Your library pretty much has it all, right? From online databases covering everything there is to know about Shakespeare to top-of-the-line video editing software, you’ve got the needs of students across campus covered. But even though you and your colleagues have dedicated years to ensuring the library has the latest and greatest resources, some students still won’t venture inside.
A student’s aversion to the library doesn’t always stem from their inability to find what they’re looking for within your building. Instead, many of them struggle with understanding how to utilize everything the library has to offer in general. Today, we’re looking at the top struggles students have with libraries and providing you with some ideas to fix them.
Most college libraries are spread out over thousands of square feet and multiple floors — sometimes even across different buildings. With so much space to canvas, students searching for An Introduction To The History of Western Europe might feel a bit overwhelmed trying to navigate the library space. And if they’re on the lookout for an electronic resource, they might have an even more difficult time, especially if they’re unfamiliar with using online journals and databases.
Keep in mind that students aren’t as familiar with the library layout and location of most of the resources as you and your staff are. Students may be hesitant to utilize all your library has to offer because they’ve struggled with locating books, study rooms and other resources in the past. Be sure to keep your help desk fully staffed and have librarians stationed around the library so students know friendly help is always close by. Let philosophy students give up on Heidegger’s Sein und Zeit because they can’t bear the existential drama of the book’s deconstructionalist philosophy—not because they can’t find it in the stacks.
From understanding the basics of research to going out and locating the resources that will help them succeed, some students need a little extra help with understanding how to utilize the great offerings your library provides.
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