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Getting everyone on the same page : A staff focus group study for library web site redesign
journal contributionposted on 2007-01-01, 00:00 authored by D MacMillan, S M McKee, Shawna Sadler
Purpose - Using staff focus groups in the redevelopment of a library web site deploys their knowledge of user navigation issues and search strategies and addresses the unique needs of library staff. This paper seeks to describe the process of planning, recruiting, and conducting staff focus groups and provide a discussion of lessons learned. Design/methodology/approach - A committee of professionals and non-professionals from the University of Calgary Library conducted a series of five focus groups with library staff. The goals were to determine their content and service priorities for the redesigned library web site, and also to ensure that staff was included in the redesign process. Findings - This paper makes recommendations for library staff focus group interviewing, including planning, formulating questions, recruitment, conducting sessions, and analysis and reporting. Practical implications - Focus group interviews can be effectively conducted in-house, with careful planning and adherence to established guidelines. Focus groups are a very useful method for gathering staff input for web site redesign or any other library-planning project. Originality/value - This paper will be useful to librarians interested in assessing staff needs and priorities through focus group interviews. The paper fills a void in the library literature regarding the use of library staff as both focus group leaders and participants.