Info Literacy & Libraries
Sarah's eloquent & smart post in response to Geoff Nunberg's NYT piece from this weekend pretty much says it all. She's got a nice list of action items for libraries to do to bring their services to the students who need them, quoted here:
- Provide a solid collection of subscription databases across subject areas.
Make students aware of these databases and the resources they have to offer (an up-front Metasearch tool would do that nicely).
- Can students request that print resources from one branch/location (academic or public library) be sent to another? For free? Through the online catalog? And easily?
- Does your library provide online reference services to help students with their research? E-mail? Web-based chat? Instant Messaging?
I think we could do 2 a heck of a lot better -- meaning, we can tell students about these databases till we're blue in the face (and we do), but scheduled or impromptu public demonstrations and teaching sessions of the databases would be much more effective.
We're a little slow on one aspect of #3 -- patrons can request print resources be sent from branch to branch (and from the local community college to the branches) quickly & for free, but doing so from the online catalogue is a cumbersome process, and many people don't know they can place multiple holds at once, which is much less cumbersome than placing them item-by-item.
We do provide online reference, but again, this is something that is probably marketed more effectively within the library community than outside of it. Hey, maybe we could use a marketing mentor to help us with that.