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Information literacy: 21st century library research methods for African Studies Daniel A. Reboussin, Ph.D. George A. Smathers Libraries University of Florida August 2, 2011 Respectfully submitted to: Stephanie Kitchen Chair of the Publications Committee International African Institute School of Oriental and African Studies Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square London WC1H OXG www.internationalafricaninstitute.org Tel: +44(0)20 7898 4435 (o) +44(0)7966 045144 (m)
1. What is information literacy and why is it important for African Studies? Todays information environment for African Studi es, as in other areas, is vastly different than it was in the last century. The central pr oblem for library research in African Studies decades ago hinged on ones awareness of a relati vely few specialized, published reference and other print bibliographic tools for discovering relevant materials (Frank-Wilson 2004:106; see McIlwaine 2007a). Many more resources are available now fr om African and other sources, but they present a complex terrain to navigate fo r many reasons, both old and new (see Limb 2007). The field has become more interdisciplinary in terms of data sources and subject matter, making bibliographic searches in any single topical, geog raphical, or discipline based source (or even in the most comprehensive index data bases) less likely to fulfill all of ones scholarly needs. While scholarly sources of documenta tion are freely available online, these may be fragmentary, idiosyncratic or incomplete as citations are ma de available passively a nd without context through services such as Google Scholar.1 Students may encounter libra ry resources online without having developed the critical ev aluation skills and contextual judgment that more experienced scholars may take for granted (Hargittai et al 2010), and which may be essential to employ during ones library research if one wishes to effectively identify a nd engage with African scholarly perspectives. This essay calls for African Studies academic programs to educate students in information literacy, or library research methods if you will, so they become more capable of navigating the rich but difficult and increasingl y complex information environment of the 21st 1 Libraries can link subscription based sc holarly database and full text resources to Google Schola r, providing access to their electronic holdings for all library users who log in to their university accounts. At Northwestern University, library administrators found a 78 percent increase in requests for articles coming from Google Scholar users (Google 2007). Transparency and seamle ssness, two advantages of this approach, are also problems: users remain unaware that they are accessing subscription sources paid for by their institutional libraries (Herrera 2011:329).
Reboussin Africa Bibliography essay 2 century. My background and attention is on the No rth American university environment, so my arguments and conclusions are informed primarily by this perspective. While I have attempted to incorporate African, European and other world perspectives in this work, much of the literature on the information seeking behavior of library researchers focuses on un dergraduate students in the United States. Much of my own work is w ith postgraduate and faculty researchers, but a relatively small portion of published sources fo cus on these more specialized groups (whose members by all indications demonstrate quite differe nt research behavior by discipline and other factors). My interpretation of the overall literature is that additional training in library research methods is needed to improve library research sk ills at every level and that such training should be offered in as many different formats, locations and settings as we can manage to offer in order to find ways to engage library researchers in th e times and places that they need assistance. For some students, formal credit bearing coursework may be appropriate. One such group, I argue, is graduate students in African Studies, many of whom face particular challenges in pursuing library research within their fields. Information literacy, formulated conceptually in the US in about 1990, is the ability to engage a strategic approach in discovering appr opriate, available sources of information given ones needs and resources, allowing one to adap t and employ research skills effectively and efficiently in a complex and changing informa tion environment to evaluate, use, communicate and manage ones findings (see Badke 2008:24,7; Gibson 2008:16-18; see also CILIP 2011). The Association of College and Research Libr aries (ACRL) review of best practices for teaching information literacy recommends the integration of disciplinary content with information literacy concepts that results in a fusion of information literacy concepts and disciplinary content (ACRL 2006; see Johnson et al 2010:53-54). University students are
Reboussin Africa Bibliography essay 3 generally far less information literate than they imag ine or report, so they remain limited in their ability to conduct scho larly research. This is no less true for students in African Studies than it is for university students more generally. Unless universities cultivate improved info rmation literacy among current students, students in turn will not be as effective at gathering and analyzing or interpreting useful information as they might in their university wo rk and later, during thei r professional careers. Beyond the academy, professionals may suffer even more if they lack a stra tegic approach that prevents them from developing or incorporating ne w search skills into their work related library research as technologies change throughout their working lives. Shortcomings in information literacy may impede practitioners from the di scovery and implementation of proven, published solutions to the problems they are charged to m itigate and resolve. This was the case in one recent study of Tanzanian livestock veterinarians, who had access to a rang e of useful electronic resources of which few were aw are, although those who had been trained in information literacy did employ a range of effective se arching skills (Angello 2010:13-16).2 A similar case was reported for a group of Kenyan medical prof essionals (Kamau and Ouma 2005:6). These examples are frustrating from an Africanist libra rians perspective because they illustrate how insufficient levels of information literacy eff ectively prevent access to appropriate scholarly 2 See Table 5 listing in order of general awareness the fo llowing resources, available without cost (or at a small institutional charge) to practitioners in the developing world: AGORA ( Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture a FAO project, see: < www.aginternetwork.org >); HINARI (a WHO project sponsoring access to 1,500 health related journals from major publishers, see < www.who.int/hinari >); Medline see < www.nlm.nih.gov >; Inform (the International Network for Online Resources and Materials see: < inform-network.org >); Cochrane Library (an NGO with official ties to WHO, see < www.cochrane.org >; Ingenta see < www.ingentaconnect.com >; OARE, a public-private partnership sponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme and Yale University, see: < www.oaresciences.org >; Tanzania Development gateway, see: < www.tanzaniagateway.org >; Tanzania Online see: < www.tzonline.org >; Health and Wellness Resource Centre see: < www.gale.cengage.com/Health/HealthRC/about.htm >; and Africa Journals Online see: < www.ajol.info >.
Reboussin Africa Bibliography essay 4 information resources, despite great effort and progress in improving the availability of such resources to researchers and practitione rs in developing areas (see Murray 2008).3 One of the most rewarding aspe cts of my work as an Africa n Studies librarian is teaching students how to overcome the difficulties of work ing with African and other scholarly resources to more effectively and strate gically engage in library rese arch relating to Africa. While instruction plays a role in ma ny of my encounters with library researchers, including e-mail message exchanges, classroom orientations and on e-on-one consultations in my office, the most thorough and effective way to deve lop students information literacy for African Studies library research has been with the gradua te credit course that I have ta ught for over ten years. In this essay, I describe what we know of library research and information seeking behaviors of students (much of it thanks to the inco rporation of ethnographic methods into studies of how students perceive and use information resources to conduct th eir research), consider the diversity of their skill levels and argue that there is an overall need for more (and more formal) training in library research methods. It is helpful to understand how students are pursuing libr ary research prior to introducing more effective resear ch strategies to them. While useful workaround solutions to introduce improved student training in library re search have been developed and pursued by creative instructional libra rians, I make the case here for what I consider the most effective long term solution for African Studies and other grad uate students: offering for-credit information literacy courses designed specifi cally for their disciplinary needs. Finally, I summarize the contents of my course, emphasizing the conceptu al, strategic approach that I have found works best to dramatically improve the level of information literacy among my students. 3 See also Harris (n.d.) for an example of one exceptional volunteer effort to educate health care practitioners in Africa.
Reboussin Africa Bibliography essay 5 2. Student information seeking behavior within and outside libraries There is some truth to the stereotypical im age of the technologically skilled university student. Having grown up in a world of seem ingly ubiquitous electronic game devices, networked computers, wireless communications, s ophisticated gadgets a nd instantaneous online access to troves of information, many university students seem utterly at ease with everything digital, Internet, wireless, and mobile; they ap pear to be naturally gi fted experts at rapid information access from anywhere. While such students certainly exist, they are not as representative of their university peers as some may imagine. As an academic librarian at a large university, I meet many students who are embarra ssed by their lack of skill in electronic information searching, unfamiliarity with library research and inability (or unwillingness) to be in constant mobile contact. They know what is expected of them and understand that they do not fit this oversimplified image. The majority of st udents may never request help when confronted by a library research project, despite the availabi lity of reference librarians who are eager to assist (or refer them to disciplinary speci alists) through a wide variety of convenient communication channels. Academic librarians may be prone to belie ve that digital natives (Prensky 2001a, 2001b), Millennials (Howe and Strauss 2000, 2007), or net gene ration students (Tapscott 1998, 1999) enter university with well developed online searching skills and demanding new services (Gardner and Eng 2005; Gibbons 2007). This generalized impression may be due to selection bias among those students who are most vocal and willing to approach librarians and public service or reference desks, whereas one study reported up to 85 percent of students were anxious about library research assignments, em barrassed at their lack of familiarity and unwilling to reveal their ignorance by requesti ng help from librarians (Mellon 1986:162; see
Reboussin Africa Bibliography essay 6 Fister 2002; Vondracek 2007; Bridges 2008; Ashe r and Duke 2011). A good deal of research demonstrates that university students are a divers e group in terms of skill levels, use (or, as these authors demonstrate, avoidance) of library re sources and buildings and expectations. These characteristics reflect economic, gender, cultur al or racial, educatio nal, and disciplinary backgrounds (Whitmire 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003; Bridges 2008; Hargittai 2010). There is no need for educators to revolutionize reliable educati onal methods or for libra rians to reshape basic library services simply because of the cha nging backgrounds of some of our most visible students. Their everyday technolog y practices may not be directly applicable to academic tasks (Bennett et al 2008:781). Even those students already comf ortable with digital technologies as day-to-day tools outside of academia need to l earn some of the specific approaches and search techniques (for both print and dig ital resources) required for effec tive scholarly research (Barry 1997; Kai-Wah Chu and Law 2007, 2008). Among thes e are skills in independently evaluating the credibility and appropriateness of sources discovered online, rather than naively trusting search engine rankings, commer cial relevance sorting algorithms and paid placement deals between advertisers and search engi ne providers. How users get to a Web site is often as much a part of their evaluation of the des tination site as any particular f eatures of the pages they visit (Hargittai et al 2010: 486; see Flanagin and Metzger 2007). Scholarly and general information environm ents are large and complex; libraries themselves present their own organizational a nd navigational challenge s (both physically and online). Rapid technology change limits the long term value of specific search skills and challenges all of us who work in this changing information environment to constantly build new awareness and upgrade our skills. Based on empi rical research employing ethnographic methods at several Midwestern US universities, Andrew Asher, lead research anthropologist at the
Reboussin Africa Bibliography essay 7 Ethnographic Research in Illinois Academic Libr aries (ERIAL) Project, recently summarized this situation with regard to university students: Students do not have adequate information literacy skills when they come to college even high-achieving students theyre not getting adequate training as theyre going through the curriculum. Student overuse of simple search leads to problems of having too much information or not enough information both stemming from a lack of sufficient conceptual understa nding of how information is organized, he said. Those libraries that have tried to teach good search principles have failed, he continued, because they have spent too much time trying to teach tools and not e nough time trying to teach concepts. It would be more useful for lib rarians to focus traini ng sessions on how to critically think thr ough how to construct a strategy for finding information about a topic that is unknown to you (Kolowich 2010a). All too frequently, students are looking in th e wrong places, or in too few of the right places, when they engage in scholarly researc h. They do not necessarily understand how a library catalog differs from journal index databases, or the differences among the tens of thousands of indexes and other specialized databases availabl e through their university and library affiliation. They also may not be aware that logging into their online university accounts while researching online dramatically enhances even publicly available resources w ith such benefits as full text access (see Google 2007). Some may be effective work ing in one database, or in a few search interfaces (each incorporating ma ny databases), but may not be aw are of how best to modify their research techniques in other settings. Even among graduate students (who generally have developed better skills in using specific journal sets, bibliogra phic index databases and similar resources) a wide range of info rmation resource awareness, res earch sophistication and technical search skills is evident in revi ewing initial classroom exercises. Many library users (often using library and other information resources from outside the physical library building) need assistance to effectively and e fficiently use these information systems to conduct scholarly research (Suchman 1987, 2007).
Reboussin Africa Bibliography essay 8 An important first step in knowing best how to support and assist academic researchers seeking scholarly information is to improve our understanding of thei r needs by learning how they conduct library research. Librarians have recognized th e importance of understanding library communities as a means of improving serv ices to their users for over a century (see Cutler 1896; Stingley 1919; Wheeler 1924). Our fi rst inclination in se eking library user perspectives and input is often to ask them di rectly through surveys. While surveys may be a useful method for assessing what library users want or need, there are risks to relying on survey responses alone (see Bernard 2011; Miller and Sa lkind 2002). For example, sampling bias is difficult to avoid: including people who walk into the library may be a skewed representation of the overall population of library resource users, while online users may not be well represented by those who respond to an online survey. Validity is notoriously difficult to establish using survey methods (e.g., respondents may report satisf action because they are not aware of missing but useful resources). Furthermore, there are st rong indications that stude nts generally evaluate their own research sk ills as above average (see Twe nge 2006; Twenge and Campbell 2009), when in fact they may most often rely on genera l online search tools, rather than specialized resources better suited for scholarly purposes.4 As one recent research team put it: people do not necessarily do what they re port on surveys (Hargittai et al 2010: 486). There are many examples of well designed surveys5 that answer important questions and provide valuable insights for libra rians, publishers and scholars as we evaluate the impacts and options in providing library services and work to improve access to and awareness of scholarly 4 Information providers are under pressure to emulate Goog les simple search interface However, overreliance on Google doesnt serve scholarly purposes well (see Walsh 2004; Zell 2006a; Kolowich 2010b). Most students dont understand what information sources ar eand are notincluded in Google sear ches, what is the structure of the information available to the search engi ne, how search results are ranked for re levancy and returned to the user, or how advanced searches can improve results (see Tenopir 2002). 5 Using a less common method, Daly (2011) employs a small sample, intensive interview technique to explore Duke University undergraduate honors program participants research strategies and processes.
Reboussin Africa Bibliography essay 9 resources (see Whitmire 2002; Heath et al 2004; Chrzastowski and Joseph 2006; Radford and Snelson 2008; Bridges 2008; Schonfeld and H ousewright 2010). But employing a variety of social research methods in libraries provide s complementary sources of evidence and other important benefits. Focusing observa tion directly on researcher and library user pr actices (rather than on attitudes, opinions and self-reported acti ons) provides an opportunity to gather data not available to surveys, which is especially important in building awareness of issues or problems not yet identified. By conducting behavioral research, we allow ourselves the opportunity to see library researchers in a new light and to be surprised by our findings. By paying attention to changes in library research beha vior, we can develop strategies to more effectively reach our clientele, teach the principles of information literacy and provide students with the tools they need to excel in a rapidly ch anging information environment. One way to more or less indirectly investig ate library users info rmation seeking patterns is to interview and observe how they interact with reference li brarians, engage with library services and share with their colleagues the resources they have found (see Ellis 1989; ODay and Jeffries 1993a, 1993b; Folster 1995; Nardi and ODay 1996, 1999; Sadler and Given 2007). Citation patterns are indirect evidence that can be unobtrusively observed, as scholarship requires documenting ones consultation with the ar chive, allowing others to access data sources for independent analysis and interpretation. Citation pattern analys is allows convenient comparison over time and across disciplines as we ll as concrete evidence of the impact of a rapidly changing information environment on sc holarly practices. These studies may suggest ways that libraries can target particular academic areas for impr oved services (see Broadus 1987;
Reboussin Africa Bibliography essay 10 Wilberley and Jones 1989; Ellis et al 1993; Watson-Boone 1994; Brown 1999; Hiller 2002; Hemminger et al 2007; Evans 2008; Kayongo and Helm 2009; Smyth 2011).6 Applied anthropology is the employment of re search methods, theories and concepts from the discipline outside of academia and became a recognized discipline in the prewar colonial epoch (Thompson 1976:2).7Applied anthropologists have played an important role in bringing behavioral research methods to ma ny fields and organizat ions. Anthropologists conducting research on campus and in libraries ma y bring media attention that plays on the irony that mundane, stereotypically formal8 institutions should interest ethnographers, associated more with work in far off lands than among our own d igital natives. In fact anthropologists have worked in familiar organizations (see Ag ar 1980; Van Maanen 1988) and on university campuses (see Moffatt 1989; Nathan 2005) for decades. None of this should be surprising: the origins of anthropology as a discipli ne lie in an engagement with the important soci al issues of the 19th century.9 6 See Webb et al (1966:37) for a classic example of an unobtrusive measure, that of museum exhibit popularity based on tile wear. Evans (2008) is par ticularly interesting for the debate inspired by his controversial finding that, as the scholarly archive has been ope ned through convenient electronic acce ss, social science citations have (counterintuitively) narrowed. 7 The earliest known use of the term applied anthropology dates to an 1881 meeting of the Royal Anthropological Institute (Bodley 1999:173). This wasnt a localized or idiosyncratic usage, as Daniel Brinton used the term in his 1895 speech on Paul Broca in Washington, DC (Peattie 1958: 4). Edward Burnett Tylor (a founder of English social anthropology) called anthropology a po licy science and James Hunt, co-founder of the Anthropolo gical Society of London (which merged with rival groups to create the Royal Anthropological Institute), used the term practical anthropology (Simonton 2010). Between 42 to 60 percent of Ph.D. anthropologists and virtually all M.A. anthropologists work outside the academy at present (Guerrn-Montero 2008:1; see Fiske 2008; Kedia and van Willigen 2005). The history and scope of applied anthropo logy is reviewed by Nolan (2003); Eddy and Partridge (1987); Fox (1991); Peattie (1958); Rylko-Bauer et al (2006); Simonton (2010); Van Willigen et al (1989); and Van Willigen (2002). 8 Modern libraries and universities trace th eir origins to medieval monastic prac tices, but there are classical survivals in these institutions as well, not the least of which are official complaints at their cost. In De tranquillitate animi (ix, 4-7) Seneca the Younger argu es that Such a mass of books just overw helms the student and doesn't teach him anything (see Setton 1960:373). 9 The ethnological societies of Londo n and Paris [founded in the early 19th century] were abolitionist organizations (Peattie 1958:4); American lawyer and anth ropologist Lewis Henry Morgan applied his research to defend Iroquois land rights against the Ogden Land Company in the 1840s (Morgan and White 1993:2, 54; see also Armstrong 1978).
