The always brilliant Char Booth has just published "Informing Innovation: Tracking Student Interest in Emerging Library Technologies at Ohio University" through ACRL's Digital Publications wing. It's an interesting study in practical technology applications with a user focus. And guess what? It's based on hard data! Can you believe it? Librarians using hard data? You can download the PDF of the study results, the study instrument itself, as well as a webcast by Char.
From the abstract of this 130+ page book:
This book by Char Booth examines one institution’s efforts to move away from technolust and towards a “culture of assessment." It presents findings from an environmental scan conducted at Ohio University, which investigated the convergence of students, libraries, and emerging information, communication, and academic tools. Survey data is used to test generational and demographic assumptions that often guide technology development in academic libraries. The identification of student behaviors related to emerging and social technologies and the implications indicated by those behaviors are central to this study. The need for local user assessment is a fundamental message in this volume, which shares practical research strategies and methods with the reader. University and college libraries can use this case study and its appended survey instrument template to conduct similar investigations on their campuses.