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    What Students Don’t know

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    A new study at Illinois Academic Libraries studied college students’ reasons for not approaching academic librarians for help with finding information. According to the study authors, students’ research habits are worse than librarians have realized. Problems include over-reliance on Google, misunderstanding of search logic, and preference for simple databases over scholarly ones. Whose fault is this? The authors say both librarians and teaching faculty are to blame. Librarians tend to over-estimate the searching skills of students; professors do the same. Teaching faculty also wrongly assume that students have had in-depth library orientations, and fail to require their students to use library resources for assignments. From their perspective, students themselves are unaware of their lack of research skills, so don’t ask for help when needed. And students simply do not see librarians as people to go to for help, but more as people who point them in the direction of the stacks.

    Most importantly the authors conclude, “[R]elationships with professors … determine students’ relationships with libraries… In the absence of an established structure ensuring that students build relationships with librarians throughout their college careers, professors play a critical role in brokering students’ relationships with librarians… Because librarians hold little sway with students, they can do only so much to rehabilitate students’ habits. They need professors’ help.”
    Article: What Students Don’t Know, Inside Higher Ed, August 22, 2011
    Study: Ethnographic search in Illinois Academic Libraries

    Teaching in August

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    Although the library and learning commons are quiet during August, Lam librarians are working hard to prepare and update their instructional sessions for fall. Upcoming classes and orientations that we are currently working on include the MBA Precore, The MBA Core, the JumpStart orientation for international students, the Early Career Master’s orientation, and the MBA Exchange Program.

    Database Freedonia adds country reports

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    Freedonia Focus, a market research database subscribed to by the UBC Library, is adding considerable international content over the next year. Freedonia content has traditionally been US-focused. New country reports will cover 14 countries including Canada, China, India and Brazil. Access Freedonia Focus here.

    New Healthcare Administration Research Guide Published

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    The David Lam Management Research has published a new research guide on Health Care Administration, for use by MBA and EMBA students at the Sauder School of Business who are researching topics related to business plans, marketing, operations, efficiency, purchasing, etc. in the healthcare industry.

    Two new entrepreneurial database trials

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    We currently have two trials running of databases with market research content for business planning:

    EBSCO’s Entrepreneurial Studies Source
    http://resources.library.ubc.ca/1736/ offers users full text for more than 125 key periodicals, 135 reference books, numerous case studies, thousands of company profiles and over 600 videos with transcripts and related articles

    Proquest Entrepreneur
    http://resources.library.ubc.ca/1742/ includes scholarly journals, dissertations, working papers and conference proceedings. The database also offers a full toolkit of practical guides, templates, forms, sample business plans.

    Please submit your votes to the feedback forms on the trial resource pages, or directly to Aleha McCauley.

    Trials will run through the month of June.

    David Lam Library staff moving back

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    The staff of the David Lam Library are moving back to their offices in the new Canaccord Learning Commons on Monday January 31. During the week of January 31, we will be moving in, setting up equipment, and retrieving our book and journal collection from Koerner Library. Staff and student assistants will finalize and train on activities at the new Service Desk, which will be jointly operated with Sauder Learning & Technology Services.

    We anticipate that we’ll open the new Canaccord Learning Commons to our users on February 7 or 8. This date depends on some additional sprinkler work which has delayed completion of the space. Soon after our opening, we’ll be inviting students, staff and faculty to attend a small open house in the Learning Commons to celebrate this spectacular and functional new space.

    Copyright changes to cost universities

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    A copyright fee increase set by Access Canada will add considerable costs to coursepacks created at universities. UBC currently spends about $650,000 on copyright fees. The fee increase is predicted to increase UBC’s copyright expense to almost $2 million.

    The previous copyright agreement ended December 31, and the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada is appealing the new tariff increase. Any outcome is likely to speed the adoption of digital reading lists and digital reserves where possible, at Canadian universities.

    However, many materials are not available electronically, and in some cases, copyright laws and licence agreements prohibit creating e-reserves without additional payment. The issue is complex and in transition.

    For now, a hybrid solution to provide students with reading materials may be the best one. A single central reading list can be created for each course, making it easy for students to understand how to access their readings. For items that can be digitally accessed, a link will lead students to the reading; library staff frequently provide this kind of linking. Other items might be kept in print reserve in the library, or provided via a coursepack. Although this solution is not perfect, neither is the world of publishing, and today’s students are capable of understanding this complexity, providing their reading list is kept in a central place such as their course management system website.

    Following this route will keep the cost of coursepacks down, and allow students to access many materials at home 24/7, leading to greater student satisfaction and success.

    For details about UBC’s approach to the copyright issue, please see the UBC Library’s Copyright webpage.

    For further information see
    Copyright fees could force universities to embrace digital age
    , published in the Vancouver Sun on December 30.

    UBC Small Business Accelerator Debuts

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    The Irving K. Barber Learning Centre recently launched its Small Business Accelerator Program. The SBA initiative was originally conceived by David Lam Management Research Library librarian Jan Wallace during her term as interim director of the IKBLC. The concept began with a visit from an economic development officer from Nelson, BC, who was seeking assistance in strengthening the business skills of entrepreneurs in the region. Over the past two years, staff at the IKBLC have been developing the portal, and testing it with community members throughout the province.

    Based on industry research guides created in the David Lam Library at Sauder School, the SBA features dozens of guides on researching small businesses in BC, as well as interactive tools for would-be entrepreneurs to communicate with each other, and for other subject experts to add information to the portal.

    IKBLC Community Services Librarian Aleha McCauley is leading a team who will visit communities across BC to teach secondary market research skills to community members, just as the David Lam librarians teach those skills to business students at Sauder.

    SSRN’s thoughts about business libraries

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    SSRN.com President Gregg Gordon sees building learning communities as a core mission of libraries today. In his blog, Gregg says, “Librarians have a wealth of knowledge and specifically know:
    • How to research & evaluate content
    • How to use different resources for different purposes
    • How to determine validity and appropriation
    • How to think critically.”

    Rather than making libraries irrelevant, the overabundance of information today makes it more important than ever for students to access the skills and knowledge of librarians to learn to manage information – both to save time and to acquire the best information available.

    Together with library collections and services, library space is a key core mission. Libraries today are hubs for a variety of uses, from teamwork and collaboration to building a sense of shared mission among users. The Canaccord Learning Commons, currently under construction at Sauder School, is a good example of how we are expanding the notion of the library beyond its traditional borders – incorporating new technologies and innovative physical spaces.

    Thanks to Lindsay Ure for pointing out Gregg’s blog.

    New GIS Users Group

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    This month, the UBC Library will begin hosting meetings of the newly-rekindled UBC GIS Users Group. This group will be a gathering of students, researchers, faculty and staff on campus who work in some way with, or are interested in, geographical information systems (or science) (GIS). The meetings will be held monthly on the last Wednesday of the month in Koerner Library Room 216 at 4:00pm. There will be a speaker, followed by a trip to Koerner’s Pub for refreshments.

    At the first meeting, held Wednesday, October 27, Tom Brittnacher, GIS librarian, will give an overview of GIS services and facilities provided by UBC Library (including the new GIS/Research Data Lab), followed by tours of the lab.

    At future meetings we are hoping to have students, researchers, faculty and staff from around campus talk about how they are using GIS in their work. There are a lot of exciting, state-of-the-art projects happening around campus, and this will be a great way for people to share their work and network with other GIS users.

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