Reboussin Africa Bibliography essay 11 The earliest examples of ethnographic methods employed in research relating to libraries grew from work on the role of information technology in organizations (see Orlikowski 1991; Orlikowski and Baroudi 1991). Authors in technical fields such as information systems design (Bentley et al 1992; Avison and Myers 1995; Harvey and Myers 1995; Harvey 1997; Hartmann et al 2009), information retrieval (Ellis 1989) an d human-machine interfaces (Suchman 1987, see also 2007 second edition; Nardi and O Day 1996, 1999) have not generally not been professional anthropologists, but have em ployed and advocated ethnographic methods to understand information seeking patte rns, closely relate d to library research behaviors. Among these authors, only Suchman a nd Nardi are professi onal anthropologists. Suchman worked for twenty years as a researcher at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), developing information systems based on her ethnographic studi es of work. Nardi, with research partner ODay, a computer scientist with overlapping experien ce in research laboratories at HewlettPackard, Apple Computer and PARC, focuses on cor porate reference libraria ns and services at these institutions (Nardi and O'Day 1996). Consid ered groundbreaking by many, this article is much appreciated by reference librarians themselv es, who are identified as a keystone species in the information ecologies ( ibid .:81) of modern organizati ons (important in making technology work well for users). Both th is study and Suchman (1987) emphasize the underappreciated importance of human, expert agen ts in mediating the engagement of people with technological resources, pr oviding users with more resour ces than they know they need (and playing a role that, while it may be suppl emented by software agents, the authors suggest will never be effectively subsumed by them). An extended observation of academic library services was conducted by Pedersen et al (1991), but in many ways Klopfers (2004) et hnography of popular sidewalk commercial
Reboussin Africa Bibliography essay 12 libraries in India represents a closer antecedent to the approach of current work in considering the community context. While other interactive observations of users or librarians within particular libraries (e.g., Pendl eton and Chatman 1998) use the te rm ethnographic, few consider how the community of users interacts with the information ecologies of the library: Like museums, libraries are complex institutions w hose personnel and technol ogies mediate formal and informal practices of learning, entertai nment and communication . Library studies would benefit from broader ethnographic research that places libraries in communities and societies (Klopfer 2004:106). The author suggests Durrance ( 1995, 2001) is a better model for this broader view. More recent work, such as that of Dent (Dent and Yannotta 2005; Dent 2006; DentGoodman 2011), offers an ethnographic perspectiv e of a Uganda community library and insight on applying ethnographic research methods in libraries (includi ng historical precedents in community analysis). Several r ecent studies of African communiti es and their use of libraries have been recently reported as well (see Kwake et al 2005; Chilimo et al 2011; and Stilwell 2011), while participant observation methods were us ed to investigate faculty research behavior (whose library research methods were generally characterize d as trial and error) by ethnographers at several Swedish unive rsities (Haglund and Olsson 2008:55). An emerging trend in the ethnogr aphic study of libraries and lib rary users appears to be largely associated with projects to design libr ary services, redesign spa ces, build new functional areas and establish information or learning co mmons (see Beagle 1999; Bisbrouck 2001; Bennett 2005). When building projects are planned, funds may become available to hire consultants, opening up possibilities for ethnographi c research focusing on library users. An early example of such studies was conducted at The Univers ity of the South (OConnor 2005), but greater attention has been focused on the Rochester st udy at the University of Rochesters River
Reboussin Africa Bibliography essay 13 Campus libraries (see Foster and Gibbons 2007). In part this may be because the latter (directed by an anthropologist) appears to have inspired so many other efforts at employing a range of broadly ethnographic methods to und erstand student behavior with relation to library resources and buildings (see Suarez 2007; Gabridge et al 2008; Bryant 2007, 2009; Bryant et al 2009; Delcore et al 2009; Applegate 2009; Gilbert et al 2010; Duke and Asher 2011). These studies were undertaken at Brock University in Cana da, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Loughborough University (UK), California State University at Fresno, Indiana UniversityPurdue University Indianapolis, Northwest Mi ssouri State University and by the Ethnographic Research in Illinois Academic Libraries (ERIAL) Project, whic h includes DePaul University, Illinois Wesleyan University, Northeastern Illin ois University, the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Illinois at Springf ield. Given that these projects have all been reported in the last five years, the breadth of their geographica l representation and the diversity of their institutional characteristics are remarkab le and their findings richly deserve attention. In a review of the Rochester study, Seadle ( 2007) calls the project a milestone, as about 30 percent of the librarys professional staff were involved in the re search (see Foster and Gibbons 2007:55), but also because of the innova tive use of a diverse set of methods that included giving cameras to students, asking them to take photographs and draw maps to help the librarians understand their social cons tructs of the library landscape ( ibid .:48). The Rochester study has attracted specialist journalistic coverage in The Chronicle of Higher Education and Library Journal (see Carlson 2007; Marshall et al 2007), producing, for example, one of the most popular articles The Chronicle has run in recent years (Carlson 2009). A number of conference sessions, workshops, blog entries and th e like have followed, concentrating to a large extent on undergraduate study, work, or rese arch practices (see Bishop 2010; CARLI 2010).
Reboussin Africa Bibliography essay 14 Also announced for publication this autumn is th e edited volume on the ER IAL project entitled College Libraries and Student Culture (Duke and Asher 2011).10 3. Student library research and the need for better information literacy What do we currently know about student li brary research behavi or? Even good students at prestigious institutions (such as MIT) lack sufficient awareness of the scholarly research tools that academic libraries provide and the sk ills to use them effectively (Gabridge et al 2008:521522). They overuse general resources and underuse scholarly tools such as the library catalog and journal index databases. While the typical student in [the Rochester study] was familiar with databases other than Google (Foster a nd Gibbons 2007:8; see Herrera 2011:323), they may still underuse scholarly resources in favor of fa miliar, everyday search engines. Students may evaluate websites based on the perceived profes sionalism of page de sign, or on officialappearing names and logos (Asher and Duke 2011). They like the extreme simplicity of Googles screen design (Seadle 2007 :617) and navely trust this popul ar search engine brand to place the best and most appropriate results on top: To complete many of the assigned tasks, stude nts often turned to a particular search engine as their first step. When using a s earch engine, many students clicked on the first search result. Over a quarter of respondents mentioned that they chose a Web site because the search engine had returned that si te as the first result suggesting considerable trust in these services. In some cases, the re spondent regarded the s earch engine as the relevant entity for which to evaluate trustw orthiness, rather than the Web site that contained the information (Hargittai et al 2010:479). Students differ in the extent to which they understand the reasons behind search engine rankings. A female health-sciences major desc ribed her search routine as follows: I usually click on the first thing that I see. As ked to clarify how she decides to pick the first result, she emphasized, Well, I know the one s that are [...] in he re [pointing to the shaded Sponsored Link section on a Google resu lts page] theyre the most relevant to what Im looking for. Interestingly, in this case she was pointing to a highlighted link 10 I would like to thank the authors and publisher for provi ding me with a prepublication draft of this volume.
Reboussin Africa Bibliography essay 15 labeled as a Sponsored Link by Google. While sponsored links may well be applicable to a search question, their placement on top of the re sults page is at leas t in part determined by financial incentives rather than solely rele vance, a point the res pondent did not raise at all, presumably because she was unaware of it ( ibid .:484). Most students do not ask for help with thei r library research from librarians (favoring advice from peers or instructors). This may be in part because they c onsider librarians book experts rather than information specialists: I would talk to a librarian when I need to find books. I cant imagine anything else I would need them for (Foster and Gibbons 2007:10). In the minds of students, librarians equal print ( ibid .:60). Other research suggests that most students face anxiety when asked to do library re search and may avoid seeking help in order to save face, or may have not found satisfactory help in the past (Mellon 1986:162; see Fister 2002; Vondracek 2007; Bridges 2008; Miller and Muri llo 2011). Access to and use of scholarly research resources provided by libraries is not re lated to physical presence in library buildings, but is decentralized to many off-site locatio ns, resulting in fewer opportunities for building librarian-researcher working relationships (Haglund and Olsson 2008:55-56). There are fewer opportunities to engage and teach serendipitously or opportunistical ly as librarians have done in the past (Fister 2002).11 From their perspective, the library is for studying and that is generally the reason they visit and use library buildings. Finally, univers ity students represent a diverse, heterogeneous population. Their ha bits and needs vary by discip line, demographics and other characteristics. In the following section, I consider the implications of these findings for libraries. These overall findings, first and foremost, suppor t the notion that university students will benefit from a combination of library training sessions and information literacy courses to 11 An interesting response to the decentralization of library use was recently reported as gaming the library. An MIT professor purposefully kept overdu e books because students wanting them were sent to his office. He then interviewed them as potential assistants, knowing they shared an interest in his area of expertise (Harvard Library Innovation Laboratory 2011).
Reboussin Africa Bibliography essay 16 introduce several scholarly tools and support a strate gic approach to their library research. Brief training sessions build awareness of the rang e of library resources and encourage more sophisticated searching skills with a variety of general and specia lized research tools. Contact and familiarity with librarian instructors is most likely to reduce anxiety and create opportunities to build rapport, engage in informal teaching a nd build an understanding of librarians areas of expertise (including print and elect ronic information, as well as ot her formats). Insofar as these sessions involve interaction with academic departme nts, faculty and graduate students, they also provide opportunities to devel op collaborative relationships among academics and library disciplinary specialists. One of the most impor tant outcomes in workshops and short training sessions may be to introduce st udents to the librarian responsible for s upporting their major discipline (or simply awareness th at library disciplinary specialists exist), encouraging direct follow up should they wish to seek assistance at a later date. Along with brief orientation and training sessions, there is a need for more formal and in depth course offerings, especially for graduate students and others who may need to de velop their library resear ch skills to a greater extent. Information literacy courses for credit are available on a minority of North American university campuses (Owusu-Ansah 2004, 2007; Gibson 2008).12 Given this situation, along with the lack of informal opportunities that used to be the mainstay of entry level library skills education (e.g., intercepting apparent ly befuddled or lost students in the library), training in library research methods should be integrated into a variety of dispersed student activities. At my university library, the gr eatest effort for many years was di rected at introducing about 1,100 freshman English (standard course number ENC 1 101 in the State University System of Florida) 12 About thirty percent of surveyed institutions offered such courses in 1995 (Holder 2010:5). Contributors to Lau (2008) indicate that in at least some other countr ies, more comprehensive offerings are available.
Reboussin Africa Bibliography essay 17 enrollees to a single, scripted, hour-long library training session each semester. This program faced problems of scalability (Gibson 2008:15), required constant management to schedule instructors and consumed a great deal of librarians time. Libr arians or staff members read standardized scripts directly to large sections of students with little a ssessment of what learning (if any) was taking place. I am happy to report that since that time, things have changed. The library instruction program at my institut ion has since become be tter integrated with academic departments and more coll aborative with disciplinary in structors. A combined focus on training Teaching Assistants to themselves incor porate information literacy and specific library skills into my universitys first year writing c ourses is the current a pproach, providing online support materials directly to students and reducing the work load considerably for many librarians for whom instruction is not a primar y assignment. As a result, academic librarians (with disciplinary expertise ranging well beyond th e few English Department courses previously targeted for support) have been enabled to res pond more creatively to student needs in their branches and disciplines with a variety of complementary strategies to improve information literacy in lieu of formal course availability. For example, many of my colleagues have done so by embedding information literacy content in to academic courses with instructors who collaborate with librarians to teach information l iteracy modules closely integrated with course content (Dewey 2005; Hine et al 2002; Johnson et al 2011; Love 2009), creating peer based instructional programs (Deese-Roberts and Keat ing 2000), linking with campus common reading programs (Shoop 2010) and integrating library tr aining with electroni c and social gaming (Russell Gonzalez et al 2008). Librarians at one institution offer a wo rkshop promising training to Google like a librarian (OKelly and Lyon 2011). While libraries should not simply offer
Reboussin Africa Bibliography essay 18 users anything they want, our job is to lear n how to reach them and teach them (Seadle 2007:618) in the current highly decentrali zed situation on university campuses. These creative approaches have been an effective way to introduce basic information literacy concepts to a large num ber of university students, across many academic programs. They are complemented by several additional strategies at my institution, including general and topical workshop offerings, advertised each semester fo r students motivated enough to seek out brief instructional sessions to improve th eir library research skills. Disc iplinary or liaison librarians offer on demand or drop in instructional services as targeted one-on-one consultation sessions to support students in specific programs who request individual assistance, most often with a library research assignment in hand. Publ ic service and other lib rarians and staff offer instructional sessions catered to specific class ne eds in library training rooms, in the academic departments classrooms, or elsewhere on campus All disciplinary liaison librarians at my institution also provide online, Web-based re sources and guides (sometimes available through instructional course management software or as videos, which can be mediated by chat or telephone reference services). To gether, these and similar effort s bring library instruction to users, as much as possible, where and when they need assistance and provide a creative, varied and changing mix of instructiona l opportunities to a broad range of university students across all academic program areas. Beyond these valuable instruc tional efforts to provide assistance to individuals and groups, formal courses also should be a part of the mix. French universities have established a comprehensive approach that has reduced attr ition significantly among first year students (Lamouroux 2008:141; Coulon 1999). O ffering independent informati on literacy courses is not without controversy within US libraries (Holder 2010:6), wh ere many only support instruction
Reboussin Africa Bibliography essay 19 that is well integrated with academic program s. Establishing for credit information literacy courses also may be hindered by the perception on uni versity campuses that the need is for remedial or technical skills training, best addre ssed by laboratories, libra ry workshops and other support units rather than the academic curriculum. However: It is one thing to create a tutorial or ho ld a class to teach someone how to search a database. It is quite another to help that same person to na vigate the troubled waters of the information revolution with such skill th at the right information for the task is effectively and efficiently found, evaluated, a nd then used to optimum advantage within legal and ethical boundar ies (Badke 2008:7). There may be no substitute for credit bearing courses to improve the information literacy situation on campuses (Hollister 2010). While the concept of information literacy is popular and current in library litera ture (see: Badke 2008, Hine et al 2002, Hollister 2010; Lau 2008, Mackey and Jacobson 2005, Owusu-Ansah 2004, Scales et al 2005), the terminology is unfamiliar to most faculty in the academic disciplines that librari ans serve. In introducing this concept outside of libraries, as I ha ve done in this essay, I refer to library research methods This approach resonates well and a ppropriately with academic facu lty and administrators as a strategic, contextual, adaptive and holistic appr oach to conducting library research within the context of a discipline, as opposed to simply tr aining students in specific skills or techniques, which are vulnerable to obsolescence as information technologies change.13 13 My first success in this regard occurred over ten years ago when I applied to my university graduate curriculum committee to include such a course in the catalog. The staf f member responsible for collecting applications on their behalf told me that the committee would never approve a library course at the graduate level. Fortunately, I had the full support of the director of our Center for African Studies and, together, we promoted it as a research methods course. This apparently made sense to the members, as it was approved. Ive taught it each Fall Semester since with student course evaluation feedback that is co nsistently higher than the college average.
Reboussin Africa Bibliography essay 20 4. Teaching information literacy for African Studies graduate students While team taught with my former colleague Peter Malanchuk for almost a decade, I designed Africana Bibliography (course number AFS 5061)14 from the ground up to focus on library research methods (though it was named according to an earlier conception of library instruction). Since before we firs t taught the course in 2000, colleag ues at institutions in Europe and the US have promoted directing Africanist li brarians expertise toward this approach to teaching rather than spending time creating narrow specialized bibliographies (Johnson 1998:67).15 After discussing the history of the cour se at Indiana University, Marion FrankWilson explains that: The focus of the class is no longer on how to find scarce, hidden mate rials, but rather to develop strategies and technique s to find a wide variety of materials ranging from print sources to oral accounts, as well as sources found in Af rican archives; and, more importantly, to be able to evaluate these sources for their quality and relevance (FrankWilson 2004:106). I recognize the importance of adopting a st rategic approach to teaching information literacy in African Studies, addressing known libra ry research behavior patterns to improve student methods and success. While my approach has changed over time, the following themes guide my presentation of library resources introduced th roughout the course. It can be a struggle to ensure that the class is not overwhelmed by a su rvey of resources or tools, but instead focuses on their strategic use according to a research plan. The sheer numb er and diverse range of such tools in a large academic library can distract an instructor into sp ending all available class time in describing useful resources and techniques for using them. Any serious attempt at surveying 14 The course syllabus is available online: < http://guides.uflib.ufl.edu/content.php?pid=6493&sid=1480100 >. 15 This assertion was not accepted without controversy, accord ing to Walsh (2004:8). Kaga n (1998:69-72) offers a brief history of the small handful of such courses at universities in the US. Formal credit courses in African Studies research strategies are currently taught at three US institutions. Most have po sted the syllabus and course materials on their Web sites: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Indiana University Bloomington and University of Florida; a similar University of California at Los Angeles offering remains in the course catalog but has not been taught for several years (see Walsh 2004:87-88).
