Posts Tagged ‘Academic libraries’

Inside Higher Ed urges readers to celebrate their academic libraries and librarians, and highlights the reasons why they are the heart of what college represents.



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The Internet is a great place to get started researching your topic – but do you continue by using library resources? Here are 10 reasons why you should consider using library resources for academic research.

  1. Find quality information – libraries purchase resources based on reliability, relevance to the curriculum, and value to academic research.
  2. Save time – avoid all the repetitive links retrieved by search engines.
  3. Find the resources your professors want you to use.
  4. Personal assistance – yes, real live people to help you use our library
  5. Lots of expensive stuff – free to you!
  6. Keep your sanity – the Internet is not very organized; information in libraries is organized 
  7. Library resources are available off campus 24/7
  8. The Internet is a mile wide and an inch deep – the results from search engines provide the same stuff over and over, without much beneath the surface of the topic.
  9. Sources on the Internet can be harder to verify. Who can you trust?
  10. You’re already paying for the library – why not get your money’s worth?

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As reported on the ACRL Blog, there is a 2009 report that gives first-hand accounts from students about how they move through the research process. One significant finding is that no matter what resources students have at their disposal or how much time they have…research seems to be more difficult to conduct in the digital age than previously. The study was conducted by Project Information Literacy based in the University of Washington’s Information School.

 Other interesting findings:

  1. The majority of students did not start on an assignment (thinking about it, researching or writing) until 2-3 days before it was due.
  2. The ability to choose a topic can be daunting. Many students said “I just don’t know where to begin.”
  3. Students at smaller, teaching focused institutions see their professors as more helpful with research assignments than at large research universities.
  4. Students are overwhelmed by all the choices and have trouble finding what they are looking for – both online and in the library.
  5. Wikipedia is the source students consult first. It helps them grasp the topic and provides context for their research. Library databases? Too much too soon is the general consensus.

 You can read the 18 page full report online. It is in PDF so you can also choose to save a copy to your computer.

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