University College London as well as at UNC Charlotte, and regularly presents workshops and talks in the US and the UK.
Donna M. Lanclos, PhD, has been the Library Ethnographer at the J. Murrey Atkins Library at UNC Charlotte since 2009. Her research interests include the nature of information seeking behavior, as well as the relationship of the needs of instructors and learners to the physical and virtual spaces of academic libraries, and in higher education generally.
July 1, 2013. Anthropologist Donna M. Lanclos, PhD, discusses her role as "Library Ethnographer" at the J. Murrey Atkins Library at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, and how she came to be in this position.
In my anthropological research in academic libraries, and in higher education generally, I have encountered a contrast between the ways that institutions approach the information systems they build and buy, and how people use those systems. Confronting the ‘mess’ of people’s everyday practice is a necessary first step towards more effectively connecting people to the resources they want and need. Here I discuss some of the ways to visualize and embrace the actual practices of people, in physical and digital contexts. Based on a breakout session presented at the 39th UKSG Annual Conference, Bournemouth, April 2016
Research on students’ educational experiences demonstrates the importance of a holistic understanding of the complexity of students’ lives in developing library programs, services, and resources that effectively address undergraduate needs. The “A Day in the Life” ADITL) Project investigated a typical day for over 200 students at eight diverse higher education institutions in the US. Examining the local and individual expressions of student taskscapes – the ensemble of interrelated social activities across time and space – placed each student’s relationship to their library in a larger description of their academic and personal lives. By exploring the whole student experience, this multi-site ethnographic study mapped out a more complete, complex, and diverse cartography of college students’ lives and the library’s place in it.
Nandita Mani, PhD, is Director of the Health Sciences Library and Associate University Librarian at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Managing Editor for the journal Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease.
She has published extensively on topics related to librarianship and technology. Dr. Mani’s research interests focus on learning analytics in evidence-based pedagogy and curricular design in health science education.
She holds a Ph.D. in instructional technology and an M.L.I.S. from Wayne State University. Her B.A. in psychology is from Concordia University of Edmonton, Alberta.
Abstract: This study utilized a multi-case, bounded case, single-site case study research design to examine how well instructional designers perceive themselves able to practice ID in health care industries. Questions central to this study focused on how instructional designers perceive their preparation to practice, usefulness of professional development organizations or affiliations in which they participated while practicing ID, both academic and non-academic curricula, and utilization of ID practices when designing and developing ID projects in health care environments.
The site selected for this study was a teaching hospital in Southeast Metropolitan Detroit, Michigan. Sampling size was limited to five instructional designers who had been working in the health care environment. Using a case study approach, convenient sampling was utilized to obtain detailed information about the experiences of instructional designers in the health care sector. Upon completion of interviews, participants had the opportunity to show completed work projects and were provided an opportunity to reflect on ID practice via journal entries over a two week time period. The constant comparative method was utilized for data analysis whereby a within-case analysis was conducted followed by a cross case analysis. Findings of this research showed that participants felt well prepared to practice ID in their respective health care environment and offered a variety of ways in which an instructional designer can explore the field of health care, how academic program administrators can collaborate with health care organizations to provide ID opportunities for students, and ways in which health care administrators can explore additional learning opportunities for their ID employees.
Paul Solomon, PhD (former UNC SILS faculty member now at USC SLIS)
A few examples of qualitative research in or about libraries or librarians can be found among former UNC SILS faculty member Paul Solomon's publications.