In an effort to better speculate whether a certain set of factors plays a role in information professionals’ choice of Internet search tools, this article describes a survey conducted by the author of MSLS/MSIS graduate students and professional librarians at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Background discussion on Internet search tool design, usability, field testing, and future development is provided. Two sets of factors were defined for this study, one describing utility functions of search tools, the other describing the convenience or ease of use of search tools. The survey reveals a trend in choosing a preferred Internet search tool based on utility factors as opposed to convenience factors. It also suggests a preference for search engines as opposed to subject catalogs. Comprehensive, encompassing results are found to be more important than ease of use of a particular search tool.
Library Hi Tech – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 1, 1999
Keywords: Internet; Librarians; Surveys