Issue 17 / February 2022

Changes of academic libraries in Israel, due to Covid 19 pandemic
A case study of Haifa university library

Riki Greenberg (PhD)

This study examined the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the services of academic libraries across Israel, while using the University of Haifa Library as a case study. The study was conducted using qualitative research methods and integrated quantitative data from information systems and the library website. The study includes heads of the library departments’ interviews at two time points: June 2020 and December 2021. The results indicate that the library was able to provide the majority of its services remotely. No considerable changes were implemented between the two examined time points and the implemented changes in the midst of the pandemic were significant and sufficient for the library to cope with the new reality. Covid-19 and the transition to providing remote services to users reinforced the need to complete the transition from a hybrid library to an electronic one. It is also evident from the study’s findings that national collaboration led to important and significant joint projects for the entire professional community of academic libraries in Israel.

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Issue 16 / June 2021

Why Do Pension Savers Avoid Information?

Maor Perlov and  Prof. Ofer Bergman

Information avoidance is an information behavior defined as any behavior designed to prevent or delay the acquisition of available but potentially unwanted information. Because it is a hidden phenomenon (not behavior, but lack of it) it was rarely studied in several disciplines including information science.  The goal of the current study was to measure the extent of pension information avoidance among our participants, their pension information literacy and to develop a model to predict pension information avoidance based on pension literacy and other factors. The study is based on a questionnaire given to 104 employees over 25 years old. Results indicate that the respondents exhibited avoidance behavior, manifested by accepting the pension plan offered by their employer, dedicating little time to searching for information regarding their pension plan and its alternatives, and preferring easily accessible information from unofficial sources over more reliable ones (e.g., preferring to consult with friends over qualified professionals and relying on random websites rather than official ones). A regression model indicated information avoidance was predicted by: concern regarding the ability to understand the information, preferring to avoid the hassle involved, and low pension literacy. Even though information is accessible on qualified and professional sources, participants were concerned that they will not understand it. Moreover, searching for information triggers a feeling that they can no longer delay seriously thinking about their pensions, and therefore they avoided it.

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Issue 16 / December 2020

“Did it Take You Three Years to Learn How to Return a Book to the Shelf?”: School, Public, and Academic Librarians’ Perceptions of Professional Self-Image in Relation to the Social Status of Librarianship and Information Science

Prof. Noa Aharoni and Ayelet Ayalon

This study seeks to understand librarians' perceptions of their professional self-image. Further, it investigates how librarians perceive their professional image in each of the following groups: school, public, and academic libraries. The research was conducted according to the qualitative paradigm, using a semi-structured depth questionnaire, with questions adjusted to each type of library. Twenty-seven librarians, nine from each type of library, participated in the study. The most important finding focuses on librarians’ use of the rating paradigm that helped them form their professional self-image. This paradigm included the following categories: librarians’ use of information technology, their affiliation with each type of library, and their general perception of the librarianship field. Findings indicate that, in order to promote professionalization processes and professional mobility, different conditions must be developed that would enable librarians’ professional development in all three groups. The study also highlights the need for a strong professional association of Israeli librarians that will be an advocate for their interests.

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Issue 15 / May 2020

Teachers’ and Teenagers' in Israel Attitudes toward Information Security – a  Quantitative Study

Noa Aharoni, Dan Bouhnik and Nurit Reich

The goal of this research study is to examine teenagers' and educational staff's attitudes toward the issue of information security. The study focuses on teenagers between the ages of 15 and 18 and on educational staff from schools throughout Israel from varied socio-economic groups. A quantitative research method was chosen. The quantitative data was collected via focus groups. Focus groups were chosen because, in the open and safe atmosphere created, ideas, opinions, feelings, behaviors and thoughts arise, from which practices and motivations may be reconstructed. Furthermore, as the goal of this study is to eventually instigate a cultural change in the area of information security, it is important to understand the motivations behind the end user's actions. The research findings indicate a clear connection between students' and teachers' evaluation of their information sources and the how threatened they feel by information risks. This, in turn affects their willingness to apply information security measures. In addition, the necessity of integration of information security into the educational curriculum emerged, as it constitutes an indispensable skill in the 21st century.

