By Erin Gallagher
If you work at an academic library, you may be experiencing what I call Associative Spring Fever, in which the students’ desire to get the heck out of Dodge transfers to you. Fortunately, there are plenty of hot topics to keep us occupied as the summer approaches.
Speaking of college students, I recently became acquainted with Project Information Literacy, a nonprofit organization in partnership with the University of Washington’s iSchool concerned with conducting ongoing research into the research behaviors of young adults entering higher education. Librarians at colleges and universities often struggle to develop instruction methods that support larger efforts for lifelong learning and global citizenship. Project InfoLit provides and aggregates a wealth of resources from the academic library community, such as videos, smart talks, and practical examples of how libraries are teaching information literacy well. Of particular significance is their research report released in December 2013 titled “Learning the Ropes: How Freshmen Conduct Course Research Once They Enter College”. The report is lengthy (48 pages), but worth the read if you are looking to tailor your instruction sessions to meet the changing needs of incoming freshmen.
We are in the midst of evaluating and selecting a new integrated library system (ILS) for our college, as I imagine many others are. Wherever you are in the process, and even if you are not considering a migration at this point, it is worth reading about the disorderly and biased “Google-ization” of academic discovery systems in this piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education.
On a positive note, a study conducted by the United Kingdom’s Department for Culture, Media, and Sport reports that visiting a library creates the same reactions of joy and happiness as receiving a $2,282 raise. This study is also quite long (weekend reading, anyone?), but the full report can be found here. What do others think? Would library use please you in the same way as receiving a raise? I imagine the positive effects of library visits would be cumulative, whereas the excitement of receiving a raise is immediate, but both seem to bolster wellbeing.