July 24

Choosing a Format

Write a short blog post on the key considerations you need to take into account when choosing which format/s when purchasing resources for your library.

… there are those who assert that it is not relevant whether the desired information is available online, or on CD-ROM or in print, it is the content that is important.” – Stewart, 2000, p. 95

One thread present throughout the reading was the importance of educational criteria. Does the content of the resource suit my purpose? Does it suit my audience? Can my audience read and understand the information provided by the resource? All of these considerations come first, ahead of reliability and technical criteria.

Educational criteria are by far the most important when evaluating Web sites.” – Herring, 2011, p. 22

Something else that captured my attention was the need to cater for different learning styles. When I hear ‘learning styles’, I think of Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences. But I’ve never considered the print versus digital argument through a learning style lens. No matter what eBook download or database subscription statistics get thrown around year by year, every learner will have a preference for print or digital, and may choose differently in certain situations. I think school libraries should be ready to provide access to both formats, to cater for everyone at any time.

… medium preferences matter, since those who studied on their preferred medium showed both less overconfidence and got better test scores.” – Myrberg & Wiberg, 2015

Last of all, one of the readings touched on the dynamic nature of our information environment. Just twenty years ago, librarians were looking at CD-ROMs (Stewart, 2000). In 2020, the technology is very different. If it continues to evolve at the same rate, what will the information landscape look like in 2030?

In the same way we’re preparing for the future with flexible furnishings in our physical library spaces, we have to be ready for any kind of future in the digital space, not playing catch-up when something new comes along. This is not something we can really predict, but it’s worth thinking about when deciding which format to choose as we build our collections.

References

Herring, J. E. (2011). Web site evaluation: A key role for the school librarian. School Librarian, 27(8), 22-23. https://maureensresources.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/websiteevaluationlibrarian.pdf

Myrberg, C. & Wiberg, N. (2015). Screen vs. paper: What is the difference for reading and learning? Insights, 28(2). https://insights.uksg.org/articles/10.1629/uksg.236/

Stewart, L. A. (2000). Choosing between print and electronic resources. The Reference Librarian, 34(71), 79-97. https://doi.org/10.1300/J120v34n71_07

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Posted July 24, 2020 by murphda75 in category ETL501 The Dynamic Information Environment

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