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Issue 15 / April 2020

The Library's role in Research Data Management: The Case of the University of Edinburgh

Dr. Tamar Israeli

Research Data Management (RDM) is a term that describes the organization, storage, and sharing of data collected during the lifetime of a research project as well as the practices that support long-term preservation, access, and use after the project has been completed. Today, an increasing number of funding agencies, journals, and other stakeholders are requiring data producers to share, archive, and plan for the management of their data. Both research funders and publishers increasingly expect that data resulting from research projects will be made available for scrutiny and re-use, whenever legal and ethical requirements allow it. Higher education institutions are required to support their academic staff in meeting these strict requirements but sometimes lack the expertise and knowledge as to how to provide suitable assistance for data storage and curation/preservation. Academic libraries are trying to fill these gaps by expanding the skills librarians in managing and organizing information and taking the role of supporting research data management. One of the most active libraries in RDM support services is the University of Edinburgh Library with its team of skilled librarians. This article reviews the activities I was exposed to and findings from a research project on researchers' data and documents sharing practices.

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Issue 15 / March 2020

Learning Information Literacy from Elementary School senior students' perspective - A Case Study

Dr. Sigal Ben-amram, Prof. Noa Aharony and Prof. Judit Bar-Ilan

In 2010, the Israeli Ministry of Education initiated an ICT educational program. Schools were required to develop a curriculum which provides students with computer and information skills. The data for this study were collected from November 2014 to January 2015 from two schools with the same socio-economic status and similar technological infrastructure. One school participated in the ICT Program and the other school did not join this program at that time. A total of 263 students, aged 11-12, from both schools, answered questionnaires and performed an online assignment. We sought to find differences between students' perceptions in the context of the framework in which computer and information skills were learned; the scope of learning those skills at school; assessing participants' control of computer and information skills, and their actual mastery of information literacy skills. The last question was measured using an Information Literacy online task that examined students' actual mastery of 'define information needs', 'information search' and 'information evaluation'. Observing the recording of computer screens enabled to analyze participants' information behavior. Findings revealed that in both institutions most students see the school's contribution to developing their information skills as extremely low. However, they see themselves as information literacy experts, a misconception that was found, after examining their capabilities in the information literacy task. These findings suggest that it is advisable to teach information skills in schools instead of assuming that students have natural knowledge in this area. Attention should be paid to the information behavior of students, to diagnose it, to find out their weaknesses and strengthen this area and assess the development of their abilities before, during and after learning.

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Issue 14 / June 2019

IFLA's "Library Map of the World (LMW)" Project and Israel

Dr. Lynne Porat

This article presents IFLA's "Library Map of the World (LMW)" project and its application in Israel. It aims to review the data, highlight the problematic areas, and recommend corrective actions. The article describes how data on Israeli libraries and librarianship were collected in 2018, and presents the findings as they appear on the LMW website as follows: Overview of Israeli libraries and selected achievements, Metrics, Professional and support organisations, Policy and legislation, and Education and events.

Full text in Herbew

Issue 12 / November 2015

Librarians' and Information Professionals' Perspectives towards Discovery Tools in Israel

Gila Prebor and Noa Aharony

Discovery tools are Google-style search tools which provide one-box searching of all library content (materials that the library owns, subscribes to, and Web-based resources) with a centralized consolidated index. In addition, discovery tools contain advanced features, such as relevance ranking, spell checking, tagging, enhanced content search facets, etc. Discovery tools are becoming more popular all over the world. In Israel, librarians and information professionals began to use them in 2010.

This study seeks to explore how librarians and information professionals have accepted the change after four years of use, how it was implemented, how has it affected the search patterns of librarians and information professionals and what is their level of satisfaction with the new systems.

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Issue 11 / September 2015

Libraries of Security Prisoners in Israel

Naama May

This paper reports on a project that examined Israel's security prisons libraries. The study was carried out between September 2012 and July 2013 and it covered eight prison libraries run by the Fatah and Hamas organizations. Prison librarians were interviewed to understand the place and the role that the library plays in the prisoners' lives. In addition, the librarians' described the functioning of the prison library, its collection, book circulation patterns, the role of the librarian and the reading habits of the prisoners as well as the contribution of the library to prisoners' education. Finally, the differences deriving from the organizational context of the prisoners were also examined. The study shows that the security prisons library constitute a spiritual, religious, cultural, and educational center for the security prisoners.

