21st Annual Reference Research Forum

2015 ALA Annual Conference - San Francisco, CA

Information Behavior of Foreign-Born Students at Brooklyn College
Presenter: Frans Albarillo, City University of New York

This presentation reports the results of a survey of immigrant and international students at Brooklyn College, a large public liberal arts college with a diverse campus that serves many foreign-born and first-generation immigrant students. The survey gathers data on students in these communities to investigate common patterns and explore how these students experience the academic library with a focus on language and culture. This exploratory study was funded by a grant from the PSC CUNY and further developed at the 2014 inaugural Institute of Research Design in Librarianship.

Understanding the Research Needs of Mid-level Undergraduate Students
Presenters: Marianne Colgrove, Reed College and Annie Downey, Reed College

How do sophomores and juniors learn to do independent research and what services, resources and curriculum strategies would help? As a part of a larger Mellon-funded initiative, the Reed College Library and IT departments collaborated on a needs assessment in order to understand the gap between faculty and student perspectives on the research process. Using both focus group discussions and a student survey, the needs assessment showed that faculty characterize research as a complex, multi-faceted process and emphasize the importance of a researchable question that drives the process. Many students aren't sure what faculty expect and often invest so much energy in gathering resources that they run out of time to conduct analysis and integrate their assignment into a unified whole. This study also exemplifies how IT and the library can collaborate to conduct a low-cost self study that informs the development of new research curriculum and services.

Library as Endangered Species in the Information Ecosystem
Presenter: Jean Amaral, Borough of Manhattan Community College

When students and faculty need information, where do they go? A year-long ethnographic study at an urban community college suggests it may be anywhere but the library. Amaral will present the results of this study, which call for engaging in a creative reassessment of library services in community colleges.