Just Browsing: Implications for Catalogs and Library Instruction
MetadataShow full item record
Browsing, in information context, can be defined in many ways including general, general purposive and specific (Apted 1971). It is â an activity which provokes new thought by exposing the user to a wide variety of stimuli, but without being planned to do soâ (Apted 1971). This includes an iterative movement in scanning and examining sources (Twidale et al. 1994) which will generate serendipitous findings and creative ideas. Browsing has been used by scholars in all disciplines including social browsing, database browsing, index browsing, bibliography browsing, table-of-content browsing, catalog browsing, and stack browsing. In library and information science literature, attention has been lacking in research on how to facilitate browsing through the improvement of library catalogs and how to teach browsing as a research and information seeking method through library instruction. Where focus has been placed on keyword searching and truncation, lessons on how to browse various resources and use the catalog to its fullest extent might prove more beneficial. As academic campuses focus more and more on the quality of education, it is important to raise awareness of browsing as a useful research method. Library instruction suggestions and ideas for catalog design and creative usage will be presented.