On January 20, 2011, Michael Eisenberg from The Information School at the University of Washington talked about How College Students Seek Information in the Digital Age. Eisenberg was a dynamic speaker. While he presented findings from his research surveying over 8000 students , ehe also provided practical recommendations on how we can best support and engage Langara’s students.
Paper summarizing his findings:
Lessons Learned: How College Students Seek Information in the Digital Age. (With Alison Head). Project Information Literacy Progress Report, Dec 1, 2009.
Your thoughts and take-aways:
- Importance of being front and centre to students. It is okay to make the “Ask Us” opportunities the first thing they see.
- Since libraries do intimidate most people at first, it is vital to make the physical and virtual space as inviting and engaging as possible.
- Make connections and make it personal. Where possible, give a name and face to the student and instructor so they make the personal connection
- Every student should feel like they belong here
- Students have most troubles defining their topics and sorting through irrelevant results. How can we help them?
- Working with faculty is important – be involved, attend at least one class to see what they are up to
- Use terminology students understand — use “credits”
- Encourage citing everything, even the pre-research sources such as Wikipedia
- Don’t add more duties or tasks, ReTHINK, ReASSESS, ReALLOCATE. What is important today and in the future for learner/library success.
- Show decision makers what’s possible if we had more staff or resources – show how this can contribute to student learning.
- If we can envision it, we can do it!
I really liked the idea of a personal librarian for each student at Langara; this is something that’s been in place at Yale since 2008, and has since been copied at a few other universities in the US.
- Check out Yale’s Personal Librarian Program page (each librarian also has a personal page with more information, and little personality)
- Report on the program from a conference attendee
- Some background information
- And finally, a related article from Inside HigherEd of similar programs in the US.