Vignettes: Implications for LIS Research

Allison Benedetti, John Jackson, Lili Luo

Abstract

Vignettes, brief descriptions of fictional characters and situations, serve as a tool to study people’s lives, perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes about specific situations. Although not widely used in library and information science (LIS) research, vignettes can depersonalize responses to controversial situations or behavioral responses related to abstract concepts when employed in focus groups, in-depth interviews, or surveys. We use two research projects, one focused on the Association of College and Research Libraries’ Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education and one on the vocabulary used to describe library services, to discuss the strengths of vignettes and implications for LIS research.

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