The “use” of an electronic resource from a social network analysis perspective

Marie Kennedy, David Kennedy

Abstract


This article employs social network analysis as a mechanism to bridge the typical ways of talking about usage statistics and to provide a context-specific perspective about the mediated use of electronic resources. The article reports on an analysis of data gathered at the Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles, California) about standard usage statistics as well as library Information Desk encounters during which an electronic resource is mentioned. Our analysis demonstrates that e-resources are suggested and used in concert; there are central resources that are mentioned together, instead of a single e-resource being suggested alone to resolve a given information need. We also learned that half of the available electronic resources are not suggested once during the year analyzed. The conceptual results of this work support the use of social network analysis in examining other relational aspects of library work. Practical results are reported as well, most notably the use of more than one resource to fulfil an information need.

Keywords


social network analysis; electronic resources

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ISSN 1756-1086 (Online)