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An Analysis of the Chat Reference Service at the Younes & Soraya Nazarian Library

Iris Bitan Toledano

The rapid technological changes that had taken place in the last four decades have influenced academic libraries, and their shift from a physical space to a virtual one. In order to meet students' needs and retain the status and place of the library in academia, librarians were encouraged to offer innovative services and develop virtual reference platforms as an alternative to the traditional face-to-face library reference encounters.  The Synchronous Chat Reference Service implemented at Haifa University library in 2005 is one of these innovative platforms, that complements the existing reference services by phone and by e-mail.

The current article is an examination this service through the analysis of users' needs and types of questions being received during chat reference service, as part of a wider discussion about the virtual reference service policy of the library, and provide optimal support to its users.

The article presents an analysis of 1,096 reference questions received by chat service, from October 2012 to September 2013. It integrates qualitative and quantitative research methods. Its findings suggest the following recommendations: highlight links to library services and contact details on the library homepage; estimate the compliance of operation hours to  customers' needs; refine  guidelines for service providers and sharpen them, in order to increase answer uniformity and compliance with these guidelines; increase cooperation with the university computing and information system division, and consider the implementation of a subject-search option.

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Job Seeking as Consumption of Occupational Information – Recruitment Webpages of Government vs. Private Sectors

Shlomit Fuchs and Ofer Bergman

Using the internet to recruit employees has become a common practice.  Recruitment webpages supply the potential employees with information both directly by describing the work conditions terms and indirectly judging from their usability level and the use of advanced technology. The study stems from the assumption that employers should treat jobseekers as consumers of occupational information. Publishing high quality information can attract better candidates and reduce the amount of resources needed for the selection process. This study compares recruitment webpages of private organizations to government organizations in Israel. The study uses global criteria that were adapted to the Israeli labor market. The research found that private sector recruitment webpages were significantly more efficient than the governmental ones, both in terms of content and usability level. Government sector webpages lack information that can help the job seeker get aquatinted with the organization and the specification of the job opening. The information published was laconic and no effort was made to market the jobs in an attractive and competitive manner (e.g. using employee testimonials). Government sector H.R. managers were interviewed in order to better understand the reasons for the differences between the two sectors. Some of the reasons they suggested were poor professional qualifications of government sector recruiting personnel, organizational culture and a lack of awareness to e-recruitment advantages. We believe that raising the awareness of the governmental sector to the benefits of e-recruitment and treating jobseekers as consumers of occupational information can improve its ability to compete for high-level employees.

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Characteristics of the reference work and the position of librarians in the research process of students in school libraries in Israel

Ruth Ash-Arguil and Snunit Shoham

The purpose of the current study is to examine the degree to which school librarians are involved in the research processes of students and in providing reference work services, and the relationship between the degree of involvement and the characteristics of the librarians’ work, with respect to librarian's education level and type of school level they work in (elementary, secondary, or high school). Data were collected through online questionnaires distributed to librarians in Israeli schools of different education level. Altogether, 71 questionnaires were analyzed. The findings indicate involvement mainly in providing basic reference work services. The involvement in research processes was examined according to the six stages of the Big6 model, and the findings indicate that librarians are involved mainly in the stages of information searching and evaluation, whereas minimal involvement is evident in the other stages. Librarians working in a team are significantly more involved in providing various reference work services and in some stages of the research process. In addition, a greater involvement is observed in high-school level librarians than in elementary school level librarians.

Full text in Hebrew

Issue 10 / March 2015

Dewey in the Twenty-First Century

Gila Prebor

The Dewey Decimal Classification System is used to classify knowledge and has been in use for over a century. In the 139 years since its development by Melville Dewey, this system has become the most widely used classification system throughout the world and its popularity is growing steadily. In addition to its traditional use in the physical organization of information and as a means of retrieving information, Dewey's system is developing in the digital age in new and challenging directions. In May 2011 the new edition of the Dewey Decimal Classification System, the 23rd edition, was published. This paper deals with the system's development, changes and updates in the new edition, current and potential uses of the system.