Reboussin Africa Bibliography essay 21 African Studies reference resources requires book length treatment and regular updating (e.g., Kagan 2005; Zell 2006b; McIlwaine 2007a). For a class, it is more important to maintain a focus on research strategies than speci fic tools: distinguishing between everyday searches of the open Web and authenticated deep Web searching that includes access to prop rietary and scholarly databases; developing awareness of the range of potential library research tools along with an understanding of their a ppropriate use (based in part on th e adoption of the research notes technique I describe below); and building a critic al understanding of specialized African Studies resources that includes an appreciation for the conditions that might limit African scholarship from discoverability. I also promote the contri bution of some portion of ones creative and scholarly output to open access resources as a wa y of building high quality research repositories for use by African based (and other) scholars who may not have the benefit of access to commercially distributed journals or other sources of scholarship. I begin classroom discussion from a fam iliar point, building on common understandings and adapting the emphasis as I become more familiar with students as the class proceeds (enrollment has averaged 7 students over time, so it is easy to get to know everyone). Every student enters the classroom with some expe rience using Google and other online tools for everyday needs. A convenient place to begin conversa tions about planning library research is to ask questions about how they use Google. I volunt eer that I use this s earch engine many times every day, leading discussion in to how Web searches function (conceptually, no t technically) and the limits of what information is accessible to search engines. The information available to public users of Google can be cal led the open or surface Web. The invisible Web, deep Web or dark net refers to information av ailable via the Internet that is not accessible to general search engines such as Google (Wright 2009).
Reboussin Africa Bibliography essay 22 Access to such privately cont rolled information, which may be 500 times as large as the public information on the open Web, may be hi dden for all but peer-to-peer trusted users (possibly providing some protection for illegal or illicit activities), or limited by commercial databases that only generate Web pages dynamica lly once a user is authenticated as a paying customer or a legitimate member of the subscribing institution (He et al 2007:95; see King et al 2007). At public institutions, simply accessing the internet from a library computer may be enough to gain access to proprieta ry resources as a legitimate us er (Mann 2005:xiv), but remote use requires accessing a proxy server, or preferably, the installation of a virtual private network (VPN) program on ones personal computer or mobile device. Because many experienced users of public resources available on the open Web are not aw are of the scale of the invisible Web, understanding this distinction can be enlight ening and a good initiati on into the value of understanding why a strategic appro ach to library research is va luable. I point out that Google Scholar becomes a qualitatively different resource once one has logged into a university account so that library resources, incl uding full text online books and arti cles, can become transparently and seamlessly linked to the citations provide d by Google Scholar (see Google 2007) and other applications. This is a good point to discuss assessing source credibili ty through evaluation of authors academic credentials, determining whether or not an article has b een subjected to peer review and a consideration of publisher reputati on, along with attention to appropriate citation practices in scholarly writing. In my experience, fe w if any graduate studen ts have the nave faith in Googles relevance sor ting reported by Hargittai et al (2010). Scholarly researchers beginning work in a ne w area will benefit greatly by employing a simple but potent technique: keepin g a list of search terms (such as key authors, titles, relevant keywords, subject terms, themes and concepts) derived from the source s consulted during their
Reboussin Africa Bibliography essay 23 library research. This enables combining the adva ntages of many resource s together, especially when multiple iterations of ones searches ar e repeated through a set of known reliable and promising new resources. This search notes t echnique creates a focused, dynamic aid to ones research by collecting differing c onceptual approaches across di sciplines, spelling variations, alternate terms and the like. These are important issues in working with African subject matter, where the range of ethnic, geographical and ot her terms varies greatly over time, across disciplines and based on na tional traditions (see Kaga n 2005; McIlwaine 2007a, 2007b). Particularly troublesome are coloni al names and their changes after independence, political splits and mergers and cases such as the Biafra War in Nigeria, which has been entered without the name Biafra in Library of Congress subject he adings (as: Nigeria -History -Civil War, 1967-1970). Other kinds of changes in naming pr actices occur within disciplines over time (Walsh 2004:20-24, 25, 37). Gretchen Walshs article is the best source I know of for focusing students attention on the many ways that a seemi ngly good search effort can fail in the face of the realities that make research on African topics very difficult indeed and is the one source I require students to read. In introducing library resources and building aw areness of the range of scholarly research tools, I promote the approach advocated by Mann (2005), structuring my presentations to first introduce the value of reference materials and their proper use as a starting point for library research. One cannot develop an e ffective strategy for undertaking library research without some familiarity with the range of possible resources and a sense of how information is organized. Manns guide provides a survey of the kinds of general and specialized reference resources available at a large academic library. I also pres ent the main functions and goals of a library collection management approach, where responsibili ty for the intellectual scope and cohesion of
Reboussin Africa Bibliography essay 24 a collection of library materials in support of an African Studies academic program is integrated (e.g. selection of materi als within a known budget, control ov er the acceptance and rejection of gift items, decisions on location, prioritization for conservation, reformatting or de-accessioning, etc.) to provide an appreciation of the options and limitations for almost any library collection. I introduce other library functions as they rela te to African Area St udies (e.g. cataloging, preservation, digitization) and offer an overv iew of campus library collections, branches, organization and the location of materials in specific formats (audio and video recordings, government documents, maps, etc.). Because libraries organize collections differently, for many reasons, one may need to familiarize oneself with the general approach to a range of materials, subjects and formats prior to navigating the available resources at an unfamiliar institution. The metaphor of navigating through an inform ation landscape or environment is relevant, as there are many interrelated pa ths along which bibliographic mate rials can be considered. Each project suggests different sets of resources, so it is useful for the library researcher to be familiar with the possibilities beyond her current needs. Fo r example, the history of publication in a given country may be documented in national bibliogr aphies. My former colleague Peter Malanchuk suggests such a progression for Ghana with the 36 page Gold Coast Library (Cardinall 1924) listing 791 items, followed by the 5,168 citations from the 16th century to 1931 in the 384 page Bibliography of the Gold Coast published in 1932 (reprinted as Cardinall 1970), an effort to cover all publications on Gold Coast and Ghana from 1930-1961 (Johnson 1964) and subsequent attempts at similar documentation by the Ghana Library Board with Ghana National Bibliography This sequence demonstrates that as th e corpus of national publications grows historically, ones focus naturally must turn to whatever more specialized reference tools are available, such as those represented by topica l and disciplinary biblio graphies. One also may
Reboussin Africa Bibliography essay 25 consult selective individual country volumes such as those in the World bibliographical series (see, e.g., Myers 1991). Where multiple editions of a bibliography are available, as McIlwaine (2007b) points out, earlier works are not necessarily subsumed or updated by later efforts; they may remain the best documentation of an earli er period and therefore may demand consultation alongside more recent editions. Reading prefatory mate rial allows the researcher to determine the coverage of a given work. To appreciate another path across the bibliogr aphic landscape, one may focus on the role of publishers. A countrys early history of publication may follow a known institutional sequence, frequently beginning with colonial government printing (e.g., Mozambique 1854;16 see also the archival microfilm collections of form er British colonial government publications in the African Studies Association of the United Kingdom series Government publications relating to African countries prior to independence ), or religious missions such as those documented in the Records, 1799-1920 (Church Missionary Society 1960). When African governments and missions replaced and sold their printing presses, in some cases local entrepreneurs initiated private publishing such as the Onitsha market lit erature of Nigerias I gbo speaking area, where readers newly literate in English were eager to buy inexpensive books (Obiechina 1973; see for example Nwosu 196017). Elsewhere, governments promoted literacy in indigenous languages while maintaining control over content, as for example the colonial government did with Shona and Ndebele writing, through the Southern Rhodesia African Literature Bureau (later known as the Zimbabwe Literature Bureau), created in 1954 as part of the Native Affairs Department (Krog 2009). 16 Boletim do Governo da Provincia de Mocambique < http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00095049 > 17 Miss Cordelia in the romance of destiny < http://ufdc.ufl.edu/AA00004295 >
Reboussin Africa Bibliography essay 26 As noted above, a comprehensive survey of African Studies reference resources is beyond the scope of a semester length course or an article (for exemplary efforts, see Kagan 2005; Zell 2006b; and McIlwaine 2007a). Key re sources for beginning library research in African Studies include thes e three titles as well as Africa South of the Sahara an annual print encyclopedia published since 1971,18 which Africana Librarians Council members unanimously though informally agreed was the desert island reference resource th ey would recommend for general use. The online Economist Intelligence Unit19 database (with its extensive print back run) is another extremely useful resource for beginning a research project in an area that touches on politics or economy. One func tion it serves, as do Africa Research Bulletin and Africa Confidential20 (though each has its independe nt reasons for careful cons ideration), is as a news digest that can provide a researcher with multiple starting points (specific dates, events, people, organizations and places) for more directed read ing on historical events not indexed by other means. After selecting and consulting promising referen ce sources, the best ne xt step in tackling a new library research subject is to refer to the library catalog. Familiarity with local catalog features helps in many small ways (e.g., conve niently providing reco rds in your preferred citation format, sending lists of items to your email, or texting book locations and call numbers to your mobile phone) beyond simply finding books in the stacks. While up to half of searches are for finding known items (Tyckoson 1997:11), the catalog is also a powerful discovery tool for identifying unknown relevant materials by de veloping new research pathways, a process made more manageable by using the search note s technique described ab ove. Being attentive to 18 Now available as part of Routledges Europa World online < http://www.europaworld.com >. 19 Economist Intelligence Unit < http://www.eiu.com/ > 20 Africa Confidential < http://www.africa-confidential.com >
Reboussin Africa Bibliography essay 27 subject terms in the most relevant records retrieved can yield additional materials on the topic that may not be published with the same terms on your list (such as words in other languages, equivalent terms that vary over time, or usages that differ across disciplin es). This is possible because catalogers have assigned records with uniform headings. Cataloging is a process of adding terms that are standardized on top of, or in addition to, the words provided by the book itself (Ma nn 2005:23). Because in many libraries subject classifications are employed to shelve books in open stacks, browsing becomes fruitful and allows serendipitous discoveries ( ibid .: 46-64). While Tyckoson estim ates that 90 percent of research content remains elusive from catalog searches (1997:11), improvements have since enhanced many records with chapter titles and authors, for example, e-books are a growing portion of many library collecti ons and Google Books Search pr ovides an automated full text index of scanned titles (Darnton 200 9:33). The catalog is a powerful research tool because it is a combination of technical, social and individual e fforts that do not necessarily lead to perfect or perfectly transparent results: For the individual scholar, academic research may seem to be a solitary, lonely pursuit, whether she is sifting through vol umes of decades-old journals in the stacks or surfing the Web. In fact, successful research depends on the combined (if not always cooperative) efforts of widely dispersed people, often unknown to one another, including: authors, publishers, indexers, catalogers, reference librarians, as well as the researchers themselves. Decisions, policies, and practices of any of these many actors affect the success of research (Walsh 2004:14). For scarcely treated topics, local resources may not be available or will not suffice, so researchers can search multi-library meta-catalog databases such as WorldCat ,21 the catalogs of institutional consortia, or membership groups such as the Center for Research Libraries for leads on access alternatives such as interlibrary loan. 21 WorldCat < www.worldcat.org/ >
Reboussin Africa Bibliography essay 28 The strategic cycle I recomm end concludes with a consultation of academic journal indexes, including specialized inde xes that may simply identify relevant scholarly work as well as convenient integrated index data bases that provide access to entire full-text articles. Academic faculty may not need any other resources than journal indexes (possibl y accessed via a Google search) if their field re lies primarily on journal publications (e.g. some ph ysical sciences). They may even forget to advise students to follow th e library research pathway outlined here. As full text resources have become increasingly accessibl e by means of index databases, the allure of skipping directly to the online journal literature has grown. However, inexperienced researchers may get lost in the specificity of scholarly article s before they have fully integrated a sufficiently broad understanding of their field of study. To simply access a known article, JSTOR22 (which includes an excellent set of African Studies journals in its database ) may be the best first place to go. However, in many cases there is a ten year embargo on articles in JSTOR For this reason and because full text searches in JSTOR depend of the accuracy of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software (the often cited figure of 98 pe rcent accuracy produces er rors in two or three words per page), I do not recommen d it as a primary search tool. Students should become familiar with a variety of general use, comprehensive or discipline-specific, commercia lly distributed journal inde x databases. Many include good coverage of African articles and provide interface features that help to build good searches. Such tools include EBSCO Academic Search Premier ,23 Cambridge Scientific Abstracts24 (with the Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts and PAIS International ), ProQuest Dissertations 22 JSTOR < www.jstor.org/ > 23 Academic search premier < http://www.ebscohost.com/ > 24 Cambridge Scientific Abstracts < http://www.csa.com/ >
Reboussin Africa Bibliography essay 29 & Theses ,25 the Web of Knowledge26 interface to, e.g., the Social Science Citation Index and Periodicals Index Online .27 Any of these commercial products provide access to their index thesauri of descriptor terms, which work analogous ly to subject headings in the library catalog to add relevant terms not accessible to software su ch as OCR that merely reproduces terms the publication itself provides to readers (Mann 2005:66-67). I reco mmend that searches in these large databases should be complemented by a dditional work with Af rica-specific, human specialist-prepared bibliographic tools such as African Studies Abstracts28 (Leiden University), the US Library of Congress Quarterly Index of Afric an Periodical Literature29 and Africa Bibliography30 (International African Institute, IAI). Africa Bibliography has been available as an annual print supplement to the IAI's journal Africa since 1984, but this year it will be available online as a searchable, consolidated bi bliography. One of my students last year noted that the pre-release version of this database had become her preferred journal index. Employing a strategic combination of severa l scholarly, specialized tools such as disciplinary, regional or topi cal bibliographies along with one or more comprehensive, commercial journal index databases is advantageous in that one benefits from their different approaches. For anthropology, Anthropological Literature is produced by the Tozzer Library at Harvard Universitys Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology and the Anthropological Index at the Royal Anthropological Institute in London (their contents are combined by the Anthropology Plus database).31 These academic projects use experts to consider and describe 25 ProQuest Dissertations and These s < http://proquest.umi.com/ > 26 Web of Knowledge < http://wokinfo.com/ > 27 Periodicals Index Online < http://pio.chadwyck.co.uk > 28 African Studies Abstracts < http://www.ascleiden.nl/ > 29 Quarterly Index of African Periodical Literature < http://lcweb2.loc.gov/misc/qsihtml/ > 30 Africa Bibliography < http://africabibliography.cambridge.org/ > 31 Anthropology Plus < http://www.oclc.org/us/en/support/documentation/firstsea rch/databases/dbdetails/details/AnthropologyPlus.htm >
Reboussin Africa Bibliography essay 30 each entry, assessing scholarly import and writing abstracts. While their interfaces may be less friendly and it may take time to learn how to build an effective search with these, ones efforts are rewarded by the insights they make possible through human created desc riptive records. In contrast, for example, AnthroSource32 represents the benefits of large scale commercial technology, leveraging the resources of publisher W iley-Blackwell to index every term in each of over a quarter million full-text articles fr om every American Anthropological Association publication included in this servi ce. The database is accessible th rough a richly feat ured interface that can link the user to a phrase or term as it wa s printed on the page in context. There is no one best index, but rather researchers should employ several relevant products that complement one anothers strengths to enable effective searchi ng and results that no si ngle source can provide. It is unlikely that ones library research will be complete at this stage of the model unless the project is very straightforwar d. The process described above is intended to be iterative, rather than merely repetitive, honing existing and buildi ng new searches with each reentry into the set of available tools and resources. Individual ne eds will determine which additional general, specialized, discipline speci fic and other resources should be c onsidered as the project develops. Mann (2005) provides many ideas for additional potential dir ections, including government documents, newspapers, archives, etc. For Afri can Studies, to name a few examples, unique materials may be found in the Aluka33 database of materials relating to Struggles for Freedom in Southern Africa in microfilmed archival collections collected by the Cooperative Africana Materials Project 34 and in the rare books and manuscri pts collections of academic libraries 32 AnthroSource < http://www.anthrosource.net/ > 33 Aluka < www. aluka .org/ > 34 The Cooperative Africana Materials Project (CAMP) was founded in 1963 as a joint effort by research libraries throughout the world and the Chicago-ba sed Center for Research Libraries < http://www.crl.edu/area-studies/camp >
Reboussin Africa Bibliography essay 31 specializing in African materials (many of which are being selectively digitized for free, public, open access throughout the world).35 Academic dissertations are another somewhat neglected source of detailed literature revi ews that may lead to collections of unique materials. Graduate students in particular may find di ssertations useful for developi ng an understanding of theoretical approaches over time, recogni zing schools of thought (and int ellectual genealogies) and gaining a sense of how concepts ar e shared or alternately formulat ed by different scholars. It may be productive to speak with a specialist librarian at this point in the pr ocess to discuss ones research efforts to date and consider further op tions. Many librarians can also provide assistance with managing bibliographic citations through softwa re packages that are licensed to the entire university community. The modern information landscape is comp lex; the African Studies information environment is even more difficult to navigate than most (Zell 2002; Walsh 2004). The growing but thorny research and publishing environment in Africa itself contributes to the difficulty of scholarly research in this area (see Zell 2001; Mlambo 2006): That is not to say that little is being publishe d in Africa. Indeed a gr eat deal of very good material is regularly published, but the viabilit y of publishers continues to be threatened by general resource shortages, instability, poorly developed distri bution, and domination of markets by transnational publ ishers with little interest in areas such as African language imprints. The effectiv e reach of new technologies w ithin the continent has also been limited, cramping the visibility of Af rican publishers and writers (Limb 2007:vii). For scholars interested in reading African published research and incorporating African perspectives into their work, th ere are many potential broken links in a chain from the conduct of 35 My work with the George A. Smathers Digital Library Center at the University of Florida has provided online access to several collections based on rare books and manuscript holdings in the librarys African Studies Collections (see Nemmers 2004; Reboussin 2009, 2011a, 2011b).
