For immediate release | April 19, 2011

New from ACRL: Using Qualitative Methods in Action Research: How Librarians Can Get to the Why of Data

CHICAGO The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) announces the publication of “Using Qualitative Methods in Action Research: How Librarians Can Get to the Why of Data,” edited by Douglas Cook and Lesley Farmer. While quantitative research provides librarians with calculations and metrics of effectiveness, qualitative research, in its exploration of assumptions, value and opinion, makes possible a deeper understanding of the subtleties of patron interaction with library services and collections.

Cook and Farmer outline the basic tenets of qualitative research in an easily understandable way and provide examples of research projects that academic librarians can undertake with their communities. The first part of the work provides a theoretical and practical overview of the process of qualitative and action research, while part two includes reports of a number of research projects on common issues and problems found in libraries. The final section of the book includes examples of qualitative research and assessment focused on current topics and trends such as information literacy.

“Using Qualitative Methods in Action Research” is the premier study of current trends in qualitative research in academic librarianship. This work provides an insightful overview of the action research process for academic librarians, academic libraries, schools of information science and librarianship, library educators and researchers.

“Using Qualitative Methods in Action Research: How Librarians Can Get to the Why of Data” is available for purchase through the ALA Online Store and by telephone order at (866) 746-7252 in the U.S. or (770) 442-8633 for international customers.


ACRL is a division of the American Library Association (ALA), representing more than 12,500 academic and research librarians and interested individuals. ACRL is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to meet the unique needs of academic and research librarians. Its initiatives enable the higher education community to understand the role that academic libraries play in the teaching, learning and research environments. ACRL is on the Web at, Facebook at and Twitter at @ala_acrl.