Making sense of things
Since the last post was in December before breaking for Christmas I will try to briefly summarise what happened since I conducted the hangout sessions and the library visits.
I have spent most of the time before the Christmas break on analysing all the data which came in through the interviews, diaries, the focus focus group and the hangouts. This was no easy task, since I have a lot of data. I listened to all of the interviews again, and made notes off all what the students said, following my usual “Life”, “Actions”, “Discovery”, “Organisation”, “Social” and “Technology” themes and sorting all the information according to these. Then I looked at all of the diaries, and created a cleaner digital version of each, visually drawing out all of the reading activities, categorising them and counting all of the durations. This also enabled me to create easy to read accounts of reading activities for each diary, with some basic quantifiable data. Since I did 4 hangout sessions, 8 interviews, numerous library visits, and armed with all what I experienced working at a library, I already understood quite a lot about reader behaviour and motivations, but the diary study data addd some depth and quantifiable validation to those assumptions. As a final validation step I organised an online survey which actually just started a couple of days ago, with the view to validate my overall assumptions and reach a wider audience with my questions. Thanks to Google Forms, the data from this can be easily disseminated and I am receiving a good number of free text inputs, describing real life problems and experiences around reading. By the time I went away for Christmas, my head was already full of experiences and understanding and a warm fuzzy feeling of assurance, since I knew all this stuff comes from actual people doing things in real life.