​This ethnographic innovation project aims to understand students' expectations of the library and library services. Inspired by the documentary, 'Child of our time', the project will follow a group of students as they progress through their studies, exploring how/if a growing understanding of, and engagement with, the library (and its services) impacts and influences students' learning and overall student experience. The project will aim to identify and better understand the role the library plays at the key stages of students' academic careers.

Year one, of this five year longitudinal study, would engage with pre-entry students. Subsequent years (if funded) would track the same cohort as they progress through their studies.

The Library will offer 'sponsorship' to the students by providing £200 worth of book vouchers every year for the duration of their course (or similar) in exchange for a set amount of time (TBC) during each semester. This opportunity will be used to engage, discuss, observe and, perhaps, influence how this group interacts with the library and library services.

Qualitative research will be undertaken using ethnographic techniques and research methods such as interviews, participant observation, cognitive mapping, research journals, photo diaries, mapping diaries and focus groups.

Library of our time will partner with researchers from Moray House to ensure proper research processes are followed and allow us to benefit from expertise in educational research. The project would seek to engage with LEAPS.

We will deliver a report at end of each year; to include recommendations for service changes and inform business decisions eg study space provision. We will aim to publish findings in suitable library/education journals and present at international conferences.

There would be steering group of library staff and researchers and ethical approval would be sought.

Current project status

Report Date RAG Budget Effort Completed Effort to complete
March 2017 GREEN 0.0 days 0.0 days 0.0

Project Info

Library of our time
IS Innovation - Library & University Collections (LCI)
Project Manager
Angela Laurins
Project Sponsor
Rachel Summers
Current Stage
In Progress
Start Date
Planning Date
Delivery Date
Close Date


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