Reboussin Africa Bibliography essay 32 research, writing, publishing, distribution and access to such materials in libraries. 36 If, in fact, African produced materials arrive in one of the few libraries that collect and catalog Africanpublished academic materials, access may remain difficult; they may require special treatment, located separately from genera l collections, or not well catal oged. African books and journals present many challenges: they may be writ ten in lesser known languages without readily available translations or use or thographic scripts wit hout standardized elec tronic (i.e. Unicode) equivalents. Authors names ma y use unfamiliar conventions or ma y be found in many versions based on differing transliteration practices (Walsh 2004:15-21). Publishing information may not be available in a familiar language; serial publica tion may be late or documented inconsistently (with name variations, problems with volume and issue numbering, or pagination). So, even when African research materials are collected by libraries where scholars might be better positioned to discover, recognize an d promote their significance ( ibid .:11), they may remain less visible within the scholarl y archive than other resources. As a re sult, Africanists need to be better trained and more persistent with library resear ch relative to their colleagues in other areas. Additional difficulties in the research process are posed by the broad scope of interests in the highly interdisciplinary field of African Studies. Faculty and gr aduate students make challenging demands on their libraries to collect and provide access to extremely diverse formats and sources of information. Video and audio r ecordings, photographs, unique and reproduced manuscript collections, gray lite rature such as conference pape rs, non-governmental organization reports and digital data files ar e relatively common requests. Even official national government documents may have extremely limited distribution in Africa, where it may be very expensive to collect even reasonably comprehensive collections of such key resources as census documents. 36 Remarkable improvements in access to African publications in the US an d elsewhere have resulted from the collaborative efforts of the African Books Collective < http://www.africanbookscollective.com >.
Reboussin Africa Bibliography essay 33 The above formats do not touch upon ephemera su ch as election materials, posters, political pamphlets, art and popular culture items, childre ns toys, graffiti, advertising, or sports memorabilia and fan paraphernalia such as the popular decorated hardhats and vuvuzela horns relating to the 2010 FIFA World C up soccer (football) tournament held in South Africa, which drew the research attention of many Africanists (see Alegi 2010; Koonyaditse 2010). Identifying and accessing unusual formats and scarce materials, even when they are held in ones own library, may require greater than usual expertis e (and possibly a librarians guidance) as they most likely would not be describe d at the individual item level in the catalog, but rather as collections (as is most common for manuscripts and archives, although di gitization requires item level metadata for online access). The mediation and assistance of a librarian can be a critical element in the library research process. Scholarship is a social pr ocess that depends on th e contributions of many participants. Good practice in docum enting ones research and data s ources is necessary, as is the maintenance of sufficiently resourced archives that can manage and provide access to whatever resources that academic research and scholarship demands. As these demands have increased and the information environment has become mo re complex, the need to improve training in information literacy for African Studies researcher s has also become more evident. An important benefit of increased interaction between academ ics and librarians is that opportunities for collaboration multiply as librarian roles in the scholarly process become more familiar and better appreciated. African scholars may themselves lack the reso urces to fully participate in debates about issues and processes that affect them, so many Africanists feel an ethical obligation to ensure that African voices are heard and documented through their own scholarly communications. African
Reboussin Africa Bibliography essay 34 book donation programs and funding are dwindling. Given the many new avenues provided by electronic distribution of inform ation, students and faculty can c ontribute in some small measure by making a conscious effort to deposit their own work in open access digital institutional repositories and other publicly avai lable online archives that ensure reliable access to research of value to Africans where African scholars themselves may lack access to paid subscription resources or donated materials. In this context, I consider a di scussion of the legal and moral rights of both users and creators of digital inform ation an essential part of classroom discussions about African research resources. In this and many ways, I hope the students in my class will begin to think of themselves as not only consum ers of African information, but also will consider the effect of their own participation in inform ation production in cooperation with Africans as a result. Conclusion While the few available courses in African Studi es library research methods used to focus on the technical use of a few scarce resources, th e information environment has changed a great deal in recent years. There are many potential res ources available to African Studies researchers, but these can be difficult to id entify, evaluate and use effectiv ely without employing a strategic approach to library research. Many library us ers report high skill levels at searching for information online (through surveys, for exampl e), but behavioral research among students pursuing library research indicate s that their search skills are better suited to everyday online tasks. Students benefit from training in library research methods and an improved awareness of scholarly search techniques and there are indi cations that the completion of an information literacy course lowers attrition rates among first year students. Fo r African Studies, every aspect
Reboussin Africa Bibliography essay 35 of library collections in suppor t of these highly interdisciplinary academic programs presents greater challenges than do materials in other areas : from their creation as research projects, the challenges of African publishing, limited distribut ion and marketing, the difficulties of languages and other cataloging issues, to the broad range of formats of interest to scholars. In this essay, I have attempted to summarize and provide a sense of the approach that I take in my library research methods course for gra duate students with the hope that these simple strategies and concepts can be integrated into other African St udies courses more broadl y in the interest of better library research a nd scholarly communication.
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Reboussin Africa Bibliography essay 46 Limb, Peter. 2007. African studies bibliography: A state-of-the-art review. Africa: The journal of the International African Institute, 2005 Bi bliography, pp. vii-xv. DOI: 10.1353/afr.2007.0006 Love, Emily. 2009. "A simple step: Integrating libr ary reference and instruction into previously established academic programs for minority students." The Reference Librarian 50(1):413. McIlwaine, John. 2007a. Africa: A guide to reference material Lochcarron, Scotland: Hans Zell. -----. 2007b. The three ages of Af rican studies reference works. Africa: The journal of the International African Institute 2006 Bibliography, pp. vii-xviii. Available online: DOI: 10.1353/afr.2007.0095 [Accessed July 6, 2011]. Mackey, Thomas P. and Trudi E. Jacobs on. 2005. Information liter acy: A collaborative endeavor. College Teaching 53(4):140-144. Mann, Thomas. 2005. The Oxford guide to library research 3rd ed. New York: Oxford University Press. Marshall, Ann, Vicki Burns and Judi Briden. 2007. Know your students. Library Journal 132(18): 26-29. Available online: http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail? vid=6&hid=112&sid=df d3ed8e-8607-4eb5-ac9bb07c648228c8%40sessionmgr104&bdata=JnN pdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=a ph&AN=27363500 [Accessed June 24, 2011]. Mellon, Constance A. 1986. Library anxiety: A grounded theory and its development. College & Research Libraries 47(2):160-165. Miller, Delbert C. and Neil J. Salkind. 2002. Handbook of research design & social measurement Thousand Oaks, Californi a: SAGE Publications. Miller, Susan and Nancy Murillo. 2011. Why d ont students ask librarians for help?: Undergraduate help-seeking behavior in three academic libraries. Ch. 4 In Duke and Asher (eds.). College libraries and student culture: What we now know Mlambo, Alois. 2006. African scholarly publishing: essays Oxford: African Books Collective. Moffatt, Michael. 1989. Coming of age in New Jersey: College and American culture New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press. Morgan, Lewis Henry and Leslie A. White. 1993. The Indian journals, 1859-62 New York: Dover Publications.
Reboussin Africa Bibliography essay 47 Mozambique. 1854. Boletim do Governo da Provincia de Moambique Mozambique: Na Imprensa Nacional. Available online: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00095049 [Accessed August 2, 2011]. Murray, Susan. 2008. Moving Africa away from the global knowledge periphery: A case study of AJOL. Africa Bibliography vii-xxiv. Myers, Robert A. 1991. Ghana World bibliographical series, v. 124. Santa Barbara, California: CLIO Press. Nardi, Bonnie A. and Vicki O'Day. 1996. Intelligen t Agents: What we learned at the library. Libri 46(2): 59-88. -----. and -----. 1999. Information ecologies: Usi ng technology with heart Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press. Nathan, Rebekah. 2005. My freshman year: What a profes sor learned by becoming a student Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Nemmers, John R. 2004. A guide to the Lewis Berner papers Gainesville: George A. Smathers Libraries Department of Speci al and Area Studies Collections University of Florida. Available online: http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/spec/m anuscript/guides/berner.htm ; see also http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00098458/ [Accessed August 2, 2011]. Nolan, Riall W. 2003. Anthropology in practice: Buildi ng a career outside the academy Boulder, Colo: Lynne Rienner Publishers. Nwosu, Cletus Gibson. n.d. [1960?] Miss Cordelia in the roman ce of destiny: The most sensational love intricacy that has ever happened in West Africa Port Harcourt, Nigeria: Vincent Okeanu, c/o Eastern Bookshop. Available online: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/AA00004295 [accessed August 2, 2011]. Obiechina, Emmanuel N. 1973. An African popular literature: A study of Onitsha market pamphlets Cambridge: University Press. OConnor, Richard. A. 2005. Seeing duPont within Sewanee and student life [A substantial appendix to the Task Force Final Report for the Jessee Ball duPont Library]. Available online: http://www.ringling.edu/fileadmin/content /library/newlibrary/ public/SeeingDuPont.pdf [Accessed June 30, 2011]. ODay, Vicki L. and Robin Jeffries. 1993a. Infor mation artisans: Patterns of result sharing by information searchers. pp. 98-107 In Kaplan (ed.), Proceedings of the Conference on Organizational Computing Systems Available online: 10.1145/168555.168566 [Accessed July 1, 2011].
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InformationLiteracy:21stCentury LibraryResearchMethodsfor AfricanStudiesDanielA.Reboussin* 1.WhatisinformationliteracyandwhyisitimportantforAfricanstudies? Today sinformationenvironmentforAfricanstudies,asinotherareas,isvastly differentfromwhatitwasinthelastcentury.Thecentralproblemforlibrary researchersinAfricanstudiesdecadesagohingedonawarenessofarelatively fewspecialist,publishedreferenceandotherprintbibliographictoolsfor discoveringrelevantmaterials(Frank-Wilson 2004 :106;seeMcIlwaine 2007a ).ManymoreresourcesareavailablenowfromAfricanandother sources,buttheypresentacomplexterraintonavigateformanyreasons,both oldandnew(seeLimb 2007 ).Thefieldhasbecomemoreinterdisciplinaryin termsofdatasourcesandsubjectmatter,makingbibliographicsearchesinany singletopical,geographical,ordiscipline-basedsource(oreveninthemost comprehensiveindexdatabases)lesslikelytofulfilallofone sscholarlyneeds. Whilescholarlysourcesofdocumentationarefreelyavailableonline,thesemay befragmentary,idiosyncraticorincompleteascitationsaremadeavailable passivelyandwithoutcontextthroughservicessuchasGoogleScholar.1Studentsmayencounterlibraryresourcesonlinewithouthavingdevelopedthe criticalevaluationskillsandcontextualjudgementthatmoreexperienced scholarsmaytakeforgranted(Hargittai etal 2010 ),andwhichmaybe essentialtoemployduringlibraryresearchtoidentifyandengageeffectively withAfricanscholarlyperspectives. ThisessaycallsforAfricanstudiesacademicprogrammestoeducate studentsininformationliteracy,orlibraryresearchmethods,sothatthey becomemorecapableofnavigatingtherichbutdifficultandincreasingly complexinformationenvironmentofthe21stcentury.Mybackgroundand attentionisontheNorthAmericanuniversityenvironment,somyarguments andconclusionsareinformedprimarilybythisperspective.WhileIhave attemptedtoincorporateAfrican,Europeanandotherworldperspectivesin *DanielA.ReboussinisHeadoftheAfricanStudiesCollectionsattheUniversityofFloridaGeorge A.SmathersLibraries.HisanthropologydoctoralfieldworkwasconductedinSenegalwithwomen migrantstoDakarfromtheLowerCasamanceregion.HisworkintheDepartmentofSpecial&Area StudiesCollectionsincludesarchivalprocessingofAfrica-relatedmanuscriptsandcollaborationwith theUniversityofFloridaDigitalCollections(< http://ufdc.ufl.edu/ >)toprovidefree,worldwide,open accesstotheseuniquematerials.Email:firstname.lastname@example.orgLibrariescanlinksubscription-basedscholarlydatabaseandfulltextresourcestoGoogleScholar, providingaccesstotheirelectronicholdingsforalllibraryuserswhologintotheiruniversityaccounts. AtNorthwesternUniversity, libraryadministratorsfounda78percentincreaseinrequestsforarticles comingfromGoogleScholarusers (Google 2007 ).Transparencyandseamlessness,twoadvantagesof thisapproach,arealsoproblems:usersremainunawarethattheyareaccessingsubscriptionsourcespaid forbytheirinstitutionallibraries(Herrera 2011 :329).
