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Introduction to Libraries

In a typical university library only 16 percent of the students use "the varied library materials for independent study" (Risko, Alvarez, & Fairbanks 1991, 221). Half of the students using an academic library are employing it only as a study hall, using only their own textbooks (Lyle, 1963).

"The library is a major resource and service
agency for both students and faculty
(Risko, Alvarez, & Fairbanks 1991, 221).

Only 33 percent of the authors reviewed in the literature on study skills provide any information on how to use the library (Risko, Alvarez, & Fairbanks 1991, 222).

Why students have difficulty
with library assignments
(Risko, Alvarez, & Fairbanks 1991, 222)

WHY study research and library skills?

1. The coming information age.. Information access will become critical!

2. One week of decisions today/now = lifetime of decisions in 17th Century.

3. Fastest growing business is computer software... What is it?--- information!

4. Access to information has ALWAYS been critical...

China, 3,000 BC, Mesopotamia --> Civilization = written Language = Info. Access = Libraries

Story of Amit Anu, City of Ur, 2700 BC city library on tablets (cuneiform) w/ catalogs, divisions by subject, etc.

ALL great civilizations have had libraries and with them systems of information access -- indexes, catalogs, etc.

5. TODAY, and increasingly, information is power. For YOUR future, you need information. The more information you have, the more successful you will be.

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NEXT: The Value of Knowing Libraries


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Earle, R.A. (1969). Use of the structured overview in mathematics classes. In H.L. Herber & PL. Sanders (Eds.), Research in reading in the content areas: First year report ~p. 49-58). Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University, Reading and Language Arts Center.

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Hofman, L.A. (1981). Educate the educator: A possible solution to an academic librarian's dilemma. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 7, 161-163.

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Lyle, G.R. (1963). The president, the professor and the college library. New York: H.W. Wilson.

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