Researching researchers. Delivering a systematic user research programme in a research library
While the mission of research libraries – support knowledge creation – has always been the same, the way we meet this mission keeps evolving. The expectations and needs of researchers evolve alongside changes in policy, technology and the wider research environment. This makes it important for libraries to constantly connect to our users so that we can understand how we should develop our service portfolio so that it continues to meet user needs. In order to support its new service strategy for research, the British Library is currently embarking on a systematic research programme aimed at understanding our diverse research audience – both individuals and organisations. We are using a wide range of tools from interviews, user experience studies, surveys and panels to observational studies, taken forward in collaboration with external partners (targeting over 1.000 people online and 300 onsite). To assist other libraries in their user research, the presentation will set the programme in the context of plans to enhance our service portfolio, discuss its development, the methods used and lessons learned.