Information Update - Spring 2006

Library Focus Groups Give Feedback on Web Pages

Students and faculty at the University of Scranton had the opportunity to provide their perceptions of the Library’s Web page to the staff of the Weinberg Library through their participation in focus group sessions that were held during the fall 2005 semester. These focus groups were a component of Professor Bonnie Oldham's research project, a project that was funded by a University of Scranton Internal Research Grant. Focus groups are small homogeneous groups led by a moderator who asks questions that have been designed to facilitate discussion of a specific topic by all the group members. Focus group research collects qualitative rather than quantitative data.
In order to capture data across the spectrum of library users, the following University populations were targeted: faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, work study students, and distance learners. Letters and/or e-mails were sent to a random sample of faculty and students in these groups inviting them to participate in a focus group session. The sessions were co-facilitated by graduate students enrolled in the Practicum course in the Department of Community Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling, School Counseling.
All of the focus group sessions were audio taped to facilitate accurate reporting. These tapes were then transcribed without reference to participants’ names or identifying information. The data collected from the focus groups will be analyzed by Professor Oldham and then utilized by the library staff to develop and implement a plan to improve the usability of the Library’s Web site. The consensus of the students and faculty who participated in the focus groups was that they appreciated the opportunity to identify their concerns related to the Library’s Web page.

Bonnie Oldham