February 24, 2011 (ANN ARBOR, Mich.) – Information industry veteran Jane Burke, ProQuest Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, is a guest blogger for InfoViews. She will explore the latest developments in discovery and their impact on academic libraries in a six-part series that debuts this week. Ms. Burke's first post regarding user perceptions of the library is found at http://mhdiaz.wordpress.com/2011/02/22/user-perceptions-of-the-library. This new series adds a new dimension to InfoViews which explores the intersection of libraries, research, technology, and learning.
Here are some key insights from the initial post in the series:
- Librarians tend to see the library as "evolving" from the print model to the electronic. But, users, especially students, don't see the library as electronic.
- The library brand continues to be "books." Given all of the academic library investment in electronic resources, this user perception must be (another) wakeup call.
- For a decade, we've seen studies that report that the perceived importance of the library as the source of quality research is declining: end-users are finding the allure of the Internet too powerful to resist.
- Because users don't have to come to the library, they often don't perceive that the electronic information is made available for them by the library.
- As libraries have invested in expanded electronic collections, we have often created barriers to use. Sixty percent of students consider Google to be the easiest place to start research, compared to less than 20 percent who find library databases the easiest starting point.
- All is not lost. Every study says that there is a strong belief in the value of the library.
Ms. Burke's next installment will explore the steps libraries need to take to reclaim the library as the starting place for research.