Wednesday, October 26, 2011

College Libraries and Student Culture: What We Now Know

Duke, Lynda M. and Andrew D. Asher, eds. College Libraries and Student Culture: What We Now Know. Chicago: ALA, 2012. 027.7 Colleg ISBN 978-0-8389-1116-7

How do college students really conduct research for classroom assignments? In 2008, five large Illinois universities were awarded a Library Services and Technology Act Grant to try to answer that question. The resulting ongoing study has already yielded some eye-opening results. The findings suggest changes ranging from simple adjustments in service and resources to modifying the physical layout of the library. In this book Duke and Asher, two anthropological researchers involved with the project since the beginning,

· Summarize the study s history, including its goals, parameters, and methodology

· Offer a comprehensive discussion of the research findings, touching on issues such as website design, library instruction for faculty, and meeting the needs of commuter and minority students

· Detail a number of service reforms which have already been implemented at the participating institutions

This important book deepens our understanding of how academic libraries can better serve students needs, and also serves as a model for other researchers interested in a user-centered approach to evaluating library services.