Morville’s suggested ways of acquiring information from users about labeling systems will certainly be useful if and when I become a librarian who helps design online library resources. Indeed, it likely would help even for instruction sessions, as knowing the “native” language that students use to discuss websites, searching, search engines, and other aspects of information literacy or information resources will lower the barriers to their engagement with what I’ve designed.
The methods I imagine will be most fruitful as a time-deprived librarian will be the card sorting and free-listing exercise. These can be done with just a few students. Moreover, although I haven’t encountered any accounts of this, I imagine that I could incorporate these into actual information literacy instruction sessions.
Information literacy instruction sessions often incorporate, among other things, (a) an attempt to start with where the learners are, (b) an attempt to perform assessment of what the students have learned, and (c) an attempt to use active learning activities. Card sorting and free-listing exercises would be able to address all three of these parts of instruction, while simultaneously allowing me to learn about the students’ initial vocabulary for the concepts and technologies we discuss.