Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Information literacy and college students in a digital age

Project Information Literacy has put out a progress report "How College Students Seek Information in the Digital Age." (December 1, 2009). The report is based on a sample of over two thousand responses from a number of universities. Some of the findings: Students turn to course readings first for assignments. They use Google and Wikipedia for everyday information. They value online scholarly research materials available via their libraries. Students consult their instructors first when they need information on how to proceed with a research project. Few students rely on librarians though librarians seem to be more important early in a student's academic career. On interesting statement on page 20: "All in all, the librarian approach is one based by thoroughness, while the student approach is based on efficiency. To that end, librarians suggest using scholarly resources, while many students in our study used a wide range of resources that deliver an abundance of results early on, whether they are scholarly, or not." What does this mean for librarians? Along with other findings on the ways that students conduct their research, the authors make some recommendations for faculty, administrators, and librarians. Among the recommendations: "Librarians should systematically (not just anecdotally) examine the services they provide... Questions should be addressed about how and why services and resources are used - not only how often... (p. 36).

No comments: