Back in the summer I was asked if I would contribute to the annual SCONUL Winter Conference, attended by the UK’s University Library Directors, on the topic of ethnographic research methods in libraries. As well as introducing the topic to the audience and exploring its relevance to librarians they were keen to hear about how this sort of research can have a direct and practical impact on service delivery. I readily agreed as I knew by the time that I presented (last week) that I would have the details and outcomes of three separate ethnographic research projects conducted within my library service:behavioural mapping; show-me-round (known by anthro types as a ‘touchstone tour’); and cognitive mapping with both faculty and students. The audience seemed very receptive to the presentation content and asked all the right sort of questions afterwards.
I am available for half-day training courses on ethnographic research techniques in libraries.