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University libraries and the postgraduate student: physical and virtual spaces

University libraries and the postgraduate student: physical and virtual spaces Purpose – This study aims to examine the library/information issues affecting graduate students, both those on taught courses and those undertaking research. It seeks to focus specifically on their perceptions of the value to them of physical and digital resources and spaces, and how well their needs were being met. Design/methodology/approach – An online questionnaire survey of students was complemented by a series of face‐to‐face interviews with library staff. Findings – This group of students are different from undergraduates, whose information behaviour has more often been studied. They require silent study space, are enthusiastic book borrowers, and have limited interest in social media in the library. They have a strong requirement for digital resources and IT support, and are not inclined to ask for assistance from librarians. Research limitations/implications – The study is limited to three English universities, although they are sufficiently varied in nature to make the results more widely applicable. Practical implications – The survey provides evidence for librarians in universities and colleges serving graduate students as to the best form of provision, and for any library seeking to make best use of its space as resources become increasingly digital. Originality/value – This is one of the few studies to examine the information behaviour and needs of advanced students. It contributes to the debate on the future of the library as place in a digital age. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png New Library World Emerald Publishing

University libraries and the postgraduate student: physical and virtual spaces

New Library World , Volume 113 (9/10): 9 – Sep 29, 2012

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0307-4803
DOI
10.1108/03074801211273911
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This study aims to examine the library/information issues affecting graduate students, both those on taught courses and those undertaking research. It seeks to focus specifically on their perceptions of the value to them of physical and digital resources and spaces, and how well their needs were being met. Design/methodology/approach – An online questionnaire survey of students was complemented by a series of face‐to‐face interviews with library staff. Findings – This group of students are different from undergraduates, whose information behaviour has more often been studied. They require silent study space, are enthusiastic book borrowers, and have limited interest in social media in the library. They have a strong requirement for digital resources and IT support, and are not inclined to ask for assistance from librarians. Research limitations/implications – The study is limited to three English universities, although they are sufficiently varied in nature to make the results more widely applicable. Practical implications – The survey provides evidence for librarians in universities and colleges serving graduate students as to the best form of provision, and for any library seeking to make best use of its space as resources become increasingly digital. Originality/value – This is one of the few studies to examine the information behaviour and needs of advanced students. It contributes to the debate on the future of the library as place in a digital age.

Journal

New Library WorldEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 29, 2012

Keywords: University libraries; Academic libraries; Postgraduate students; Graduate students; Information behaviour; Surveys; User studies; Library users

References

  • Library design, learning spaces and academic literacy
    Beard, J.; Dale, P.
  • The digital library as place
    Pomerantz, J.; Marchionini, G.
  • Understanding student information behavior in relation to electronic information services: lessons from longitudinal monitoring and evaluation, part 1
    Rowley, J.; Urquhart, C.

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