Research methods in human goegraphy-ethnography/observation
COMPARISON AND CONTRAST BETWEEN THE HAMILTON PUBLIC LIBRARY AND THE MCMASTER UNIVERSITY LIBRARY.
The Method that was designed to collect the data during the field study is the observation method.
To find out the nature of the built environments in each places.
To determine how useful the place is to people. Is it heavily used? Why or why not?
To find out the demographic characteristics of the user population (Gender, age, race/ ethnicity, income etc.) at each sites.
To determine what activities that dominates on the two sides. How people interact with one another and what are any other important aspects of human behaviors in the two environments, to find out whether there is dominant flows or movement through the environments. To determine whether the activities vary by the demographic group. To determine the pattern of how different groups use the environment.
To speculate on how the use and characteristics of the site might vary at different times of the day during the week.
To determine the ‘sense of place’ arising from the setting in terms of felling its engenders.
To find out what messages that the environments communicate about the appropriateness and inappropriateness of behaviors.
To look out for any evidences of competition over the parts of the environment (E.g. Conflicting of traffics, competition for seating and how are the competitions resolved/ won.)
To determine the comfort ability of the two libraries and on what extent does the social identity/ social status influences the comfort level.
The Actual field Study
It was observed that in the Hamilton Public Library being (located in the civic square in the main street of West) as its motto of the mission statement that reads: “Having freedom to Discover” it is real located on an conducive quiet, calm and aesthetic environment which is the must of excellence as compared to the McMaster University is located in within the University compound.
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The Hamilton Public University serves the city of Hamilton; it is useful since it offers the electronic sources and access of in formations, it is the research zone for many people, provides the information and services about the business, lifelong learners, provision of arts, sports and recreation to people, promotes the business and industry, enlightens the communities and the organization by the discovery of the power in the books, endorsement of education and careers, provision of meeting rooms, generates income to the government through being a tourist attraction center, provision of loans and the jobs provision through the employment opportunities and develops the entrepreneurships to people thus has got a direct and indirect influence on the gross domestic product in extension of its contribution on the growth of the economy. Though it is not heavily utilized as compared to the McMaster University library, which has got the equal importance / usefulness to the people. It is heavily or fully utilized because of the high number of the McMaster University students, despite of some activities not taking place there such as the provision of the meeting rooms, and tourism.
The demographic characteristics of Hamilton Public Library was composed of the kids/children, the teen, the adults and the disabled people and in the ratio of male to female being 1:2 and the book references and reading dominating as compared to the McMaster University Library which is mostly composed of the teen/ students/ the youth with the ratio of male to female of 2:1 and the internet surfing, research/ discoveries dominating in the McMaster University.
The activities that dominate in the Hamilton Library is of the discovery, reverencing on books, arts, sports and recreations, reading, business and tourism. People though interact they have rare similarity between each other since it indiscriminately accommodates children up to adults having the different social levels and has no mass flow or movements in within as compared to the McMaster library where Internet surfing and researches dominates. People interact extremely well because they have the binding factor of a number of them being students. It was also observed that there was existence of discussion groups of those individuals taking common courses, which was an aspect of sharing amongst the people who visited the library. It also experiences the mass flow or movements within the library.
It was observed that the Hamilton public library has got a continuous flow throughout the day but not throughout the week as compared to the McMaster University library with mass flow of people in and out of the library and the reason was a number was students who might be attending for lecturers before coming to the library for further studies.
It was observed that the ‘sense of place’ of location of the Hamilton Library gives a strategic position on access by the public as compared to the McMaster library located in the University of McMaster being mostly utilized by the university students.
It was observed that both sites have designed places of long comfortable seating both inside the library buildings and the outside arena. It was also noticed of the polite notices on Hamilton library such as ‘Mind the step’ on the door step, Risk/ Danger on the electric places, directions marks, the ‘Silence Please’ notices and maintain the environment clean notices along side the provision of west bins located on certain positions due to inappropriate behaviors that might result from the presence of a number of kids/children as compared with the only provision of the west bins and environmental awareness in the Library of McMaster University.
It was evidenced that the Hamilton has got enough seating places due to a large number of un occupied seats outside and inside the library as compared to McMaster Library where the seating was scarce at the peak periods and the problem was solved by others carrying light seats with them when coming to the library and other managing to sit on the beautiful grass around the library compound.
It was determined that the comfort ability of the two libraries varies. Hamilton Public Library is comfortable for the public use the large number of events taking place such as the arts, sports and recreation, Discoveries, holding meetings, tourism, reverencing, researches, and business/economic activities and entertainment while the McMaster University Library was determined comfortable for the institutional learning, more practical than theoretical, researches, discoveries, internet surfing, Intensive studies, new inventions and innovations and discussions.
1. Learning From the Field By Whyte (1960) (Chapter 5 Observation Method).