Saturday, May 07, 2005

Quick read: some undergraduate views about libraries

Library HiTech News 22.4 published a short piece by Julia Gelfand entitled "Library as a Changing Place: Viewpoints from Univesity Undergraduate Students." It is only a couple of pages, but it summarizes nicely what undergraduates students see as the role of academic libraries these days. The author was invited to speak to an undergraduate writing class about the role of libraries, and this provides the frame for some of the student comments found in the essay. Overall, the concept of space seems to be the main issue, the desire to have a place that is quiet, free of distractions, and with the resources at hand. While checking out books was not as crucial, providing good spaces to study and get work done as well as access to technology were important. Not just providing computer terminals, but also ways for students to be able to bring their laptops in whether ports or through wireless. They also did mention the need for quiet reading only areas. The article makes for a quick way to get some insights on what students like and dislike. Overall, they do value libraries for providing safe, quiet places with access to information.

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