John Law will present key findings of a ProQuest sponsored ethnographic study observing students in the context of performing actual research for actual course assignments. The study was geared toward understanding how students approach their research tasks, where the research is performed, what tools are used and how/if library resources are accessed. Particularly of interest was how students begin their research, how they regard web search engines and how they interact with licensed database resources. John will review the results of the observational study and also review results from a series of online surveys.
Katie Clark will discuss the University of Rochester Libraries’ two-year study of undergraduate students, focusing on how they do research, use of technology and involvement in campus life. Anthropological methodologies, such as cultural probes, were used to construct a holistic picture of the lives of undergraduates. Katie will report on how this study has informed decision-making and the changes made to align the library’s efforts with the needs and expectations of Net Generation undergraduates.

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