International Association
of School Librarianship

IASL Research Abstracts

IASL Research Abstracts: 190

Findings: Research strategies have played a part in the ongoing formative evaluation of IASL's School Libraries Online Web site, providing information that has supported the development of the site through a decade. Desk research, tracking services, computer log files, and information provided by users of the site have contributed to ongoing evaluation and development.

Abstract: IASL's Webmaster discusses the part that research has played in the ongoing development of IASL's web site, School Libraries Online. Established in 1995, the web site was ten years old at the time this article was written; a brief history of the site is provided. Work on the site has been guided by a strategic planning process within the context of which research results have informed decision making. Desk research provided background information that was important in the establishment of the web site. This desk research included an "internal environment" scan that focused on developing an understanding of the Association and its members, and an "external environment" scan that focused on Internet trends and developments. With the site well established, ongoing environment scanning has continued to inform development. User needs have been monitored on an ongoing basis through two main strategies: analysis of the weekly and monthly reports from the web site search engine, and analysis of the statistical information provided by a user tracking service. User satisfaction with the web site has been monitored through strategies such as analysis of responses to a web-based survey form, and comments recorded in an online guestbook. The results of this ongoing formative evaluation will also feed into a major project, commenced in 2005 with a literature review, to evaluate School Libraries Online after a decade in operation. The article concludes with some comments about the place of evaluation in the web site development cycle and the need for this major evaluation after ten years of operation.

Clyde, L A. (2005) Research as part of the web site: Development process: The case of School Libraries OnlineSchool Libraries Worldwide, 11(2), 73-95.

Subject Categories: 8, 11

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