Sigh. The Student’s View of Librarians

Some interesting (and occasionally depressing) findings from the ERIAL (Ethnographic Research in Illinois Academic Libraries) project at Illinois Wesleyan, DePaul University, and Northeastern Illinois University, and the University of Illinois’s Chicago and Springfield campuses. An overview piece, “What Students Don’t Know“, is on Inside Higher Ed.

This comment from a student captured one of the key issues the research uncovered:

“I don’t think I would see them [librarians] and say, ‘Well, this is my research, how can I do this and that?’ ” one senior psychology major told the researchers. “I don’t see them that way. I see them more like, ‘Where’s the bathroom?’

Ouch. Isn’t this 2011? WTF. Sadly the same perspective emerged from a student panel at the recent Future of the Academic Library Symposium. We’ve got some work to do.

ALA is publishing the complete findings in the monograph College Libraries and Student Culture later this fall.


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1 Response to Sigh. The Student’s View of Librarians

  1. Elizabeth Yates says:

    I was also struck by how the study findings affirmed the content of presentations at the AL Symposium, as well as some readings I’ve done recently on faculty-librarian collaboration.
    The lack of communication between three vital parties in higher education — faculty, students and librarians — is disheartening.
    But the ERIAL study does highlight just how much we are needed as “guides to shepherd (students) through the wilderness of the Web.”
    Time for strengthening our partnerships with faculty and students — and for promoting the heck out of the library!

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