PURPOSE – To cope with changes in user information behaviour and needs, libraries and information
services (LIS) must find manageable ways for ongoing research and improvement. The purpose of this
paper is to report on a model for a manageable research cycle which was piloted at the Central Cancer
Library, The Netherlands Cancer Institute (Amsterdam).
DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH – Institute employees (24) (users and non-users of the Central
Cancer Library; mostly clinicians and researchers) were interviewed using an interview schedule
(individually, pairs of two and small groups). Demographic details were collected through a short
questionnaire. It was intended as a small scale project to demonstrate the value of the model.
FINDINGS – Although setup as a pilot study (small scale and a limited time period) and not
representative of the Institute, cancer libraries or other library types, a good idea was gained on LIS
needs. Opportunities for improvement of LIS and further research are noted, as well as the need for LIS
to then consider their internal structure and support systems before making further decisions.
RESEARCH LIMITATIONS/IMPLICATIONS – Findings from small scale projects need to be assessed
against the theory of information behaviour to work towards a theoretical model.
PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS – LIS need to find ways for manageable, ongoing research, e.g. according to
a manageable research life cycle model.
ORIGINALITY/VALUE – Research on cancer library services is limited; the originality of the paper,
however, is in showing how small scale and manageable research can add value in practice.