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Undergraduate students use of mobile apps to search library catalogs

Undergraduate students use of mobile apps to search library catalogs The purpose of this paper is to explore undergraduate students’ use of mobile apps to search library catalogs and analyze the problems students encountered. Student opinions and suggestions regarding mobile library apps were also examined.Design/methodology/approachA total of 16 undergraduates were observed and subjected to semi-structured interviews. Four tasks were assigned, and the participants used mobile apps and laptops to search library catalogs. Follow-up in-depth interviews were conducted to gather participants’ opinions regarding the mobile library app.FindingsAmong the 64 total searches conducted by the 16 participants, 45 (70.31 percent) were completed when using the mobile app, and 51 (79.69 percent) were completed using the laptop. Participants spent less time completing the tasks when they used the mobile app. Mobile apps are thus an effective tool for searching library catalogs. However, the interviews revealed that none of the participants had used mobile library apps prior to the interviews conducted in this study, and half of the participants expressed that they would not install library apps on their smartphones in the future.Originality/valueThe study findings may help university libraries improve their understanding about undergraduates’ search behavior and opinions about mobile library apps. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Library Hi Tech Emerald Publishing

Undergraduate students use of mobile apps to search library catalogs

Library Hi Tech , Volume 37 (4): 14 – Oct 25, 2019

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
0737-8831
DOI
10.1108/lht-12-2018-0198
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to explore undergraduate students’ use of mobile apps to search library catalogs and analyze the problems students encountered. Student opinions and suggestions regarding mobile library apps were also examined.Design/methodology/approachA total of 16 undergraduates were observed and subjected to semi-structured interviews. Four tasks were assigned, and the participants used mobile apps and laptops to search library catalogs. Follow-up in-depth interviews were conducted to gather participants’ opinions regarding the mobile library app.FindingsAmong the 64 total searches conducted by the 16 participants, 45 (70.31 percent) were completed when using the mobile app, and 51 (79.69 percent) were completed using the laptop. Participants spent less time completing the tasks when they used the mobile app. Mobile apps are thus an effective tool for searching library catalogs. However, the interviews revealed that none of the participants had used mobile library apps prior to the interviews conducted in this study, and half of the participants expressed that they would not install library apps on their smartphones in the future.Originality/valueThe study findings may help university libraries improve their understanding about undergraduates’ search behavior and opinions about mobile library apps.

Journal

Library Hi TechEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 25, 2019

Keywords: User behaviour; Mobile devices; Mobile library services; Mobile library; Catalog search; Mobile library application

References