thiswork,muchoftheliteratureontheinformation-seekingbehaviouroflibrary researchersfocusesonundergraduatestudentsintheUnitedStates.Muchof myownworkiswithpostgraduateandfacultyresearchers,butarelativelysmall portionofpublishedsourcesfocusonthesemoreadvancedgroups(whose membersbyallindicationsdemonstratequitedifferentresearchbehaviourby disciplineandotherfactors).Myinterpretationoftheoverallliteratureisthat additionaltraininginlibraryresearchmethodsisneededtoimprovelibrary researchskillsateverylevelandthatsuchtrainingshouldbeofferedinasmany differentformats,locationsandsettingsaswecanofferinordertofindways toengagelibraryresearchersinthetimesandplacesthattheyneedassistance. Forsomestudents,formalcredit-bearingcourseworkmaybeappropriate. Onesuchgroup,Iargue,isgraduatestudentsinAfricanstudies,manyofwhom faceparticularchallengesinpursuinglibraryresearchwithintheirfields. Informationliteracy,formulatedconceptuallyintheUSinabout1990,isthe abilitytoengageastrategicapproachindiscoveringappropriate,available sourcesofinformationgivenaresearcher sneedsandresources,allowingthe researchertoadaptandemployresearchskillseffectivelyandefficientlyina complexandchanginginformationenvironmenttoevaluate,use,communicate andmanagefindings(seeBadke 2008 :2 4,7;Gibson 2008 :16 18;seealso CILIP 2011 ).TheAssociationofCollegeandResearchLibraries (ACRL) reviewofbestpracticesforteachinginformationliteracyrecommendsthe integrationofdisciplinarycontentwithinformationliteracyconceptsthat resultsinafusionofinformationliteracyconceptsanddisciplinarycontent (ACRL 2006 ;seeJohnson,Arendall,Shocret etal 2010 :53 4).University studentsaregenerallyfarlessinformation-literatethantheyimagineorreport, sotheyremainlimitedintheirabilitytoconductscholarlyresearch.Thisisno lesstrueforstudentsinAfricanstudiesthanitisforuniversitystudentsmore generally. Unlessuniversitiescultivateimprovedinformationliteracyamongcurrent students,studentsinturnwillnotbeaseffectiveatgatheringandanalysingor interpretingusefulinformationastheymightbeintheiruniversityworkand later,duringtheirprofessionalcareers.Beyondtheacademy,professionalsmay sufferevenmoreiftheylackastrategicapproachthatpreventsthemfrom developingorincorporatingnewsearchskillsintotheirwork-relatedlibrary researchastechnologieschangethroughouttheirworkinglives.Shortcomings ininformationliteracymayimpedepractitionersfromthediscoveryandimplementationofproven,publishedsolutionstotheproblemstheyarecharged tomitigateandresolve.ThiswasthecaseinonerecentstudyofTanzanian livestockveterinarians,whohadaccesstoarangeofusefulelectronicresources ofwhichfewwereaware,althoughthosewhohadbeentrainedininformation literacydidemployarangeofeffectivesearchingskills(Angello 2010 :13 16).2 2SeeTable5listinginorderofgeneralawarenessthefollowingresources,availablewithoutcost(or atasmallinstitutionalcharge)topractitionersinthedevelopingworld:AGORA(AccesstoGlobal OnlineResearchinAgriculture,aFAOproject,see:< www.aginternetwork.org >);HINARI(aWHO projectsponsoringaccessto1,500healthrelatedjournalsfrommajorpublishers,see< www.who.int/ hinari >);Medline,see< www.nlm.nih.gov >;Inform(theInternationalNetworkforOnlineResources andMaterials,see:
AsimilarcasewasreportedforagroupofKenyanmedicalprofessionals (KamauandOuma 2005 :6).TheseexamplesarefrustratingfromanAfricanist librarian sperspectivebecausetheyillustratehowinsufficientlevelsof informationliteracyeffectivelypreventaccesstoappropriatescholarly informationresources,despitegreateffortandprogressinimprovingthe availabilityofsuchresourcestoresearchersandpractitionersindeveloping areas(seeMurray 2009 ).3OneofthemostrewardingaspectsofmyworkasanAfricanstudieslibrarian isteachingstudentshowtoovercomethedifficultiesofworkingwithAfrican andotherscholarlyresourcestomoreeffectivelyandstrategicallyengagein libraryresearchrelatingtoAfrica.Whileinstructionplaysaroleinmanyofmy encounterswithlibraryresearchers,includingemailmessageexchanges, classroomorientationsandone-to-oneconsultationsinmyoffice,themost thoroughandeffectivewaytodevelopstudents informationliteracyforAfrican studieslibraryresearchhasbeenwiththegraduatecreditcoursethatIhave taughtforovertenyears.Inthisessay,Idescribewhatweknowoflibrary researchandinformation-seekingbehavioursofstudents(muchofitthanksto theincorporationofethnographicmethodsintostudiesofhowstudents perceiveanduseinformationresourcestoconducttheirresearch),considerthe diversityoftheirskillslevelsandarguethatthereisanoverallneedformore (andmoreformal)traininginlibraryresearchmethods.Itishelpfulto understandhowstudentsarepursuinglibraryresearchpriortointroducing moreeffectiveresearchstrategiestothem.Whileusefulworkaroundsolutions tointroduceimprovedstudenttraininginlibraryresearchhavebeendeveloped andpursuedbycreativeinstructionallibrarians,ImakethecaseforwhatI considerthemosteffectivelong-termsolutionforAfricanstudiesandother graduatestudents:offeringfor-creditinformationliteracycoursesdesigned specificallyfortheirdisciplinaryneeds.Finally,Isummarizethecontentsofmy course,emphasizingtheconceptual,strategicapproachthatIhavefoundto workbesttodramaticallyimprovethelevelofstudents informationliteracy. 2.Studentinformation-seekingbehaviourwithinandoutsidelibraries Thereissometruthtothestereotypicalimageofthetechnologicallyskilled universitystudent.Havinggrownupinaworldofseeminglyubiquitous electronicgamedevices,networkedcomputers,wirelesscommunications, sophisticatedgadgetsandinstantaneousonlineaccesstotrovesofinformation, manyuniversitystudentsseemutterlyateasewitheverythingdigital,internet, wireless,andmobile;theyappeartobenaturallygiftedexpertsatrapid informationaccessfromanywhere.Whilesuchstudentscertainlyexist,theyare notasrepresentativeoftheiruniversitypeersassomemayimagine.Asan academiclibrarianatalargeuniversity,Imeetmanystudentswhoare embarrassedbytheirlackofskillsinelectronicinformationsearching, unfamiliaritywithlibraryresearchandinability(orunwillingness)tobein constantmobilecontact.Theyknowwhatisexpectedofthemandunderstand thattheydonotfitthisoversimplifiedimage.Themajorityofstudentsmay TanzaniaOnline,see:< www.tzonline.org >;HealthandWellnessResourceCentre,see:< www.gale. cengage.com/Health/HealthRC/about.htm >;andAfricaJournalsOnline,see:< www.ajol.info >.3SeealsoHarris(n.d.)foranexampleofoneexceptionalvolunteerefforttoeducatehealthcare practitionersinAfrica.Introduction ix
neverrequesthelpwhenconfrontedbyalibraryresearchproject,despitethe availabilityofreferencelibrarianswhoareeagertoassist(orreferthemto disciplinaryspecialists)throughawidevarietyofconvenientcommunication channels. Academiclibrariansmaybepronetobelievethat digitalnatives (Prensky 2001a 2001b ), Millennials (HoweandStrauss 2000 2007 ),or net generation students(Tapscott 1998 1999 )enteruniversitywithwell developedonlinesearchskills,demandingnewservices(GardnerandEng 2005 ;Gibbons 2007 ).Thisgeneralizedimpressionmaybeduetoselection biasamongthosestudentswhoaremostvocalandwillingtoapproach librariansandpublicserviceorreferencedesks,whereasonestudyreported thatupto85percentofstudentswereanxiousaboutlibraryresearch assignments,embarrassedattheirlackoffamiliarityandunwillingtoreveal theirignorancebyrequestinghelpfromlibrarians(Mellon 1986 :162;see Fister 2002 ;Vondracek 2007 ;Bridges 2008 ;AsherandDuke 2011 ).Agood dealofresearchdemonstratesthatuniversitystudentsareadiversegroupin termsofskillslevels,use(or,astheseauthorsdemonstrate,avoidance)of libraryresourcesandbuildingsandexpectations.Thesecharacteristicsreflect economic,gender,culturalorracial,educational,anddisciplinarybackgrounds (Whitmire 1999 2001 2002 2003 ;Bridges 2008 ;Hargittai 2010 ).Thereis noneedforeducatorstorevolutionizereliableeducationalmethodsorfor librarianstoreshapebasiclibraryservicessimplybecauseofthechanging backgroundsofsomeofourmostvisiblestudents.Their everydaytechnology practicesmaynotbedirectlyapplicabletoacademictasks (Bennett etal 2008 : 781).Eventhosestudentsalreadycomfortablewithdigitaltechnologiesasdayto-daytoolsoutsideofacademianeedtolearnsomeofthespecificapproaches andsearchtechniques(forbothprintanddigitalresources)requiredfor effectivescholarlyresearch(Barry 1997 ;Kai-WahChu etal 2007 2008 ). Amongtheseareskillsinindependentlyevaluatingthecredibilityand appropriatenessofsourcesdiscoveredonline,ratherthannaivelytrusting searchenginerankings,commercialrelevance-sortingalgorithmsandpaid placementdealsbetweenadvertisersandsearchengineproviders. Howusers gettoaWebsiteisoftenasmuchapartoftheirevaluationofthedestination siteasanyparticularfeaturesofthepagestheyvisit (Hargittai etal 2010 :486; seeFlanaginandMetzger 2007 ). Scholarlyandgeneralinformationenvironmentsarelargeandcomplex; librariesthemselvespresenttheirownorganizationalandnavigational challenges(bothphysicallyandonline).Rapidtechnologychangelimitsthe long-termvalueofspecificsearchskillsandchallengesallofuswhoworkinthis changinginformationenvironmenttoconstantlybuildnewawarenessand upgradeourskills.Basedonempiricalresearchemployingethnographic methodsatseveralUSMidwesternuniversities,AndrewAsher,leadresearch anthropologistattheEthnographicResearchinIllinoisAcademicLibraries (ERIAL)Project,recentlysummarizedthissituationwithregardtouniversity students: Studentsdonothaveadequateinformationliteracyskillswhentheycometo college ... evenhigh-achievingstudents ... they renotgettingadequate trainingasthey regoingthroughthecurriculum.Studentoveruseofsimple searchleadstoproblemsofhavingtoomuchinformationornotenoughx Introduction
information ... bothstemmingfromalackofsufficientconceptualunderstandingofhowinformationisorganized, hesaid.Thoselibrariesthathave triedtoteachgoodsearchprincipleshavefailed,hecontinued,becausethey havespent toomuchtimetryingtoteachtoolsandnotenoughtimetrying toteachconcepts. Itwouldbemoreusefulforlibrarianstofocustraining sessionsonhowto criticallythinkthroughhowtoconstructastrategyfor findinginformationaboutatopicthatisunknowntoyou (Kolowich 2010a ).Alltoofrequently,studentsarelookinginthewrongplaces,orintoofewof therightplaces,whentheyengageinscholarlyresearch.Theydonot necessarilyunderstandhowalibrarycataloguediffersfromjournalindex databases,orthedifferencesamongthetensofthousandsofindexesandother specialistdatabasesavailablethroughtheiruniversityandlibraryaffiliation. Theyalsomaynotbeawarethatloggingintotheironlineuniversityaccounts whileresearchingonlinedramaticallyenhancesevenpubliclyavailable resourceswithsuchbenefitsasfulltextaccess(seeGoogle 2007 ).Somemay beeffectiveworkinginonedatabase,orinafewsearchinterfaces(each incorporatingmanydatabases),butmaynotbeawareofhowbesttomodify theirresearchtechniquesinothersettings.Evenamonggraduatestudents (whogenerallyhavedevelopedbetterskillsinusingspecificjournalsets, bibliographicindexdatabasesandsimilarresources)awiderangeof informationresourceawareness,researchsophisticationandtechnicalsearch skillsisevidentinreviewinginitialclassroomexercises.Manylibraryusers (oftenusinglibraryandotherinformationresourcesfromoutsidethephysical librarybuilding)needassistancetousetheseinformationsystemseffectively andefficientlytoconductscholarlyresearch(Suchman 1987 2007 ). Animportantfirststepinknowinghowbesttosupportandassistacademic researchersseekingscholarlyinformationistoimproveourunderstandingof theirneedsbylearninghowtheyconductlibraryresearch.Librarianshave recognizedtheimportanceofunderstandinglibrarycommunitiesasameansof improvingservicestotheirusersforoveracentury(seeCutler 1896 ;Stingley 1919 ;Wheeler 1924 ).Ourfirstinclinationinseekinglibraryuserperspectives andinputisoftentoaskthemdirectlythroughsurveys.Whilesurveysmaybea usefulmethodforassessingwhatlibraryuserswantorneed,therearerisksto relyingonsurveyresponsesalone(seeBernard 2011 ;MillerandSalkind 2002 ). Forexample,samplingbiasisdifficulttoavoid:includingpeoplewhowalkinto thelibrarymaybeaskewedrepresentationoftheoverallpopulationoflibrary resourceusers,whileonlineusersmaynotbewellrepresentedbythosewho respondtoanonlinesurvey.Validityisnotoriouslydifficulttoestablishusing surveymethods(forexample,respondentsmayreportsatisfactionbecausethey arenotawareofmissingbutusefulresources).Furthermore,therearestrong indicationsthatstudentsgenerallyevaluatetheirownresearchskillsasabove average(seeTwenge 2006 ;TwengeandCampbell 2009 ),wheninfactthey maymostoftenrelyongeneralonlinesearchtools,ratherthanspecialist resourcesbettersuitedforscholarlypurposes.4Asonerecentresearchteam 4InformationprovidersareunderpressuretoemulateGoogle ssimplesearchinterface.However, overrelianceonGoogledoesnotservescholarlypurposeswell(seeWalsh 2004 ;Zell 2006a ;Kolowich 2010b ).Moststudentsdonotunderstandwhatinformationsourcesare andarenot includedin Googlesearches,thestructureoftheinformationavailabletothesearchengine,howsearchresultsareIntroduction xi
putit: peopledonotnecessarilydowhattheyreportonsurveys (Hargittai etal 2010 :486). Therearemanyexamplesofwelldesignedsurveys5thatanswerimportant questionsandprovidevaluableinsightsforlibrarians,publishersandscholars asweevaluatetheimpactsandoptionsinprovidinglibraryservicesandworkto improveaccesstoandawarenessofscholarlyresources(seeWhitmire 2002 ; Heath etal 2004 ;ChrzastowskiandJoseph 2006 ;RadfordandSnelson 2008 ; Bridges 2008 ;SchonfeldandHousewright 2010 ).Butemployingavarietyof socialresearchmethodsinlibrariesprovidescomplementarysourcesof evidenceandotherimportantbenefits.Focusingobservationdirectlyon researcherandlibraryuserpractices(ratherthanonattitudes,opinionsand self-reportedactions)providesanopportunitytogatherdatanotavailableto surveys,whichisespeciallyimportantinbuildingawarenessofissuesor problemsnotyetidentified.Byconductingbehaviouralresearch,weallow ourselvestheopportunitytoseelibraryresearchersinanewlightandtobe surprisedbyourfindings.Bypayingattentiontochangesinlibraryresearch behaviour,wecandevelopstrategiestoreachourclientelemoreeffectively, teachtheprinciplesofinformationliteracyandprovidestudentswiththetools theyneedtoexcelinarapidlychanginginformationenvironment. Onewaytoinvestigatelibraryusers informationseekingpatternsmoreor lessindirectlyistointerviewandobservehowtheyinteractwithreference librarians,engagewithlibraryservicesandsharewiththeircolleaguesthe resourcestheyhavefound(seeEllis 1989 ;O DayandJeffries 1993a 1993b ; Folster 1995 ;NardiandO Day 1996 1999 ;SadlerandGiven 2007 ).Citation patternsareindirectevidencethatcanbeunobtrusivelyobserved,asscholarshiprequiresdocumentingconsultationwiththearchive,allowingothersto accessdatasourcesforindependentanalysisandinterpretation.Citation patternanalysisallowsconvenientcomparisonovertimeandacrossdisciplines aswellasconcreteevidenceoftheimpactofarapidlychanginginformation environmentonscholarlypractices.Thesestudiesmaysuggestwaysthat librariescantargetparticularacademicareasforimprovedservices(see Broadus 1987 ;WilberleyandJones 1989 ;Ellis etal 1993 ;Watson-Boone 1994 ;Brown 1999 ;Hiller 2002 ;Hemminger,DihuiLu,Vaughan etal 2007 ; Evans 2008 ;KayongoandHelm 2009 ;Smyth 2011 ).6Appliedanthropologyistheemploymentoutsideofacademiaofresearch methods,theoriesandconceptsfromthediscipline.It becamearecognized disciplineintheprewarcolonialepoch (Thompson 1976 :2).7Applied anthropologistshaveplayedanimportantroleinbringingbehaviouralresearch rankedforrelevancyandreturnedtotheuser,orhowadvancedsearchescanimproveresults(see Tenopir 2002 ).5Usingalesscommonmethod,Daly( 2011 )employsasmallsample,intensiveinterviewtechnique toexploreDukeUniversityundergraduatehonoursprogrammeparticipants researchstrategiesand processes.6SeeWebb,Campbell,Schwartz etal .( 1966 :37)foraclassicexampleofanunobtrusivemeasure: thatofmuseumexhibitpopularitybasedontilewear.Evans( 2008 )isparticularlyinterestingforthe debateinspiredbyhiscontroversialfindingthat,asthescholarlyarchivehasbeenopenedthrough convenientelectronicaccess,socialsciencecitationshave(counterintuitively)narrowed.7Theearliestknownuseoftheterm appliedanthropology datestoan1881meetingoftheRoyal AnthropologicalInstitute(Bodley 1999 :173).Thiswasnotalocalizedoridiosyncraticusage,asDaniel Brintonusedtheterminhis1895speechonPaulBrocainWashingtonDC(Peattie 1958 :4).Edward BurnettTylor(afounderofEnglishsocialanthropology)calledanthropologya policyscience andxii Introduction
