What Students Don’t Know

Interesting article from Inside Higher Ed. It turns out that “what students don’t know” is what Librarians do, or how to do quality research on the Internet.

If you want to find out what Librarians do, stop by the Reference Desk and ask how a Librarian can help you with your research (even if you don’t currently have a research project).

“…students rarely ask librarians for help, even when they need it. The idea of a librarian as an academic expert who is available to talk about assignments and hold their hands through the research process is, in fact, foreign to most students. Those who even have the word “librarian” in their vocabularies often think library staff are only good for pointing to different sections of the stacks.”


“At Illinois Wesleyan University, “The majority of students — of all levels — exhibited significant difficulties that ranged across nearly every aspect of the search process,” according to researchers there. They tended to overuse Google and misuse scholarly databases. They preferred simple database searches to other methods of discovery, but generally exhibited “a lack of understanding of search logic” that often foiled their attempts to find good sources.

“However, the researchers did not place the onus solely on students. Librarians and professors are also partially to blame for the gulf that has opened between students and the library employees who are supposed to help them….”

Read the rest here.


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