My research is focused on the interaction between people, their information or performance needs, and the digital and organizational environments and contexts in which they seek information. The two major, interrelated research strands that represent my research agenda are: 1) systems thinking, technology integration, and organizational management, and 2) information seeking behavior and usability in digital environments. Both research strands are focused on studying the usability of the interaction between a person and a digital or organizational system. I seek to understand the alignment between a person’s needs and how well a system is able to meet these needs. Both areas are grounded in my educational, professional, and intellectual backgrounds in developmental and cognitive psychology, instructional and performance systems, and information science and information technology in private, government, and educational environments.
My most prominent publications to date include:
- My article with my educational psychology professor authored as a doctoral student entitled, College students’ perceived threat and preference for seeking help in traditional, distributed, and distance learning environments (Kitsantas & Chow, 2006), which looks at differences in help seeking behavior in online, distributed, and f2f classrooms. As expected we found statistically significant differences of increased help-seeking behavior in digital environments.
- My second work, which is required reading in at least eight different LIS programs, is entitled Information-Seeking Behavior and Reference Medium Preferences (Chow & Croxton, 2012), which examined the virtual reference medium preferences of faculty, staff, and students and found significant differences in preferences based on type of question, age, and technology.
- My third work is my co-authored book Library Technology & User Services (Chow & Bucknall, 2011) with UNCG academic library’s Dean of Technology, which was written as a way to make basic technology accessible to students and current librarians within the context of planning, organizational management, and assessment.
- My fourth work, The website design and usability of US academic and public libraries (Chow, Bridges, & Commander, 2014), and conference presentation, The Usability of School Library websites (Chow, Croxton, & Lam, 2014), reflects nationwide studies using random sampling of websites from all 50 states and my continued interest in matching patron information needs with the design of library websites that seek to serve them. We are also examining differences between academic and public, rural vs. urban, private vs. public, and school libraries across elementary, middle, and high schools.
- My fifth work, How Usable are School Library Websites? A Random Sample from All 50 States (Chow, Morris, Figley, Regan, Lam, and Sherard, 2016) recently won the 2017 ALA Writing Award for Best Journal Article for the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA).
- One of my most recent works is a big data study of all public library statistics in North Carolina over a 10 year period and comparing how those statistics compared to overall quality of life. For the first time, we have established that public libraries indeed positively impact the quality of life of the communities they serve. Chow, A. & Tien, Q. (2019). Public Libraries Positively Impact Quality of Life: A Big Data Study, Public Library Quarterly.
Chow, A. & Conte, A. (2021). A 360 Degree View: What Library Leaders and Employees Expect from Each Other. Library Leadership & Management, Vol 35, No 2. Listen to Podcast.
Velez, L., Lyons, P., & Chow, A. (2020). It starts by asking the right questions – meeting the needs of the Hispanic community in public libraries. Public Library Quarterly, (20201130): 1-21.
Chow, A., Robinson, J., Paulus, L., Griffin, B., Smith, N., & Watterman, A. (2019). From Me to We: Seeing is Believing. Knowledge Quest, Vol. 48 (2), E2-E7.
Chow, A. & Tien, Q. (2019). Public Libraries Positively Impact Quality of Life: A Big Data Study, Public Library Quarterly, DOI: 10.1080/01616846.2019.1632105
Tien, B. & Chow, A. (2017). Theory Evolution and Practice Research on the Performance Evaluation of American Public Libraries. Tu Shu Yu Qing Bao Journal.
Chow, A. & Croxton, R. (2017). Designing a Responsive e-Learning Infrastructure: Systemic Change in Higher Education. American Journal of Distance Education, Volume 31, 2017 – Issue 1.
Chow, A., Morris, R.., Figley, A., Regan, K., Lam, S., & Sherard, J. (2016). How Usable are School Library Websites? A Random Sample from All 50 States. Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults, volume 7, number 2: June 2016.
Croxton, R. & Chow, A. (2016). Using ADDIE and Systems Thinking as the Framework for Developing a MOOC – A Case Study. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, volume 16, number 4.
Oguz, F., Chu, C., & Chow, A., (2015). Studying Online: Student Motivations and Experiences in ALA-Accredited LIS Programs. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science 56 (3), 213.
Murray, C., Nemati, H., White, J., Chow, A., & Pow, A. (2015). Domestic Violence Service Providers’ Needs and Perceptions of Technology: A Qualitative Study. Journal of Technology in Human Services, 33 (2), 133-155.
Chow, A. & Croxton, R. (2014). A Usability Evaluation of Academic Virtual Reference Services. College & Research Libraries, Vol. 75, no. 3, 309-361.
Chow, A., Bridges, M., Commander, P., & Figley, A. (2014). The Website Design and Usability of US Academic and Public Libraries. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 53:3, Spring 2014.
Murray, C., Chow, A., Marsh, L., Croxton, R., & Poteat, L. (2014). Domestic Violence Service Providers’ Technology Readiness and Information Needs. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma.
Citations and Published Works
Current Research Projects
- Reading Nation Waterfall – Addressing access and barriers to literacy for tribal children and families.
- Advocacy – What it is, how to do it, and how to build advocacy internships into LIS graduate work
- The Ideal Skills of Leaders, Managers, and Employees – A Continued 360 Degree Perspective
- The use of Analytics and Informatics in EDI Research and Implementation (special journal editor for Frontiers in Research Metrics and Analytics