Way Finding Behavior of University Library Users in Mumbai an Explorative Study
Libraries often intimidate new or potential users through their size, complexity as well as unfamiliar tools and technology. Observing library users coping with the environment and perceiving their behavior, assists in planning and designing an ideal guidance system. The present article is based on an observation of university library users in Mumbai. The study provides narratives of variety of tasks completed by participants with average task completion time ATCT) and further explores users’ facial expressions and behavior and conducted cause analysis. Findings revealed that majority of participants in university libraries felt that wayfinding is complex and not self-oriented even after attending library orientation, due to the complexity of library buildings and lack of appropriate signage. The analysis of ATCT highlighted that maximum users of the university libraries in Mumbai require inordinate time to find their way and locate the required information source. Many participants experienced confusion, disorientation, indecisiveness and anxiousness while navigating and searching for information sources in libraries. It further revealed that major reasons behind prolonged time required in task completion were user specific such as user unawareness about library physical settings, classification schemes, floor-wise splits in stacking arrangement, availability of facilities, etc. The observational findings and recommendations lead to serve as a starting point in defining patron orientation needs.
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