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Content Analysis of Talkbacks in Articles Dealing with elderly's Abuse, Violence and Neglect

Noa Aharony and Tzipi Kuper

The talkback is a Web 2.0 based tool which allows Internet users to post a response for journalist reports or other publications. It is constantly on the agenda and serves as a topic for discussion among journalists and newspaper editorial boards, politicians, lawyers, academy members, artists and others. The purpose of the study was to discover the characteristics of talkbacks dealing with abuse, violence and negligence of the elderly. We found 50 appropriate reports that included a total of 3,463 talkbacks. Researchers conducted a descriptive quantitative content analysis as well as a qualitative content analysis.  Findings reveal that most of the talkbacks referred to the issue of elderly. Furthermore, the most popular discourse was that of opposite conflict, and most of talkbacks were written in intellectual and emotional styles. Regarding the quality of the message, it was found that although most of the talkbacks arouse interest, their quality was low. The main issues that emerged from the content analysis were: elderly's lack of personal security, and their economic situation. Findings indicate that talkbacks are part of the public sphare enabling public discourse among individuals and groups.

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Examining the Activities of Facebook Groups in the 2011 Egyptian Revolution

Shirly Shpiner and Jenny Bronstein

This  study originates in the labels “Facebook revolution” and “Twitter revolution” that were given to the 2011 Egyptian uprisings the led to the overthrowing of Mubarak from  power. The purpose of this study was to understand the ways  in which social networks contribute and facilitate political-social protest by examining the roles that social network groups played in these movements. The present study examined the contribution made by the Facebook group "We are all Khaled Said" to the progression and expansion of the social protest during the 2011 revolution in Egypt. A qualitative methodology was adopted that allow the researchers to give their own interpretation to the content generated in the Facebook group examined. Findings show that the group's main roles were to provide an organizing framework for the offline demonstrations, an online platform for civilian journalism that reported the main events of the movement to the world and a fast and secure venue to create and develop international awareness about the uprising. The content analysis of the group show the significant role that social networks can play in the formation and development of social movements.

FullText Hebrew version

Personal Information Management: A New Information Science Discipline

Ofer Bergman

This literature review presents a relatively new information science discipline called Personal Information Management (PIM). PIM is a basic human-computer behavior in which the user stores his/her information items (e.g. files, email, and Web favorites) in order to retrieve them later. Despite the fact that millions of computer users manage their personal information several times a day, research on the subject accelerated only in the last decade. The review starts with early research in the field, presents PIM problems and refers to different directions for addressing them. It focuses on the evaluation of three such directions: using search engines to eliminate folders, multiple classification (tags) and the user-subjective approach to PIM design. The review concludes with a prospective look at future research in the field.

Fulltext Hebrew version

The Speakers at the Israeli Knesset as Information Users

Rivka Markus

The major objective of this research was to investigate how the Members of the Knesset from 1949 till 2007 used information. The author analyzed a sampling of quotations of Members of Parliament ("participants") who participated in the debates that took place in the Plenum during a typical week of the second session in seven Knessets. In examining these topics we postulated three groups of variables: Period: the chronological development of informational resources and their uses; Type of activities: the relationship between, the framework of the activities and type of activities, and how the Members of the Knesset relate to the different sources of information; Personal Background: the relationship between the personal background characteristics of the Members of the Knesset and how they relate to the various sources that were examined.

The most significant finding regarding the sources used in the work of the Plenum regards the seniority of the participants in the debate in the Plenum. The more senior the "participant" in the debate, the more inclined he is to use internal sources. A lower ranking participant is more likely to use external sources. The most significant finding regarding the sources used in the work of the Plenum regards the seniority (standing of the Member of the Knesset in his party) of the participants in the debate ("participant") in the Plenum. The more senior the "participant" in the debate, the more inclined he is to use internal sources. A lower ranking participant is more likely to use external sources.

Fulltext Hebrew version


תאריך עדכון אחרון : 23/02/2022