Eisenberg-Jan 2011

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!

– Patricia

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.

– Carolyn

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