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If It Is Too Inconvenient, I’m Not Going After It

This research shows how much users value convenience and quick access. That will probably not surprise you, but it should help inform choices for libraries. The choices libraries make will increase their value to users or drive users away.

  • Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, Timothy J. Dickey, and Marie L. Radford. 2011. ‘If It Is Too Inconvenient, I’m Not Going After it:’ Convenience as a Critical Factor in Information-Seeking Behaviors. Library and Information Science Research, 33: 179-190. Pre-print available online at: http://www.oclc.org/research/publications/library/2011/connaway-lisr.pdf (.pdf: 275K/46 pp.).

    It can be argued that in the not-too-distant past, resources were scarce, and libraries were one of the only sources of trustworthy information. Users were obliged to conform to library practices and standards in order to successfully meet their information needs. Now, users’ time and attention are scarce, while resources are abundant with the development of the Internet and Web-based services (blogs, chat, social media sites, etc.) and easily accessed, digitized content. This article provides an overview of findings from two multi-year grant-funded projects. These projects address the questions: “Why do people choose one information source instead of another?” and “What factors contribute to their selection of information sources?” Specifically, the emergence of the concept of convenience as a critical factor in information-seeking choices among a variety of different types of people, across a period of several years, and in a variety of contexts, is explored.

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