Is the library of the future something that will come into view once we crest the next hill? Or will the library of the future be what we make it, based on the best evidence we can collect on current, emerging, and anticipated practices of researchers and the needs of the research community and society at large?
Ithaka S+R recently had the opportunity to explore this topic with Dr. Kornelia Tancheva, associate university librarian for research and learning services, Cornell University Library, and a team from Cornell that included Gabriela Castro Gessner, Darcy Branchini, Erin Eldermire, Heather Furnas, Gail Steinhart, and Neely Tang.
The team asked researchers to map or log a day on which they did at least some research. On the following day, the team interviewed the researchers to learn how they had found, used, and shared information in the course of their activities. This “Day in the Life” approach was based on a mapping method developed at the University of Rochester and refined in a study conducted in medical schools in Illinois. Importantly, the researchers who participated in the study were asked to map or log the entire day, regardless of whether their activities were academic or recreational.
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