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Montgomery College Library Ethnography Study: Home

Contact Information

Tanner Wray, Director of Library and Information Services
tanner.wray@montgomerycollege.edu

Jane Williams, Project Manager‚Äč
janewilliams11113@yahoo.com

Nancy Fried Foster, Anthropologist Consultant
NancyFoster@NancyFosterDesignAnthropology.com

Montgomery College Library Employee Directory

 

Montgomery College Library Ethnography Study

In 2013 MC Library embarked on a multi-year, multi-faceted set of initiatives to examine, improve and modernize library spaces, collections, services, programs and operations. The studies' results and findings have provided qualitative data on what library users need and prefer to help transform the MC Library into collaborative, comfortable, flexible and supportive environments that better position the library to promote multiple learning partnerships, student success and academic excellence. These studies are important elements toward creating the library of the 21st century for Montgomery College. 

The studies themselves are complete: Rockville in 2013-14, Takoma Park/Silver Spring in 2014-15, and Germantown in 2015-16. The Rockville and Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus libraries have established implementation plans to address the findings and recommendations of the Ithaka S+R/library studies and the complementary studies done by 260+ anthropology students. The Ithaka S+R/library and anthropology reports for the Germantown Campus library are being examined and an implementation plan is being developed in Fall 2016.  Architectural work informed by the ethnographic studies is underway in 2016-17 to re-conceptualize the Rockville and Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus libraries.


Ethnography -- a collection of qualitative methods that focus on the close observation of social practices and interactions -- is very fruitful approach to applied research for academic libraries.  It provides data about what library users actually do in libraries and directly what they say their library needs and preferences are. 

If you have questions, want more information or would like someone to talk with your group, class or office about this study, contact Tanner Wray at 240-567-7101, or tanner.wray@montgomerycollege.edu.

Presentations

Here is the listing of presentations, in order of their occurrence:

  • Del Hornbuckle, Alex Moyer, Josephine Trawick, Tanner Wray.  Inspired Spaces, or Home away from Home?  Academic Affordances of Peace Quiet, Comfort and Technology in the Library.  Panel presentation at 2015 National Conference of Association of College and Research Libraries, Portland, OR, March 27, 2015. pdf file
  • Josephine Trawick.  Student-Centered Libraries:  Using Ethnographic Techniques in a Community College Setting.  Poster session at 2015 National Conference of Association of College and Research Libraries, Portland, OR, March 26, 2015. Also at the joint conference of Maryland Library Association and Delaware Library Association, Ocean City, MD, May 7, 2015.
    MC Ethnography Poster - Rockville
  • Cynthia Pfanstiehl.  Student Researchers Assess Their Campus Library:  Identifying Needs and Recommending Change.  Poster session at 2015 National Conference of Association of College and Research Libraries, Portland, OR, March 26, 2015.
  • Emily Christian, Jonelle Bowen, Michael Kissiedu, Bushra Miller. Honors Student Researchers – Allies in the Campaign to Modernize the College Library.  Panel presentation at Conference of Northeast Regional Honors Council, Gettysburg, PA, April 9-12, 2015. pdf file.
     http://nrhchonors.org/?page_id=1990 
     
  • Tanner Wray.  Lightning round presentation at annual meeting and program of Congress of Academic Library Directors of Maryland, Columbia, MD, April 10, 2015. pdf filehttp://caldmd.org
     
  • DeRionne Pollard, Tanner Wray, Nancy Fried Foster, Cynthia Pfanstiehl.  New Approaches to Designing Student-Centered Spaces with Participatory Assessment.  Forum session at Annual Convention of American Association of Community Colleges, San Antonio, TX, April 19, 2015. pdf file.
    http://www.aacc.nche.edu/newsevents/Events/convention2/Pages/default.aspx
     
  • Tanner Wray, Sarah Fisher, Beth Thoms.  Inspired Spaces, or Home away from Home?  Academic Affordances of Peace Quiet, Comfort and Technology in the Library.  Joint conference of Maryland Library Association and Delaware Library Association, Ocean City, MD, May 7, 2015. pdf file. http://www.mdlib.org/files/docs/conference/MLAProgram.pdf
     
  • Tanner Wray, Nancy Fried Foster, Cynthia Pfansthiel. Collaborative Libraries Assessment Across a Multi-Campus College. Library Assessment Conference: Building Effective, Sustainable, Practical Assessment, Arlington, VA, October 31, 2016. pdf file.  Conference Proceeding Paper, pgs 259-264. pdf file
    http://libraryassessment.org/bm~doc/program-at-a-glance.pdf

  • Tanner Wray and Nancy Fried Foster, Making the Library Work for Community College Commuters: The Case of Montgomery College, in Academic Libraries for Commuter Students: Research-Based Strategies, Mariana Regalado and Maura A. Smale (eds.), American Library Association, Chicago, 2018. pdf file