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Connecting Library Instruction to Web Usability: The Key Role of Library Instruction to Change Students’ Web Behavior

By Yoo Young Lee and Eric Snajdr


This article is a conference proceeding for the 4th International Conference of Asian Special Libraries. Library instruction plays a key role in web usability. During instructional sessions, librarians shape the ways students behave on the library website (user’s web behavior). They teach students how to use the library website and demonstrate various pathways by which students can access library resources and services. Although library instruction and user’s web behavior are closely intertwined, very little research has combined these two realms. Many usability studies have focused only on the library website itself without considering the various contexts in which students use it. Few usability studies have had any connection with library instruction. This study investigated the intersection between user’s web behavior and library instruction. During instructional sessions, freshman students were asked to perform a series of information seeking tasks on the library website both prior to, and immediately after, instruction. A usability tool – Verify – recorded individual student use of the website during the completion of each of these tasks. The results allowed us to investigate how students behaved on the library website to complete the tasks and how the steps demonstrated by the librarian during instruction strongly influenced how students completed the tasks afterward. This paper suggests how these techniques could be used to improve library websites

Topics: Library Website, Library Instruction, Usability, Web Behavior, Information Seeking Behavior, Information Literacy, User-centered system design, Library Web sites, Information behavior, Library orientation, Information literacy
Year: 2015
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Provided by: IUPUIScholarWorks

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