1st Edition

Information Needs Analysis
Principles and practice in information organizations



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ISBN 9781856044844
Published January 7, 2015 by Facet Publishing
256 Pages

USD $70.95

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Book Description

If you want to provide an information service that truly fulfils your users' needs, this book is essential reading.

Analysing and assessing the information needs of clients is key to the provision of effective service and appropriate collections in both face-to-face and virtual library services. The importance of information needs analysis is widely recognized by information professionals, but currently there is little substantive, detailed work in the professional literature devoted to this important topic.

This new book is designed to fill that gap, by supporting practitioners in developing an information needs analysis strategy, and offering the necessary professional skills and techniques to do so. It will offer guidance to team leaders and senior managers in all areas of library work, especially those involved in collection management, service provision and web development, and is equally applicable to the needs of academic, public, government, commercial and other more specialized library and information services. The text adopts a hands-on, jargon-free approach, and includes relevant examples, case studies, reader activities and sources of further reading. Key areas covered include:

what is information needs analysis?

how is needs analysis conducted?

what are the varieties of needs analysis?

how are analyses evaluated and reported?

Readership: The book will be essential reading for library and information practitioners, team leaders and senior managers. It will also be a core text on course reading lists in departments of library and information studies.

Table of Contents

1. Background to needs analysis for information managers Introduction Information needs analysis rather than information needs assessment Understanding the concept of need Defining ‘needs’ in relation to ‘wants’ and ‘demands’ Defining information needs analysis Types of information needs Reasons for conducting an information needs analysis Review of Chapter 1 Further reading References 2. The importance of context in information needs analysis Introduction The cultural context Information needs awareness in context Purpose and perceived importance Determining the communities Making use of existing data Review of Chapter 2 Further reading References 3. Models and types of information needs analysis Introduction The literature The system approach The target group approach The contexts of needs assessments Comparing the perspectives Information needs analyses in information management contexts Review of Chapter 3 Further reading References 4. The stages of information needs analysis Introduction Four stages of needs analysis The recursive nature of INA research Qualitative and quantitative frameworks for data analysis The stages of ex post intervention Review of Chapter 4 Further reading References Appendix 4.1: Gantt chart 5. Gathering data for information needs analyses Introduction How we have reached this juncture The primary research question The research population The data-gathering method Data analysis Validity and reliability Ethical considerations Practical issues to consider when choosing a method The main data-gathering methods Examples of data-gathering methods selected in INAs Review of Chapter 5 Further reading References 6. Gathering data from existing sources Introduction The data External data Internally created data The methods Conclusion Review of Chapter 6 Further reading References 7. Gathering data through surveys Introduction What is a survey? Planning for a survey Conducting a survey Preparing for data analysis Review of Chapter 7 Further reading References 8. Gathering data through interviews Introduction Thoughts on managing qualitative data collection Interviews Focus groups Observation Other qualitative methods Review of Chapter 8 Further reading References 9. Analysing and integrating information needs analysis data Introduction Analysing and integrating information The information analysis stage in the INA process Qualitative data Quantitative data Descriptive statistics Inferential statistics Review of Chapter 9 Further reading References 10. Reporting on an information needs analysis Introduction The audience and its impact on the final report Validity and reliability The writing process The structure of an INA report The use of graphics Other means of communicating the results Review of Chapter 10 Further reading References

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