Important Article for LibraryLand

What Today’s Student Says About Conducting Research in the Digital Age by A. Head and M. Eisenberg is an important article for us library folk.

From the abstract:

Qualitative data from discussions with higher education students across the country suggest that conducting research is particularly challenging. Students’ greatest challenges are related to their perceived inability to find desired materials.

On the one hand we’re told that students are techno-gurus who can figure out things (esp things that are online, where most library tools now reside) “without a manual”, without instruction and without help from the old folks.* On the other hand, we’re told to fix our online library tools because students can’t figure them out. Which is the reality? It’s all very confusing for an old fogey librarian like myself!

*For examples, see D. Tapscott, on page 188 of Grown Up Digital: “Many of the Net Geners are using technology to become smarter than their parents ever could be.”  Or see D.  Oblinger, “Is it Age or IT?: First Steps Toward Understanding the ‘Net Generation’ where she states “Having grown up with widespread access to technology, the Net Gen is able to intuitively….navigate the Internet.”


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