methodstomanyfieldsandorganizations.Anthropologistsconducting researchoncampusandinlibrariesmaybringmediaattentionthatplaysonthe ironythatmundane,stereotypicallyformal8institutionsshouldinterest ethnographers,associatedmorewithworkinfar-offlandsthanamongourown digitalnatives .Infact,anthropologistshaveworkedinfamiliarorganizations (seeAgar 1980 ;vanMaanen 1988 )andonuniversitycampuses(seeMoffatt 1989 ;Nathan 2005 )fordecades.Noneofthisshouldbesurprising:theorigins ofanthropologyasadisciplinelieinanengagementwiththeimportantsocial issuesofthe19thcentury.9Theearliestexamplesofethnographicmethodsemployedinresearch relatingtolibrariesgrewfromworkontheroleofinformationtechnologyin organizations(seeOrlikowski 1991 ;OrlikowskiandBaroudi 1991 ).Authorsin technicalfieldssuchasinformationsystemsdesign(Bentley,Rodden,Sawyer etal 1992 ;AvisonandMyers 1995 ;HarveyandMyers 1995 ;Harvey 1997 ; Hartmann etal 2009 ),informationretrieval(Ellis 1989 )andhuman-machine interfaces(Suchman 1987 ,seealso 2007 2ndedition;NardiandO Day 1996 1999 )havenotgenerallybeenprofessionalanthropologists,buthaveemployed andadvocatedethnographicmethodstounderstandinformation-seeking patterns,closelyrelatedtolibraryresearchbehaviours.Amongtheseauthors, onlySuchmanandNardiareprofessionalanthropologists.Suchmanworked for20yearsasaresearcheratXerox sPaloAltoResearchCenter(PARC), developinginformationsystemsbasedonherethnographicstudiesofwork. Nardi,withresearchpartnerO Day,acomputerscientistwithoverlapping experienceinresearchlaboratoriesatHewlett-Packard,AppleComputerand PARC,focusesoncorporatereferencelibrariansandservicesatthese institutions(NardiandO Day 1996 ).Consideredgroundbreakingbymany, thisarticleismuchappreciatedbyreferencelibrariansthemselves,whoare identifiedasa keystonespecies inthe informationecologies ( ibid .:81)of modernorganizations(importantinmakingtechnologyworkwellforusers). BoththisstudyandSuchman( 1987 )emphasizetheunderappreciatedimportanceofhuman,expertagentsinmediatingtheengagementofpeoplewith technologicalresources,providinguserswithmoreresourcesthantheyknow theyneedandplayingarolethattheauthorssuggestwillneverbeeffectively subsumedbythesoftwareagentsthatmaynonethelesssupplementthem. Anextendedobservationofacademiclibraryserviceswasconductedby Pedersen,Espinola,Huston etal .( 1991 ),butinmanywaysKlopfer s( 2004 ) JamesHunt,co-founderoftheAnthropologicalSocietyofLondon(whichmergedwithrivalgroupsto createtheRoyalAnthropologicalInstitute),usedtheterm practicalanthropology (Simonton 2010 ). Between42to60percentofPh.D.anthropologistsandvirtuallyallM.A.anthropologistsworkoutside theacademyatpresent(Guerrn-Montero 2008 :1;seeFiske 2008 ;KediaandvanWilligen2005).The historyandscopeofappliedanthropologyisreviewedbyNolan( 2003 );EddyandPartridge( 1987 );Fox ( 1991 );Peattie( 1958 );Rylko-Bauer etal .( 2006 );Simonton( 2010 );vanWilligen etal .( 1989 );and vanWilligen( 2002 ).8Modernlibrariesanduniversitiestracetheiroriginstomedievalmonasticpractices,butthereare classicalsurvivalsintheseinstitutionsaswell,nottheleastofwhichareofficialcomplaintsattheircost. In Detranquillitateanimi (ix,4 7)SenecatheYoungerarguesthat Suchamassofbooksjust overwhelmsthestudentanddoesn tteachhimanything (Setton 1960 :373).9 TheethnologicalsocietiesofLondonandParis[foundedintheearly19thcentury] were ... abolitionistorganizations (Peattie 1958 :4);AmericanlawyerandanthropologistLewisHenry MorganappliedhisresearchtodefendIroquoislandrightsagainsttheOgdenLandCompanyinthe 1840s(MorganandWhite 1993 :2,54;seealsoArmstrong 1978 ).Introduction xiii
ethnographyofpopularsidewalkcommerciallibrariesinIndiarepresentsa closerantecedenttotheapproachofcurrentworkinconsideringthe communitycontext.Whileother interactiveobservationsofusersorlibrarians withinparticularlibraries (e.g.,PendletonandChatman 1998 )employthe termethnographic,fewconsiderhowthecommunityofusersinteractswiththe informationecologiesofthelibrary: Likemuseums,librariesarecomplex institutionswhosepersonnelandtechnologiesmediateformalandinformal practicesoflearning,entertainmentandcommunication. ... Librarystudies wouldbenefitfrombroaderethnographicresearchthatplaceslibrariesin communitiesandsocieties (Klopfer 2004 :106).Theauthorsuggests Durrance( 1995 2001 )isabettermodelforthisbroaderview.Morerecent work,suchasthatofDent(DentandYannotta 2005 ;Dent 2006 ;DentGoodman 2011 ),offersanethnographicperspectiveofaUgandacommunity libraryandinsightintoapplyingethnographicresearchmethodsinlibraries (includinghistoricalprecedentsincommunityanalysis).Severalrecentstudies ofAfricancommunitiesandtheiruseoflibrarieshavebeenrecentlyreportedas well(seeKwake etal 2005 ;Chilimo etal 2011 ;andStilwell 2011 ),while participantobservationmethodswereusedtoinvestigatefacultyresearch behaviour(whoselibraryresearchmethodsweregenerallycharacterizedas trialanderror )byethnographersatseveralSwedishuniversities(Haglundand Olsson 2008 :55). Anemergingtrendintheethnographicstudyoflibrariesandlibraryusers appearstobelargelyassociatedwithprojectstodesignlibraryservices,redesign spaces,buildnewfunctionalareasandestablishinformationorlearning commons(seeBeagle 1999 ;Bisbrouck 2001 ;Bennett 2005 ).Whenbuilding projectsareplanned,fundsmaybecomeavailabletohireconsultants,opening uppossibilitiesforethnographicresearchfocusingonlibraryusers.Anearly exampleofsuchstudieswasconductedatTheUniversityoftheSouth (O Connor 2005 ),butgreaterattentionhasbeenfocusedonthe Rochester Study attheUniversityofRochester sRiverCampuslibraries(seeFosterand Gibbons 2007 ).Inpartthismaybebecausethelatter(directedbyan anthropologist)appearstohaveinspiredsomanyothereffortsatemployinga rangeofbroadlyethnographicmethodstounderstandstudentbehaviourwith relationtolibraryresourcesandbuildings(seeSuarez 2007 ;Gabridge etal 2008 ;Bryant 2007 2009 ;Bryant etal 2009 ;Delcore etal 2009 ;Applegate 2009 ;Gilbert,Hulsberg,Monson etal 2010 ;DukeandAsher 2011 ).These studieswereundertakenatBrockUniversityinCanada,theMassachusetts InstituteofTechnology,LoughboroughUniversity(UK),CaliforniaState UniversityatFresno,IndianaUniversity-PurdueUniversityIndianapolis, NorthwestMissouriStateUniversityandbytheEthnographicResearchin IllinoisAcademicLibraries(ERIAL)Project,whichincludesDePaul University,IllinoisWesleyanUniversity,NortheasternIllinoisUniversity,the UniversityofIllinoisatChicagoandtheUniversityofIllinoisatSpringfield. Giventhattheseprojectshaveallbeenreportedinthelastfiveyears,thebreadth oftheirgeographicalrepresentationandthediversityoftheirinstitutional characteristicsareremarkableandtheirfindingsrichlydeserveattention. InareviewoftheRochesterstudy,Seadle( 2007 )callstheprojecta milestone,asabout30percentofthelibrary sprofessionalstaffwereinvolved intheresearch(seeFosterandGibbons 2007 :55),butalsobecauseofthe innovativeuseofadiversesetofmethodsthatincludedgivingcamerastoxiv Introduction
students,askingthemtotakephotographsanddrawmapstohelpthelibrarians understandtheirsocialconstructsofthelibrarylandscape( ibid .:48).The Rochesterstudyhasattractedspecialistjournalisticcoveragein TheChronicleof HigherEducation and LibraryJournal (seeCarlson 2007 ;Marshall etal 2007 ), producing,forexample, oneofthemostpopulararticles TheChronicle hasrun inrecentyears (Carlson 2009 ).10Anumberofconferencesessions,workshops,blogentriesandthelikehavefollowed,concentratingtoalargeextent onundergraduatestudy,work,orresearchpractices(seeBishop 2010 ;CARLI 2010 ).Alsoannouncedforpublicationthisautumnistheeditedvolumeonthe ERIALprojectentitled CollegeLibrariesandStudentCulture (DukeandAsher 2011 ).113.Studentlibraryresearchandtheneedforbetterinformationliteracy Whatdowecurrentlyknowaboutstudentlibraryresearchbehaviour?Even goodstudentsatprestigiousinstitutions(suchasMIT)lacksufficient awarenessofthescholarlyresearchtoolsthatacademiclibrariesprovideand theskillstousethemeffectively(Gabridge etal 2008 :521 2).Theyoveruse generalresourcesandunderusescholarlytoolssuchasthelibrarycatalogueand journalindexdatabases.While thetypicalstudentin[theRochesterstudy]was familiarwithdatabasesotherthanGoogle (FosterandGibbons 2007 :8;see Herrera 2011 :323),theymaystillunderusescholarlyresourcesinfavourof familiar,everydaysearchengines.Studentsmayevaluatewebsitesbasedonthe perceivedprofessionalismofpagedesign,oronofficial-appearingnamesand logos(AsherandDuke 2011 ).TheyliketheextremesimplicityofGoogle s screendesign(Seadle 2007 :617)andnavelytrustthispopularsearchengine brandtoplacethebestandmostappropriateresultsontop:Tocompletemanyoftheassignedtasks,studentsoftenturnedtoaparticular searchengineastheirfirststep.Whenusingasearchengine,manystudents clickedonthefirstsearchresult.Overaquarterofrespondentsmentioned thattheychoseaWebsitebecausethesearchenginehadreturnedthatsite asthefirstresultsuggestingconsiderabletrustintheseservices.Insome cases,therespondentregardedthesearchengineastherelevantentityfor whichtoevaluatetrustworthiness,ratherthantheWebsitethatcontained theinformation(Hargittai,Fullerton,Menchen-Trevino etal 2010 :479). Studentsdifferintheextenttowhichtheyunderstandthereasonsbehind searchenginerankings.Afemalehealth-sciencesmajordescribedhersearch routineasfollows: IusuallyclickonthefirstthingthatIsee. Askedto clarifyhowshedecidestopickthefirstresult,sheemphasized, Well,Iknow theonesthatare[ ... ]inhere[pointingtotheshadedSponsoredLinksection onaGoogleresultspage]they rethemostrelevanttowhatI mlookingfor. Interestingly,inthiscaseshewaspointingtoahighlightedlinklabelledasa SponsoredLinkbyGoogle.Whilesponsoredlinksmaywellbeapplicableto asearchquestion,theirplacementontopoftheresultspageisatleastinpart determinedbyfinancialincentivesratherthansolelyrelevance,apointthe 10 Ananthropologistinthelibrary:theU.ofRochestertakesacloselookatstudentsinthestacks TheChronicleofHigherEducation53(50):A26,17August,< http://chronicle.com >,accessed27May 2011.11Iwouldliketothanktheauthorsandpublisherforprovidingmewithapre-publicationdraftofthis volume.Introduction xv
respondentdidnotraiseatall,presumablybecauseshewasunawareofit ( ibid .:484).Moststudentsdonotaskforhelpwiththeirlibraryresearchfromlibrarians (favouringadvicefrompeersorinstructors).Thismaybeinpartbecausethey considerlibrarians bookexperts ratherthaninformationspecialists: Iwould talktoalibrarianwhenIneedtofindbooks.Ican timagineanythingelseI wouldneedthemfor ... (FosterandGibbons 2007 :10). Inthemindsof students,librariansequalprint ( ibid .:60).Otherresearchsuggeststhatmost studentsfaceanxietywhenaskedtodolibraryresearchandmayavoidseeking helpinordertosaveface,ormayhavenotfoundsatisfactoryhelpinthepast (Mellon 1986 :162;seeFister 2002 ;Vondracek 2007 ;Bridges 2008 ;Miller andMurillo 2011 ).Accesstoanduseofscholarlyresearchresourcesprovided bylibrariesisnotrelatedtophysicalpresenceinlibrarybuildings,butis decentralizedtomanyoff-sitelocations,resultinginfeweropportunitiesfor buildinglibrarian-researcherworkingrelationships(HaglundandOlsson 2008 : 55 6).Therearefeweropportunitiestoengageandteachserendipitouslyor opportunisticallyaslibrarianshavedoneinthepast(Fister 2002 ).12Fromtheir perspective,the libraryisforstudying andthatisgenerallythereasonthey visitanduselibrarybuildings.Finally,universitystudentsrepresentadiverse, heterogeneouspopulation.Theirhabitsandneedsvarybydiscipline, demographicsandothercharacteristics.Inthefollowingsection,Iconsiderthe implicationsofthesefindingsforlibraries. Theseoverallfindings,firstandforemost,supporttheassumptionthat universitystudentswillbenefitfromacombinationoflibrarytrainingsessions andinformationliteracycoursestointroduceseveralscholarlytoolsand supportastrategicapproachtotheirlibraryresearch.Brieftrainingsessions buildawarenessoftherangeoflibraryresourcesandencouragemore sophisticatedsearchingskillswithavarietyofgeneralandspecialistresearch tools.Contactandfamiliaritywithlibrarianinstructorsismostlikelytoreduce anxietyandcreateopportunitiestobuildrapport,engageininformalteaching andbuildanunderstandingoflibrarians areasofexpertise(includingprintand electronicinformation,aswellasotherformats).Insofarasthesesessions involveinteractionwithacademicdepartments,facultyandgraduatestudents, theyalsoprovideopportunitiestodevelopcollaborativerelationshipsamong academicsandlibrarydisciplinaryspecialists.Oneofthemostimportant outcomesinworkshopsandshorttrainingsessionsmaybetointroduce studentstothelibrarianresponsibleforsupportingtheirmajordiscipline(or simplyawarenessthatlibrarydisciplinaryspecialistsexist),encouragingdirect follow-upshouldtheywishtoseekassistanceatalaterdate.Alongwithbrief orientationandtrainingsessions,thereisaneedformoreformalandindepth courseofferings,especiallyforgraduatestudentsandotherswhomayneedto developtheirlibraryresearchskillstoagreaterextent. Informationliteracycoursesforcreditareavailableonaminorityof NorthAmericanuniversitycampuses(Owusu-Ansah 2004 2007 ; 12Aninterestingresponsetothedecentralizationoflibraryusewasrecentlyreportedas gamingthe library .AnMITprofessorpurposelykeptoverduebooksbecausestudentswantingthemweresentto hisoffice.Hetheninterviewedthemaspotentialassistants,knowingtheysharedaninterestinhisareaof expertise(HarvardLibraryInnovationLaboratory 2011 ).xvi Introduction
Gibson 2008 ).13Giventhissituation,alongwiththelackofinformal opportunitiesthatusedtobethemainstayofentrylevellibraryskillseducation (forexample,interceptingapparentlybefuddledorloststudentsinthelibrary), traininginlibraryresearchmethodsshouldbeintegratedintoavarietyof dispersedstudentactivities.Atmyuniversitylibrary,thegreatesteffortfor manyyearswasdirectedatintroducingabout1,100first-yearEnglishenrollees toasingle,scripted,hour-longlibrarytrainingsessioneachsemester(standard coursenumberENC1101intheStateUniversitySystemofFlorida).This programmefacedproblemsofscalability(Gibson 2008 :15),requiredconstant managementtoscheduleinstructorsandconsumedagreatdealoflibrarians time.Librariansorstaffmembersreadstandardizedscriptsdirectlytolarge sectionsofstudentswithlittleassessmentofwhatlearning(ifany)wastaking place. Iamhappytoreportthatsincethattime,thingshavechanged.Thelibrary instructionprogrammeatmyinstitutionhassincebecomebetterintegrated withacademicdepartmentsandmorecollaborativewithdisciplinary instructors.AcombinedfocusontrainingTeachingAssistantstothemselves incorporateinformationliteracyandspecificlibraryskillsintotheuniversity s first-yearwritingcoursesisthecurrentapproach,providingonlinesupport materialsdirectlytostudentsandreducingtheworkloadconsiderablyformany librariansforwhominstructionisnotaprimaryassignment.Asaresult, academiclibrarians(withdisciplinaryexpertiserangingwellbeyondthefew EnglishDepartmentcoursespreviouslytargetedforsupport)havebeen enabledtorespondmorecreativelytostudentneedsintheirbranchesand disciplineswithavarietyofcomplementarystrategiestoimproveinformation literacyinlieuofformalcourseavailability.Forexample,manyofmy colleagueshavedonesoby embedding informationliteracycontentinto academiccourseswithinstructorswhocollaboratewithlibrarianstoteach informationliteracymodulescloselyintegratedwithcoursecontent(Dewey 2005 ;Hine,Gollin,Ozols etal 2002 ;Johnson,Clapp,Ewing etal 2011 ;Love 2009 ),creatingpeerbasedinstructionalprogrammes(Deese-Robertsand Keating 2000 ),linkingwithcampuscommonreadingprogrammes(Shoop 2010 )andintegratinglibrarytrainingwithelectronicandsocialgaming (RussellGonzalez,Davis,Dinsmore etal 2008 ).Librariansatoneinstitution offeraworkshoppromisingtrainingto Googlelikealibrarian (O Kellyand Lyon 2011 ).Whilelibrariesshouldnotsimplyofferusersanythingtheywant, ourjobistolearnhowtoreachthemandteachthem (Seadle 2007 :618)in thecurrenthighlydecentralizedsituationonuniversitycampuses. Thesecreativeapproacheshavebeenaneffectivewaytointroducebasic informationliteracyconceptstoalargenumberofuniversitystudents,across manyacademicprogrammes.Theyarecomplementedbyseveraladditional strategiesatmyinstitution,includinggeneralandtopicalworkshopofferings, advertisedeachsemesterforstudentsmotivatedenoughtoseekoutbrief instructionalsessionstoimprovetheirlibraryresearchskills.Disciplinaryor liaisonlibrariansoffer ondemand or dropin instructionalservicesas targetedone-to-oneconsultationsessionstosupportstudentsinspecific 13About30percentofsurveyedinstitutionsofferedsuchcoursesin1995(Holder 2010 :5). ContributorstoLau( 2008 )indicatethatinatleastsomeothercountries,morecomprehensiveofferings areavailable.Introduction xvii
programmeswhorequestindividualassistance,mostoftenwithalibrary researchassignmentinhand.Publicserviceandotherlibrariansandstaffoffer instructionalsessionscateredtospecificclassneedsinlibrarytrainingrooms,in theacademicdepartment sclassrooms,orelsewhereoncampus.All disciplinaryliaisonlibrariansatmyinstitutionalsoprovideonline,web-based resourcesandguides(sometimesavailablethroughinstructionalcourse managementsoftwareorasvideos,whichcanbemediatedbychatortelephone referenceservices).Together,theseandsimilareffortsbringlibraryinstruction tousers,whereandwhentheyneedassistance,andprovideacreative,varied andchangingmixofinstructionalopportunitiestoabroadrangeofuniversity studentsacrossallacademicprogrammeareas. Beyondthesevaluableinstructionaleffortstoprovideassistanceto individualsandgroups,formalcoursesshouldbeapartofthemix.French universitieshaveestablishedacomprehensiveapproachthathasreduced attritionsignificantlyamongfirstyearstudents(Lamouroux 2008 :141; Coulon 1999 ).Offeringindependentinformationliteracycoursesisnot withoutcontroversywithinUSlibraries(Holder 2010 :6),wheremanyonly supportinstructionthatiswellintegratedwithacademicprogrammes. Establishingfor-creditinformationliteracycoursesalsomaybehinderedbythe perceptiononuniversitycampusesthattheneedisforremedialortechnical skillstraining,bestaddressedbylaboratories,libraryworkshopsandother supportunitsratherthantheacademiccurriculum.However:Itisonethingtocreateatutorialorholdaclasstoteachsomeonehowto searchadatabase.Itisquiteanothertohelpthatsamepersontonavigatethe troubledwatersoftheinformationrevolutionwithsuchskillthattheright informationforthetaskiseffectivelyandefficientlyfound,evaluated,and thenusedtooptimumadvantagewithinlegalandethicalboundaries (Badke 2008 :7).Theremaybenosubstituteforcredit-bearingcoursestoimprovethe informationliteracysituationoncampuses(Hollister 2010 ).Whiletheconcept ofinformationliteracyispopularandcurrentinlibraryliterature(see:Badke 2008 ,Hine,Gollin,Ozols etal 2002 ,Hollister 2010 ;Lau 2008 ,Mackeyand Jacobson 2005 ,Owusu-Ansah 2004 ,Scales etal 2005 ),theterminologyis unfamiliartomostfacultyintheacademicdisciplinesthatlibrariansserve.In introducingthisconceptoutsideoflibraries,asIhavedoneinthisessay,Irefer to libraryresearchmethods .Thisapproachresonateswellandappropriately withacademicfacultyandadministratorsasastrategic,contextual,adaptive andholisticapproachtoconductinglibraryresearchwithinthecontextofa discipline,asopposedtosimplytrainingstudentsinspecificskillsor techniques,whicharevulnerabletoobsolescenceasinformationtechnologies change.14 14MyfirstsuccessinthisregardoccurredovertenyearsagowhenIappliedtomyuniversitygraduate curriculumcommitteetoincludesuchacourseinthecatalogue.Thestaffmemberresponsiblefor collectingapplicationsontheirbehalftoldmethatthecommitteewouldneverapprovea library course atthegraduatelevel.Fortunately,IhadthefullsupportofthedirectorofourCenterforAfricanStudies and,together,wepromoteditasaresearchmethodscourse.Thisapparentlymadesensetothe members,asitwasapproved.IhavetaughtiteachFallSemestersincewithstudentcourseevaluation feedbackthatisconsistentlyhigherthanthecollegeaverage.xviii Introduction
4.TeachinginformationliteracyforAfricanstudiesgraduatestudents Idesigned,andteam-taughtwithmyformercolleaguePeterMalanchukfor almostadecade,thecourse AfricanaBibliography (coursenumberAFS5061)15fromthegrounduptofocusonlibraryresearchmethods(thoughitwasnamed accordingtoanearlierconceptionoflibraryinstruction).Sincebeforewefirst taughtthecoursein2000,colleaguesatinstitutionsinEuropeandtheUShave promoteddirectingAfricanistlibrarians expertisetowardsthisapproachto teaching ratherthanspendingtimecreatingnarrowspecializedbibliographies (Johnsen 1998 :67).16AfterdiscussingthehistoryofthecourseatIndiana University,MarionFrank-Wilsonexplainsthat:Thefocusoftheclassisnolongeronhowtofindscarce,hiddenmaterials, butrathertodevelopstrategiesandtechniquestofindawidevarietyof materialsrangingfromprintsourcestooralaccounts,aswellassources foundinAfricanarchives;and,moreimportantly,tobeabletoevaluatethese sourcesfortheirqualityandrelevance(Frank-Wilson 2004 :106).Irecognizetheimportanceofadoptingastrategicapproachtoteaching informationliteracyinAfricanstudies,addressingknownlibraryresearch behaviourpatternstoimprovestudentmethodsandsuccess.Whilemy approachhaschangedovertime,thefollowingthemesguidemypresentation oflibraryresourcesintroducedthroughoutthecourse.Itcanbeastruggleto ensurethattheclassisnotoverwhelmedbyasurveyofresourcesortools,but insteadfocusesontheirstrategicuseaccordingtoaresearchplan.Thesheer numberanddiverserangeofsuchtoolsinalargeacademiclibrarycandistract aninstructorintospendingallavailableclasstimeindescribinguseful resourcesandtechniquesforusingthem.Anyseriousattemptatsurveying Africanstudiesreferenceresourcesrequiresbook-lengthtreatmentandregular updating(seeforexample,Kagan 2005 ;Zell 2006b ;McIlwaine 2007a ).Fora class,itismoreimportanttomaintainafocusonresearchstrategiesthan specifictools:distinguishingbetweeneverydaysearchesoftheopenweband authenticateddeepwebsearchingthatincludesaccesstoproprietaryand scholarlydatabases;developingawarenessoftherangeofpotentiallibrary researchtoolsalongwithanunderstandingoftheirappropriateuse(basedin partontheadoptionoftheresearchnotestechniqueIdescribebelow);and buildingacriticalunderstandingofspecialistAfricanstudiesresourcesthat includesanappreciationoftheconditionsthatmightlimitAfricanscholarship fromdiscoverability.Ialsopromotethecontributionofsomeportionof creativeandscholarlyoutputtoopen-accessresourcesasawayofbuilding high-qualityresearchrepositoriesforusebyAfrican-based(andother)scholars whomaynothavethebenefitofaccesstocommerciallypublishedand distributedjournalsorothersourcesofscholarship. 15Thecoursesyllabusisavailableonline:< http://guides.uflib.ufl.edu/content.php? pid=6493&sid=1480100 >.16Thisassertionwasnotacceptedwithoutcontroversy,accordingtoWalsh( 2004 :8).Kagan( 1998 : 69 72)offersabriefhistoryofthesmallhandfulofsuchcoursesatuniversitiesintheUS.Formalcredit coursesinAfricanStudiesresearchstrategiesarecurrentlytaughtatthreeUSinstitutions.Mosthave postedthesyllabusandcoursematerialsontheirwebsites:UniversityofIllinoisatUrbana-Champaign, IndianaUniversityBloomingtonandUniversityofFlorida;asimilarUniversityofCaliforniaat LosAngelesofferingremainsinthecoursecataloguebuthasnotbeentaughtforseveralyears (seeWalsh 2004 :87 8).Introduction xix
Ibeginclassroomdiscussionfromafamiliarpoint,buildingoncommon understandingsandadaptingtheemphasisasIbecomemorefamiliarwith studentsastheclassproceeds(enrolmenthasaveragedsevenstudentsover time,soitiseasytogettoknoweveryone).Everystudententerstheclassroom withsomeexperienceusingGoogleandotheronlinetoolsforeverydayneeds. Aconvenientplacetobeginconversationsaboutplanninglibraryresearchisto askquestionsabouthowtheyuseGoogle.IvolunteerthatIusethissearch enginemanytimeseveryday,leadingdiscussionintohowwebsearches function(conceptually,nottechnically)andthelimitsofwhatinformationis accessibletosearchengines.Theinformationavailabletopublicusersof Googlecanbecalledtheopenor surface web.Theinvisibleweb,deepwebor darknetreferstoinformationavailableviatheinternetthatisnotaccessibleto generalsearchenginessuchasGoogle(Wright 2009 ). Accesstosuchprivatelycontrolledinformation,whichmaybe500timesas largeasthepublicinformationontheopenweb,maybehiddenforallbut peer-to-peertrustedusers(possiblyprovidingsomeprotectionforillegalor illicitactivities),orlimitedbycommercialdatabasesthatonlygenerateweb pagesdynamicallyonceauserisauthenticatedasapayingcustomerora legitimatememberofthesubscribinginstitution(He,Patel,Zhang etal 2007 : 95;seeKing,Li,Tao etal 2007 ).Atpublicinstitutions,simplyaccessingthe internetfromalibrarycomputermaybeenoughtogainaccesstoproprietary resourcesasalegitimateuser(Mann 2005 :xiv),butremoteuserequires accessingaproxyserver,orpreferably,theinstallationofavirtualprivate network(VPN)programmeontheuser spersonalcomputerormobiledevice. Becausemanyexperiencedusersofpublicresourcesavailableontheopenweb arenotawareofthescaleoftheinvisibleweb,understandingthisdistinction canbeenlighteningandagoodinitiationintothevalueofunderstandingwhya strategicapproachtolibraryresearchisvaluable.IpointoutthatGoogle Scholarbecomesaqualitativelydifferentresourceonceloggedintoauniversity accountsothatlibraryresources,includingfulltextonlinebooksandarticles, canbecometransparentlyandseamlesslylinkedtothecitationsprovidedby GoogleScholar(seeGoogle 2007 )andotherapplications.Thisisagoodpoint todiscussassessingsourcecredibilitythroughevaluationofauthors academic credentials,determiningwhetherornotanarticlehasbeensubjectedtopeer reviewandaconsiderationofpublisherreputation,alongwithattentionto appropriatecitationpracticesinscholarlywriting.Inmyexperience,fewifany graduatestudentshavethenavefaithinGoogle srelevancesortingreportedby Hargittai,Fullerton,Menchen-Trevino etal .( 2010 ). Scholarlyresearchersbeginningworkinanewareawillbenefitgreatlyby employingasimplebutpotenttechnique:keepingalistofsearchterms(such askeyauthors,titles,relevantkeywords,subjectterms,themesandconcepts) derivedfromthesourcesconsultedduringtheirlibraryresearch.Thisenables combiningtheadvantagesofmanyresourcestogether,especiallywhen multipleiterationsofsearchesarerepeatedthroughasetofknownreliableand promisingnewresources.Thissearchnotestechniquecreatesafocused, dynamicaidtotheresearcherbycollectingdifferingconceptualapproaches acrossdisciplines,spellingvariations,alternatetermsandthelike.Theseare importantissuesinworkingwithAfricansubjectmatter,wheretherangeof ethnic,geographicalandothertermsvariesgreatlyovertime,acrossdisciplines andbasedonnationaltraditions(seeKagan 2005 ;McIlwaine 2007a 2007b ).xx Introduction
Particularlytroublesomearecolonialnamesandtheirchangesafterindependence,politicalsplitsandmergersandcasessuchastheBiafraWarinNigeria, whichhasbeenenteredwithoutthename Biafra inLibraryofCongress subjectheadings(as:Nigeria History CivilWar,1967 1970).Otherkinds ofchangesinnamingpracticesoccurwithindisciplinesovertime(Walsh 2004 : 20 4,25,37).GretchenWalsh sarticleisthebestsourceIknowofforfocusing student sattentiononthemanywaysthataseeminglygoodsearcheffortcan failinthefaceoftherealitiesthatmakeresearchonAfricantopicsverydifficult indeedandistheonesourceIrequirestudentstoread. Inintroducinglibraryresourcesandbuildingawarenessoftherangeof scholarlyresearchtools,IpromotetheapproachadvocatedbyMann( 2005 ), structuringmypresentationstofirstintroducethevalueofreferencematerials andtheirproperuseasastartingpointforlibraryresearch.Onecannotdevelop aneffectivestrategyforundertakinglibraryresearchwithoutsomefamiliarity withtherangeofpossibleresourcesandasenseofhowinformationis organized.Mann sguideprovidesasurveyofthekindsofgeneralandspecialist referenceresourcesavailableatalargeacademiclibrary.Ialsopresentthemain functionsandgoalsofalibrarycollectionmanagementapproach,where responsibilityfortheintellectualscopeandcohesionofacollectionoflibrary materialsinsupportofanAfricanstudiesacademicprogrammeisintegrated (forexampleselectionofmaterialswithinaknownbudget,controloverthe acceptanceandrejectionofgiftitems,decisionsonlocation,prioritizationfor conservation,reformattingorde-accessioning,etc.)toprovideanappreciation oftheoptionsandlimitationsforalmostanylibrarycollection.Iintroduce otherlibraryfunctionsastheyrelatetoAfricanAreaStudies(e.g.cataloguing, preservation,digitization)andofferanoverviewofcampuslibrarycollections, branches,organizationandthelocationofmaterialsinspecificformats(audio andvideorecordings,governmentdocuments,maps,etc.).Becauselibraries organizecollectionsdifferently,formanyreasons,onemayneedtofamiliarize oneselfwiththegeneralapproachtoarangeofmaterials,subjectsandformats priortonavigatingtheavailableresourcesatanunfamiliarinstitution. Themetaphorofnavigatingthroughaninformationlandscapeor environmentisrelevant,astherearemanyinterrelatedpathsalongwhich bibliographicmaterialscanbeconsidered.Eachprojectsuggestsdifferentsets ofresources,soitisusefulforthelibraryresearchertobefamiliarwiththe possibilitiesbeyondhercurrentneeds.Forexample,thehistoryofpublication inagivencountrymaybedocumentedinnationalbibliographies.Myformer colleaguePeterMalanchuksuggestssuchaprogressionforGhanawiththe 36-page GoldCoastLibrary (Cardinall 1924 )listing791items,followedbythe 5,168citationsfromthe16thcenturyto1931inthe384-page Bibliographyof theGoldCoast publishedin1932(reprintedasCardinall 1970 ),aneffortto coverallpublicationsonGoldCoastandGhanafrom1930 61(Johnson 1964 ) andsubsequentattemptsatsimilardocumentationbytheGhanaLibrary Boardwith GhanaNationalBibliography .Thissequencedemonstratesthatas thecorpusofnationalpublicationsgrowshistorically,thefocusmustturnto whatevermorespecialistreferencetoolsareavailable,suchasthoserepresented bytopicalanddisciplinarybibliographies.Onealsomayconsultselective individualcountryvolumessuchasthoseinthe Worldbibliographicalseries (see, forexample,Myers 1991 ).Wheremultipleeditionsofabibliographyare available,asMcIlwaine( 2007b )pointsout,earlierworksarenotnecessarilyIntroduction xxi
subsumedorupdatedbylaterefforts;theymayremainthebestdocumentation ofanearlierperiodandthereforemaydemandconsultationalongsidemore recenteditions.Readingprefatorymaterialallowstheresearchertodetermine thecoverageofagivenwork. Anotherpathacrossthebibliographiclandscapeisthroughtheroleof publishers.Acountry searlyhistoryofpublicationmayfollowaknown institutionalsequence,frequentlybeginningwithcolonialgovernmentprinting (forexample,Mozambique 1854 ;17seealsothearchivalmicrofilmcollections offormerBritishcolonialgovernmentpublicationsintheAfricanStudies AssociationoftheUnitedKingdomseries Governmentpublicationsrelatingto Africancountriespriortoindependence ),orreligiousmissionssuchasthose documentedinthe Records,1799 1920 (ChurchMissionarySociety 1960 ). WhenAfricangovernmentsandmissionsreplacedandsoldtheirprinting presses,insomecaseslocalentrepreneursinitiatedprivatepublishingsuchas theOnitshamarketliteratureofNigeria sIgbospeakingarea,wherereaders newlyliterateinEnglishwereeagertobuyinexpensivebooks(Obiechina 1973 ; seeforexampleNwosu 196018).Elsewhere,governmentspromotedliteracyin indigenouslanguageswhilemaintainingcontrolovercontent,asforexample thecolonialgovernmentdidwithShonaandNdebelewriting,throughthe SouthernRhodesiaAfricanLiteratureBureau(laterknownastheZimbabwe LiteratureBureau),createdin1954aspartoftheNativeAffairsDepartment (Krog 2009 ). Asnotedabove,acomprehensivesurveyofAfricanstudiesreference resourcesisbeyondthescopeofasemester-lengthcourseoranarticle(for exemplaryefforts,seeKagan 2005 ;Zell 2006b ;andMcIlwaine 2007a ).Key resourcesforbeginninglibraryresearchinAfricanstudiesincludethesethree titlesaswellas AfricaSouthoftheSahara ,anannualprintencyclopedia publishedsince1971,19whichAfricanaLibrariansCouncilmembers unanimouslythoughinformallyagreedwasthe desertisland reference resourcetheywouldrecommendforgeneraluse.TheonlineEconomist IntelligenceUnit20database(withitsextensiveprintbackrun)isanother extremelyusefulresourceforbeginningaresearchprojectinanareathat touchesonpoliticsoreconomy.Onefunctionitserves,asdo AfricaResearch Bulletin and AfricaConfidential21(thoughthereareindependentreasonsfor carefulconsiderationofeach),isasanewsdigestthatcanprovidearesearcher withmultiplestartingpoints(specificdates,events,people,organizationsand places)formoredirectedreadingonhistoricaleventsnotindexedbyother means. Afterselectingandconsultingpromisingreferencesources,thebestnext stepintacklinganewlibraryresearchsubjectistorefertothelibrarycatalogue. Familiaritywithlocalcataloguefeatureshelpsinmanysmallways(for example,convenientlyprovidingrecordsinyourpreferredcitationformat, sendinglistsofitemstoyouremail,ortextingbooklocationsandplace referencestoyourmobilephone)beyondsimplyfindingbooksinthestacks. 17BoletimdoGovernodaProvinciadeMocambique < http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00095049 >18MissCordeliaintheRomanceofDestiny < http://ufdc.ufl.edu/AA00004295 >19NowavailableaspartofRoutledge sEuropaWorldonline< http://www.europaworld.com >20EconomistIntelligenceUnit< http://www.eiu.com/ >21AfricaConfidential< http://www.africa-confidential.com >xxii Introduction
