2. How do I participate?

Normally, this sorting activity would be carried out, in person, with physical cards. During a pandemic, the safest way to do this is online. You will need a laptop, computer, tablet or mobile phone. Also, you’ll need to allow 30 minutes to complete the activities.

What does this have to do with public libraries?

The 45 statements in this study each represent the full range of services and behaviours that public library services currently offer in England. A public library is a single building; you may have visited one before. A public library service is a statutory service provided by a local authority like West Sussex County Council. It usually includes library buildings, online services, outreach and services for people who can’t get to a library building.

As a participant, you will be asked to sort these statements into ranked piles from most disagree to most agree based on your opinion and in a forced pattern. If you are a library-user, you might note that some of the statements don’t seem relevant to the libraries you use: this is okay. I still want to know your opinion of them.

Imagine the statements complete this sentence: I believe public library services in England should…

The whole process has three steps.

What’s the first step?

You’ll be asked to confirm your consent and pre-sort the statements into three piles.

This will take 4 – 9 minutes. The video below gives a demonstration of this first step.

What’s the second step?

The purpose of this research is to find out how you value all of the services and characteristics currently offered by public library services in England. With the second activity, you’ll sort the statements more precisely. If you were doing this in real life, with physical cards, the final pattern would look like this…

You’re going to do the same thing but online, using a drag and drop function. It can feel pretty ruthless as you’re forced to make judgements. Don’t worry, you can leave a comment or explanation in the final part of the activity.

You can move statements around if you change your mind. You should expect this to take 10 – 15 minutes.

This video provides a demonstration of the second step.

What’s the final step?

Once you’ve submitted your sorted statements, there are two questions to consider. Your most disagree and most agree statements will be visible in case that helps you to answer the questions. With each question, there is a text box provided for you to type your response. This will take 2 – 5 minutes.

Once answered, you’ll see a submit button. Please click this so that your sorted statements and responses are collected by the system.

Any tips?

  • Qsortouch works on any computer, laptop, Mac, tablet or smart phone. It responds best to Google chrome, if you have access.
  • Because the pattern is wide, with columns from -5 to 5, many people find it easier to use Qsortouch on a larger screen, rather than a smartphone. As long as you remember to scroll left and right, you’ll see all the columns.

If you are happy to participate, please go to What should I do now? to continue.

Published by jomckennaaspell

PhD student with the Information School at the University of Sheffield

One thought on “2. How do I participate?

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