Document Type

Conference Proceeding


The session reports on two institutional initiatives for connecting first-year students with the library. The first project, situated in a research university environment, Wayne State University, utilized technology to create a first-year webpage ( that brought together library information and resources with relevant university-wide services. The presenters begin with a demonstration of the webpage, discussing the impetus for the project, the literature review and other research that went into the design and development. They report on the findings of the usability studies conducted with the webpage. Using a think-aloud protocol reviewed by the university’s institutional review board, students completed a series of tasks that were screen captured for later analysis. As they verbalized their mental processes they were recorded and investigators took notes on their actions and comments. The assessment revealed the success of the page in comparison to the existing homepage in simplifying students’ information seeking. Also highlighted are findings related to students’ technological skills and abilities to apply the information-seeking process. The session concludes with a look towards future plans for the page.

This presentation was given at the 29th annual First-Year Experience Conference in Denver, CO on Feb 12-14, 2010.


Library and Information Science