2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 2
Presentation Time: 8:30 AM


ABER, Susan Ward, Earth Science Department, Emporia State University, 1200 Commercial, Campus Box 4030, Emporia, KS 66801, abersusa@emporia.edu

Quantitative research designed to count and measure the use of information sources, systems, or services provided by academic library and librarian does little to inform on the information needs of geoscience educators for teaching. In contrast to a system-centered focus on the use of a library, this study employed a qualitative research design with a person-centered focus to examine the information user and solicit the viewpoint of participants directly. This research design created the opportunity for fostering collaboration between geoscience educator and academic librarian to enhance the teaching role of faculty.

An interpretive, naturalistic inquiry approach was employed to investigate the information needs and behaviors of geoscience educators for course development and instruction. Triangulation of research methods included semi-structured interview, document review, and observation. A purposive sample of seven educators from four universities located in Mid-western USA participated. While the researcher was the primary data-gathering instrument, the study was conducted in the natural setting of participants, educators' offices and classrooms. Multiple interviews were transcribed verbatim; interview transcripts and document review analyses were checked for accuracy and interpretation by participants.

In contrast to past research findings, this study demonstrated that for university course development and instruction participant preference went beyond the use of book or journal and that these educators bypassed their academic libraries and librarians. While these research results cannot be generalized for all educators, the research design may act as a model to foster collaboration between geoscience educator and librarian to raise awareness of current library services and lead to new opportunities to enhance teaching.