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ANXIETY OVER THE
ACADEMIC LIBRARY:
THE FIRST-YEAR
EXPERIENCE
Casey Moreland Brozovsky
LIS 6120 Access to Information
Decem...
MY OBSERVATION SITE
 Large, industrial, multi-floor academic library.
 Supports undergraduate, graduate and online stude...
THE FIRST-YEAR PROGRAM
 In 2009, the university realized that many new, undergraduate

students struggled with transition...
WHAT ROLE DOES THE LIBRARY AND
REFERENCE SERVICES PLAY IN THE
PROGRAM?
 Throughout the first half of the semester, the li...
WHAT OTHER SERVICES DO THEY
OFFER?
 The library has their own webpage on the university’s website

highlighting services ...
THE LIBRARY’S GOALS AND
OBJECTIVES IN THE PROGRAM
The library not only wants to help students succeed in their courses
by ...
HOW IS THE LIBRARY PROGRAM
ASSESSED?
 Assessments for effectiveness are completed in part by using

student and faculty s...
THOUGHTS FROM THE HEAD
REFERENCE LIBRARIAN
“No such thing as a quiet library here.”
“These information sessions and our in...
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  1. 1. ANXIETY OVER THE ACADEMIC LIBRARY: THE FIRST-YEAR EXPERIENCE Casey Moreland Brozovsky LIS 6120 Access to Information December 2, 2013
  2. 2. MY OBSERVATION SITE  Large, industrial, multi-floor academic library.  Supports undergraduate, graduate and online students and     faculty research and curriculum. There are two reference desks: one on the 2nd (business and humanities) and one on the 4th (science and technology) floors. Most of the patron activity occurs on the 2nd floor (main floor) and that reference desk stays the busiest. There is a head reference librarian, but all of the librarians share reference service responsibilities and each of them work at the main desk at different times throughout the day. Graduate students work at the second desk.
  3. 3. THE FIRST-YEAR PROGRAM  In 2009, the university realized that many new, undergraduate students struggled with transitioning from high school life to college life and the new workload. The first-year program was created to help students with the transition.  Specifically, they noticed very few first-year students were coming to the library to complete papers and research projects, and if they did they would only use Google or Wikipedia or come straight to the reference desk not knowing how to start a research paper or project. Also, many professors noticed that first-year work lacked quality research.  The library partnered with the office of first-year programs and faculty to create library curriculum that would introduce students with the academic library setting, how to use the library’s resources and how to conduct research effectively.
  4. 4. WHAT ROLE DOES THE LIBRARY AND REFERENCE SERVICES PLAY IN THE PROGRAM?  Throughout the first half of the semester, the librarians lead information sessions in the classrooms for hands-on learning of the research cycle, the information timeline, basic Boolean searching of the university’s databases, citation styles, library services and how to thoughtfully evaluate sources.  The library also offers “IPad Tours.” These are tours of the library building and the different floors involving checkpoints using an IPad that all students are required to complete (typically in groups) before the end of the semester.  The library creates a yearly "research guide” that gives an overview of the topics examined during the information sessions and includes the guide in the orientation packet.
  5. 5. WHAT OTHER SERVICES DO THEY OFFER?  The library has their own webpage on the university’s website highlighting services for undergraduates, graduates, faculty members and distance learners. Specifically, there are links for detailed information and additional help on conducting research, using the university’s main database, reading/writing citations, finding books, ebooks and articles, ILL requests and using technology equipment (computers and printers, etc.).  In addition, the library recently purchased a $25,000 Gale Reference package geared for undergraduate research, leases a long list of books (changing every three months) for special displays covering a variety of topics, offers a special collection filled with archival and government documents, heavily promotes the use of ILL requests with several other nearby universities and provides access to the local public library.
  6. 6. THE LIBRARY’S GOALS AND OBJECTIVES IN THE PROGRAM The library not only wants to help students succeed in their courses by helping to improve research skills, but more importantly they want students to become information literate for the real-word. The information sessions are designed to equip students with the basic skills to research information effectively and evaluate sources carefully and thoughtfully whether academic or non-academic in nature.
  7. 7. HOW IS THE LIBRARY PROGRAM ASSESSED?  Assessments for effectiveness are completed in part by using student and faculty surveys. Students are required to complete short surveys at the beginning and end of the information sessions in an effort to gauge what students knew before the session and what they learned from the session. Faculty members are asked to complete a short survey near the end of the academic year to assess whether or not they thought the library’s resources and information sessions improved the quality of research.  In addition, the librarians are required to track and record the types of questions they receive (in person, virtual chat, email and phone) while working at the reference desk using customdesigned software to gauge what areas are improving and which areas need improvement.
  8. 8. THOUGHTS FROM THE HEAD REFERENCE LIBRARIAN “No such thing as a quiet library here.” “These information sessions and our involvement in the first year program have not only improved the quality of research, but resulted in students coming to us for help with more sophisticated searches and topics. Most first-year students have no problem getting started on a project by the end of the semester.” “We not only want our students to succeed while they are here, but in their professional lives as well. What a disservice it would be to the students if we couldn’t prepare them for tomorrow.”
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