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regarding “library impact on student learning”

June 1, 2012

As seen here.

This assessment of university libraries is interesting to me as a student and as a prospective librarian; I spoke to another librarian today, this one a university librarian, and asked her a question that was akin to this one.  She said that she thought that no matter how information itself is presented, there will always need to be libraries to help people to find whatever this information is.

The article discusses information literacy and learning outcomes as pertaining to the library; they say that these protocols “further focuses the library assessment lens on capstone projects in which undergraduates are expected to demonstrate these abilities,” which proves that the library has uses in universities and in communities at large.

This article focuses on the findings that pertain to “upper-level and capstone courses in History” and details how “librarians and faculty helped refine the instrument to meet local needs and add local questions” to the students’ efforts.  Apparently, over 1800 resources and services of the library were used during these projects; most important were, in order, the library catalog, books, indexes and databases, electronic journals, and internet search engines.

The reports found that “a full 77% of respondents said that books from the library were their most important traditional resource for the project,” which again goes to prove the library’s usefulness; most interestingly, “espondents used internet search engines, but most students claimed the library catalog (27.6%), library databases (21.3%), e-primary sources (19.7%), and e-journals (13.4%) were their ‘most important’ e-resources.”  Actual face-to-face librarian interaction was also ranked as important in these examples.

The author discusses the relative importance of the library in more serious research as compared to less serious research, but no conclusion can be definitively met; however, the students involved seemed to be positively affected by library resources.  Because of this, the author suggests that libraries “be proactive by examining library impact and sharing their findings.”

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