This year’s myMETRO Researchers project is nearing its end, with just a couple of presentations remaining. For their final Tumblr dispatch, we asked each group about the applications they used to facilitate their research, the challenges they met vis-à-vis their data, and what they learned overall.
Without further ado, here is the response from our Libraries and the Affordable Care Act Team:
We used several tools during our research process. Initially, we used Google Sites to create a web site to manage our resources. As we gathered more information we found we needed a better utility to organize it. We decided to switch to a LibGuide, which was made available to us through METRO. To collaborate on our report, we used Google Drive which allowed us to share edits and comments. We used Skype 3-way calling for regular check-in meetings on our progress. Using the two together enabled us to discuss and write simultaneously.
Google Forms is a free and easy-to-use survey tool that offers a simple interface. The Google Spreadsheet provided a textual summary of responses and the Forms provided a visualization summary of the data, both of which were key to interpreting the results. We experienced some difficulty with reading the spreadsheet, which was unwieldy both on the computer screen and in print.
The survey results were integral to the direction we chose for our research. Direct responses to the survey that drove us concerned the types of questions librarians had anticipated receiving from their patrons. Our initial thought was that the bulk of the questions would have been on consumer information, but instead, most respondents were addressing questions pertaining to policy and legislation.
Working together was fun and very motivating. At best, collaboration can enrich a project as each team member brings different skills, knowledge and perspective. We worked well together developing and executing the research project, especially because we were excited about helping librarians navigate the vast amounts of information about the Affordable Care Act.
We learned a great deal about the push for consumer enrollment from media outlets. From our survey we deduced that librarians must vet information about economic, historical, legislative, and political aspects of the law. There is a massive amount of information about the ACA and people are overwhelmed keeping abreast of all the developments.
In light of the shutdown of the federal government the need to be well-informed is especially apparent. Librarians must be well-equipped to provide access to the necessary resources in a structured, meaningful way.
Team Members: Team Members: Danielle Aloia, Marilyn Kahn, Rajni Misra
Please join us for our myMETRO Research project presentations here at METRO on Monday, October 21 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Register here.