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ERIC Number: ED550431
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 244
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2678-2741-8
The Academic Library in the Life of Undergraduate: An Investigation of Undergraduates' Academic Information Behaviors in the Digital Age
Rozaklis, Lillian
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Drexel University
This dissertation research investigated undergraduates' academic information behaviors in the modern digital age to identify their perspective on the role of the academic library in their academic life. The research examined usage of a broad range of information sources and means to access, selection criteria, and obstacles encountered during academic information-seeking. The research also explored discipline and class standing as differentiators of undergraduates' academic information behaviors. The academic library was considered holistically as made up of space, means to access, and librarians; the research identified undergraduates' reasons for use and nonuse of these three distinct components of the academic library. Data were gathered using a mixed-methods approach: survey research followed by focus groups. An online survey was administered to all 5,136 undergraduates enrolled in a college of arts and sciences and a college of business at one large urban research university located in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. The final data set consisted of 849 completed surveys for an overall response rate of 18%. Fourteen undergraduates in the two colleges were recruited for the focus groups. Survey and focus group participants included users and nonusers of the academic library. Data analysis entailed the use of descriptive statistics, testing of hypotheses, and the constant comparative method. Eight hypotheses were tested. While some significant differences were found by discipline and class standing, further research is needed. Additional findings include: the pervasiveness of digital technology in the academic environment, with undergraduates' proclivity for online information sources and means to access, including social networks; the prevalence of people consulted during academic information-seeking; and, that undergraduates consider the criterion accurate/trustworthy extremely important for their selection decisions. The role of the academic library in the life of the undergraduate was determined to be primarily space and means to access, and to a lesser extent, librarians. The findings were interpreted in relation to Zweizig's construct "the library in the life of the user" and three information seeking models. The research derived insights which may point the academic library in new directions, enhance LIS education for aspiring academic librarians, and provide for additional avenues for research. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A