Inside Higher Ed reports on a two-year anthropological study of student research habits which shows that students are in dire need of help from librarians, but are loath to ask for it:
But shouldn’t student know how to do research already? From the study:
Today’s college students might have grown up with the language of the information age, but they do not necessarily know the grammar.
“I think it really exploded this myth of the ‘digital native,’ ” Asher said. “Just because you’ve grown up searching things in Google doesn’t mean you know how to use Google as a good research tool.”
Even when students turned to more scholarly resources, that did not necessarily solve the problem. Many seemed confused about where in the constellation of library databases they should turn to locate sources for their particular research topic: Half wound up using databases a librarian “would most likely never recommend for their topic.”
What can colleges do about this lack of information literacy among students? From the study:
Librarians are more relevant than they have ever been, since students need guides to shepherd them through the wilderness of the Web. Indeed, students who had attended library orientations or tutorials showed more proficiency than those who had not.
SAC Library faculty share your concern about the information literacy skills of our students. We teach your students how to find and evaluate the best sources for your research assignments. It’s so easy to request a session and we’re always taking requests for Library Instruction!
For more info on the Library Instruction program and the online Request Form, go to: