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Part I: Qualitative methods in assessing libraries, users, & use: applications, results.
Program chair: David Bawden, Ph.D. (Centre for Information Science, City University London)

The accelerating revolution in information technologies is having a huge impact on human information behavior, needs, and expectations. The results of this technological and societal upheaval are shaping transformations and innovations in library and information services. All kinds of libraries – physical, digital, and hybrid - are reinventing traditional services and developing new ones. Many of these emerging services are inventive, creative, and even unexpected. Users and use of libraries are changing as well. Libraries are also facing unprecedented competition in information services. Increasingly, libraries are faced with problems in assessing of what is going on in their environments and in evaluating their responses.
The goal of Part I of LIDA 2014 is to explore efforts, concepts, and results in using qualitative methods in assessing library impact, value, effectiveness, and use of new and old services. Qualitative research is a method of inquiry employed in many different academic disciplines, traditionally in social sciences, and increasingly in library and information science. The aim of qualitative method is to gather an in-depth understanding of human behavior and the reasons that govern such behavior. For libraries and information systems studies using qualitative methods help in shaping library services for effective use by a variety of users in evolving technological and social environments.
Contributions (types described below) are invited covering the following and related topics:

  • new methodological developments and practical applications in qualitative assessments of libraries and information systems;
  • application of qualitative methods to the study of library users and use;
  • studies using a variety of qualitative methods, such as observations, surveys, interviews, focus groups, case studies, cultural studies, oral history, grounded theory, document studies, Delphi studies and others;
  • qualitative study of a variety of library user groups or potential users: by generation, by role or occupation, by level of education and technological literacy, and others
  • assessment of library services in a variety of e-services, such as information literacy programs, e-learning, distance education, e-scholarship and others;
  • practical transformations in library services as a result of assessment;
  • emergence of new library visions and missions related to users and their reflection in new services as a result of assessment;
  • discussion about general issues resulting from assessments: How are we to understand new or transformed library services in their own right? In relation to traditional library services and values?