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Social information behaviour in physical libraries: Implications for the design of digital libraries

Physical bookshops and libraries are visited by both individuals, and groups of patrons, while digital libraries are designed primarily for individual users. This paper reports on a study exploring the behaviour of groups of patrons in physical libraries, detailing their collaboration and communication during book searches. We aim to identify how characteristics such as location, time, environment, ambiance, layout and personal motivation play a role in a group's search and browsing behaviour. We report the findings of observations of group collaboration in academic and public libraries, and compare the observed book and library use techniques employed by patron groups. Further, we examine the support for group collaboration in digital libraries and discuss the implications of our observations for the design of digital libraries that support group collaboration and interaction among users. To that end, the paper suggests features and functions that could be added to DLs to enable asynchronous group communication and interaction.
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Hinze, A., Alqurashi, H., Vanderschantz, N., Timpany, C., & Alzahrani, S. G. (2014). Social information behaviour in physical libraries: Implications for the design of digital libraries. In IEEE/ACM Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (pp. 107–116). Washington, DC: IEEE. https://doi.org/10.1109/JCDL.2014.6970156
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