Whileuptohalfofsearchesareforfindingknownitems(Tyckoson 1997 :11), thecatalogueisalsoapowerfuldiscoverytoolforidentifyingunknownrelevant materialsbydevelopingnewresearchpathways,aprocessmademore manageablebyusingthesearchnotestechniquedescribedabove.Being attentivetosubjecttermsinthemostrelevantrecordsretrievedcanyield additionalmaterialsonthetopicthatmaynotbepublishedwiththesame termsonyourlist(suchaswordsinotherlanguages,equivalenttermsthatvary overtime,orusagesthatdifferacrossdisciplines).Thisispossiblebecause cataloguershaveassignedrecordswithuniformheadings. Cataloguing isaprocessof adding termsthatare standardized ontopof, or inadditionto,thewordsprovidedbythebookitself (Mann 2005 :23). Becauseinmanylibrariessubjectclassificationsareemployedtoshelvebooks inopenstacks,browsingbecomesfruitfulandallowsserendipitousdiscoveries ( ibid .:46 64).WhileTyckosonestimatesthat90percentofresearchcontent remainselusivefromcataloguesearches( 1997 :11),improvementshavesince enhancedmanyrecordswithchaptertitlesandauthors,forexample,e-books areagrowingportionofmanylibrarycollectionsandGoogleBooksSearch providesanautomatedfull-textindexofscannedtitles(Darnton 2009 :33). Thecatalogueisapowerfulresearchtoolbecauseitisacombinationof technical,socialandindividualeffortsthatdonotnecessarilyleadtoperfector perfectlytransparentresults:Fortheindividualscholar,academicresearchmayseemtobeasolitary, lonelypursuit,whethersheissiftingthroughvolumesofdecades-oldjournals inthestacksorsurfingtheWeb.Infact,successfulresearchdependsonthe combined(ifnotalwayscooperative)effortsofwidelydispersedpeople,often unknowntooneanother,including:authors,publishers,indexers,catalogers, referencelibrarians,aswellastheresearchersthemselves.Decisions,policies, andpracticesofanyofthesemanyactorsaffectthesuccessofresearch (Walsh 2004 :14).Forscarcelytreatedtopics,localresourcesmaynotbeavailableorwillnot suffice,soresearcherscansearchmulti-library meta-catalogue databasessuch asWorldCat,22thecataloguesofinstitutionalconsortia,ormembershipgroups suchastheCenterforResearchLibrariesforleadsonaccessalternativessuch asinter-libraryloan. ThestrategiccycleIrecommendconcludeswithaconsultationofacademic journalindexes,includingspecialistindexesthatmaysimplyidentifyrelevant scholarlyworkaswellasconvenientintegratedindexdatabasesthatprovide accesstoentirefull-textarticles.Academicfacultymaynotneedanyother resourcesthanjournalindexes(possiblyaccessedviaaGooglesearch)iftheir fieldreliesprimarilyonjournalpublications(forexample,somephysical sciences).Theymayevenforgettoadvisestudentstofollowthelibraryresearch pathwayoutlinedhere.Asfull-textresourceshavebecomeincreasingly accessiblebymeansofindexdatabases,theallureofskippingdirectlytothe onlinejournalliteraturehasgrown.However,inexperiencedresearchersmay getlostinthespecificityofscholarlyarticlesbeforetheyhavefullyintegrateda sufficientlybroadunderstandingoftheirfieldofstudy.Tosimplyaccessa 22WorldCat< www.worldcat.org/ >Introduction xxiii
knownarticle,JSTOR23(whichincludesanexcellentsetofAfricanstudies journalsinitsdatabase)maybethebestfirstplacetogo.However,inmany casesthereisaten-yearembargoonarticlesinJSTOR.Forthisreasonand becausefull-textsearchesinJSTORdependontheaccuracyofOptical CharacterRecognition(OCR)software(theoftencitedfigureof98percent accuracyproduceserrorsintwoorthreewordsperpage),Idonotrecommend itasaprimarysearchtool. Studentsshouldbecomefamiliarwithavarietyofgeneraluse,comprehensiveordiscipline-specific,commerciallydistributedjournalindexdatabases. ManyincludegoodcoverageofAfricanarticlesandprovideinterfacefeatures thathelptobuildgoodsearches.SuchtoolsincludeEBSCOAcademicSearch Premier,24CambridgeScientificAbstracts25(withtheLinguisticsand LanguageBehaviorAbstractsandPAISInternational),ProQuestDissertations &Theses,26theWebofKnowledge27interfaceto,forexample,theSocial ScienceCitationIndexandPeriodicalsIndexOnline.28Anyofthese commercialproductsprovideaccesstotheirindexthesauriofdescriptorterms, whichworkanalogouslywithsubjectheadingsinthelibrarycataloguetoadd relevanttermsnotaccessibletosoftwaresuchasOCRthatmerelyreproduces termsthepublicationitselfprovidestoreaders(Mann 2005 :66 7).I recommendthatsearchesintheselargedatabasesshouldbecomplementedby additionalworkwithAfrica-specific,humanspecialist-preparedbibliographic toolssuchasAfricanStudiesAbstracts(LeidenUniversity),29theUSLibrary ofCongressQuarterlyIndexofAfricanPeriodicalLiterature30andAfrica Bibliography31(InternationalAfricanInstitute,IAI). AfricaBibliography has beenavailableasanannualprintsupplementtotheIAI sjournal Africa since 1984,butthisyearitisalsoavailableonlineasasearchable,consolidated bibliography.Oneofmystudentslastyearnotedthatthepre-releaseversionof thisdatabasehadbecomeherpreferredjournalindex. Employingastrategiccombinationofseveralscholarly,specialisttoolssuch asdisciplinary,regionalortopicalbibliographiesalongwithoneormore comprehensive,commercialjournalindexdatabasesisadvantageousinthatthe userbenefitsfromtheirdifferentapproaches.Foranthropology, AnthropologicalLiteratureisproducedbytheTozzerLibraryatHarvard University sPeabodyMuseumofArchaeologyandEthnologyandthe AnthropologicalIndexattheRoyalAnthropologicalInstituteinLondon(their contentsarecombinedbytheAnthropologyPlusdatabase).32Theseacademic projectsuseexpertstoconsideranddescribeeachentry,assessingscholarly importandwritingabstracts.Whiletheirinterfacesmaybelessfriendlyandit maytaketimetolearnhowtobuildaneffectivesearchwiththese,effortsare 23JSTOR< www.jstor.org/ >24Academicsearchpremier< http://www.ebscohost.com/ >25CambridgeScientificAbstracts< http://www.csa.com/ >26ProQuestDissertationsandTheses< http://proquest.umi.com/ >27WebofKnowledge< http://wokinfo.com/ >28PeriodicalsIndexOnline< http://pio.chadwyck.co.uk >29AfricanStudiesAbstracts< http://www.ascleiden.nl/ >30QuarterlyIndexofAfricanPeriodicalLiterature< http://lcweb2.loc.gov/misc/qsihtml/ >31AfricaBibliography< http://africabibliography.cambridge.org/ >32AnthropologyPlus < http://www.oclc.org/us/en/support/documentation/firstsearch/databases/ dbdetails/details/AnthropologyPlus.htm >xxiv Introduction
rewardedbytheinsightstheymakepossiblethroughhuman-created descriptiverecords.Incontrast,forexample,AnthroSource33representsthe benefitsoflarge-scalecommercialtechnology,leveragingtheresourcesof publisherWiley-Blackwelltoindexeverytermineachofoveraquartermillion full-textarticlesfromeveryAmericanAnthropologicalAssociationpublication includedinthisservice.Thedatabaseisaccessiblethrougharichlyfeatured interfacethatcanlinktheusertoaphraseortermasitwasprintedonthepage incontext.Thereisnoonebestindex,butratherresearchersshouldemploy severalrelevantproductsthatcomplementoneanother sstrengthstoenable effectivesearchingandresultsthatnosinglesourcecanprovide. Itisunlikelythatanyone slibraryresearchwillbecompleteatthisstageof themodelunlesstheprojectisverystraightforward.Theprocessdescribed aboveisintendedtobeiterative,ratherthanmerelyrepetitive,honingexisting andbuildingnewsearcheswitheachre-entryintothesetofavailabletoolsand resources.Individualneedswilldeterminewhichadditionalgeneral,specialist, discipline-specificandotherresourcesshouldbeconsideredastheproject develops.Mann( 2005 )providesmanyideasforadditionalpotentialdirections, includinggovernmentdocuments,newspapers,archives,etc.ForAfrican studies,tonameafewexamples,uniquematerialsmaybefoundintheAluka34databaseofmaterialsrelatingto StrugglesforFreedominSouthernAfrica ,in microfilmedarchivalcollectionscollectedbytheCooperativeAfricana MaterialsProject35andintherarebooksandmanuscriptscollectionsof academiclibrariesspecializinginAfricanmaterials(manyofwhicharebeing selectivelydigitizedforfree,public,openaccessthroughouttheworld).36Academicdissertationsareanothersomewhatneglectedsourceofdetailed literaturereviewsthatmayleadtocollectionsofuniquematerials.Graduate studentsinparticularmayfinddissertationsusefulfordevelopinganunderstandingoftheoreticalapproachesovertime,recognizingschoolsofthought andintellectualgenealogies,andgainingasenseofhowconceptsaresharedor alternativelyformulatedbydifferentscholars.Itmaybeproductiveforthe studenttospeakwithaspecialistlibrarianatthispointintheprocesstodiscuss researcheffortstodateandconsiderfurtheroptions.Manylibrarianscanalso provideassistancewithmanagingbibliographiccitationsthroughsoftware packagesthatarelicensedtotheentireuniversitycommunity. Themoderninformationlandscapeiscomplex;theAfricanstudies informationenvironmentisevenmoredifficulttonavigatethanmost (Zell 2002 ;Walsh 2004 ).Thegrowingbutthornyresearchandpublishing environmentinAfricaitselfcontributestothedifficultyofscholarlyresearchin thisarea(seeZell 2001 ;Mlambo 2006 ):ThatisnottosaythatlittleisbeingpublishedinAfrica.Indeedagreatdealof verygoodmaterialisregularlypublished,buttheviabilityofpublishers 33AnthroSource< http://www.anthrosource.net/ >34Aluka< www.aluka.org/ >35TheCooperativeAfricanaMaterialsProject(CAMP)wasfoundedin1963asajointeffortby researchlibrariesthroughouttheworldandtheChicago-basedCenterforResearchLibraries < http://www.crl.edu/area-studies/camp >36MyworkwiththeGeorgeA.SmathersDigitalLibraryCenterattheUniversityofFloridahas providedonlineaccesstoseveralcollectionsbasedonrarebooksandmanuscriptholdingsinthe library sAfricanStudiesCollections(seeNemmers 2004 ;Reboussin 2009 2011a 2011b ).Introduction xxv
continuestobethreatenedbygeneralresourceshortages,instability,poorly developeddistribution,anddominationofmarketsbytransnational publisherswithlittleinterestinareassuchasAfricanlanguageimprints.The effectivereachofnewtechnologieswithinthecontinenthasalsobeen limited,crampingthevisibilityofAfricanpublishersandwriters (Limb 2007 :vii).ForscholarsinterestedinreadingAfricanpublishedresearchand incorporatingAfricanperspectivesintotheirwork,therearemanypotential brokenlinksinachainfromtheconductofresearch,writing,publishing, distributionandaccesstosuchmaterialsinlibraries.37If,infact,African producedmaterialsdoarriveinoneofthefewlibrariesthatcollectand catalogueAfrican-publishedacademicmaterials,accessmayremaindifficult; theymayrequirespecialtreatment,arelocatedseparatelyfromgeneral collections,orarenotwellcatalogued.Africanbooksandjournalspresent manychallenges:theymaybewritteninlesserknownlanguageswithout readilyavailabletranslationsoruseorthographicscriptswithoutstandardized electronic(i.e.Unicode)equivalents.Authors namesmayuseunfamiliar conventionsormaybefoundinmanyversionsbasedondiffering transliterationpractices(Walsh 2004 :15 21).Publishinginformationmay notbeavailableinafamiliarlanguage;serialpublicationmaybelateor documentedinconsistently(withnamevariations,problemswithvolumeand issuenumbering,orpagination).So,evenwhenAfricanresearchmaterialsare collectedbylibrarieswherescholarsmightbebetterpositionedtodiscover, recognizeandpromotetheirsignificance( ibid .:11),theymayremainless visiblewithinthescholarlyarchivethanotherresources.Asaresult,Africanists needtobebettertrainedandmorepersistentwithlibraryresearchrelativeto theircolleaguesinotherareas. Additionaldifficultiesintheresearchprocessareposedbythebroadscope ofinterestsinthehighlyinterdisciplinaryfieldofAfricanstudies.Facultyand graduatestudentsmakechallengingdemandsontheirlibrariestocollectand provideaccesstoextremelydiverseformatsandsourcesofinformation.Video andaudiorecordings,photographs,uniqueandreproducedmanuscript collections,greyliteraturesuchasconferencepapers,non-governmental organizationreportsanddigitaldatafilesarerelativelycommonrequests.Even officialnationalgovernmentdocumentsmayhaveextremelylimiteddistributioninAfrica,whereitmaybeveryexpensivetocollectevenreasonably comprehensivecollectionsofsuchkeyresourcesascensusdocuments.The aboveformatsdonottouchuponephemerasuchaselectionmaterials,posters, politicalpamphlets,artandpopularcultureitems,children stoys,graffiti, advertising,orsportsmemorabiliaand fan paraphernaliasuchasthepopular decoratedhardhatsand vuvuzela hornsrelatingtothe2010FIFAWorldCup soccer(football)tournamentheldinSouthAfrica,whichdrewtheresearch attentionofmanyAfricanists(seeAlegi 2010 ;Koonyaditse 2010 ).Identifying andaccessingunusualformatsandscarcematerials,evenwhentheyareheldin theuser sownlibrary,mayrequiregreaterexpertise(andpossiblyalibrarian s guidance)astheymostlikelywouldnotbedescribedattheindividualitemlevel 37RemarkableimprovementsinaccesstoAfricanpublicationsintheUSandelsewherehaveresulted fromthecollaborativeeffortsoftheAfricanBooksCollective< http://www.africanbookscollective. com >.xxvi Introduction
inthecatalogue,butratherascollections(asismostcommonformanuscripts andarchives,althoughdigitizationrequiresitemlevelmetadataforonline access). Themediationandassistanceofalibrariancanbeacriticalelementinthe libraryresearchprocess.Scholarshipisasocialprocessthatdependsonthe contributionsofmanyparticipants.Goodpracticeindocumentingone s researchanddatasourcesisnecessary,asisthemaintenanceofsufficiently resourcedarchivesthatcanmanageandprovideaccesstowhateverresources thatacademicresearchandscholarshipdemands.Asthesedemandshave increasedandtheinformationenvironmenthasbecomemorecomplex,the needtoimprovetrainingininformationliteracyforAfricanstudiesresearchers hasalsobecomemoreevident.Animportantbenefitofincreasedinteraction betweenacademicsandlibrariansisthatopportunitiesforcollaboration multiplyaslibrarianrolesinthescholarlyprocessbecomemorefamiliarand betterappreciated. AfricanscholarsinAfricamaythemselveslacktheresourcestoparticipate fullyindebatesaboutissuesandprocessesthataffectthem,somanyAfricanists outsidethecontinentfeelanethicalobligationtoensurethatAfricanvoicesare heardanddocumentedthroughtheirownscholarlycommunications.African bookdonationprogrammesandfundingaredwindling.Giventhemanynew avenuesprovidedbyelectronicdistributionofinformation,studentsand facultycancontributeinsomesmallmeasurebymakingaconsciouseffortto deposittheirownworkinopenaccessdigitalinstitutionalrepositoriesand otherpubliclyavailableonlinearchivesthatensurereliableaccesstoresearchof valuetoAfricanswhereAfricanscholarsthemselvesmaylackaccesstopaid subscriptionresourcesordonatedmaterials.Inthiscontext,Iconsidera discussionofthelegalandmoralrightsofbothusersandcreatorsofdigital informationtobeanessentialpartofclassroomdiscussionsaboutAfrican researchresources.Inthisandmanyways,Ihopethestudentsinmyclasswill begintothinkofthemselvesasnotonlyconsumersofAfricaninformation,but alsowillconsidertheeffectoftheirownparticipationininformation productionincooperationwithAfricansasaresult. Conclusion WhilethefewavailablecoursesinAfricanstudieslibraryresearchmethods usedtofocusonthetechnicaluseofafewscarceresources,theinformation environmenthaschangedagreatdealinrecentyears.Therearemanypotential resourcesavailabletoAfricanstudiesresearchers,butthesecanbedifficultto identify,evaluateanduseeffectivelywithoutemployingastrategicapproachto libraryresearch.Manylibraryusersreporthighskillslevelsatsearchingfor informationonline(throughsurveys,forexample),butbehaviouralresearch amongstudentspursuinglibraryresearchindicatesthattheirsearchskillsare bettersuitedtoeverydayonlinetasks.Studentsbenefitfromtraininginlibrary researchmethodsandanimprovedawarenessofscholarlysearchtechniques, andthereareindicationsthatthecompletionofaninformationliteracycourse lowersattritionratesamongfirst-yearstudents.ForAfricanstudies,every aspectoflibrarycollectionsinsupportofthesehighlyinterdisciplinary academicprogrammespresentsgreaterchallengesthandomaterialsinother areas:fromtheircreationasresearchprojects,thechallengesofAfricanIntroduction xxvii
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