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ERIC Number: EJ1058188
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Mar
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0870
Constance Mellon's "Library Anxiety": An Appreciation and a Critique
Gremmels, Gillian S.
College & Research Libraries, v76 n3 p268-275 Mar 2015
In this article, the author recollects her memories reading Constance A. Mellon's article, "Library Anxiety: A Grounded Theory and Its Development," when it appeared in the March 1986 issue of "College & Research Libraries." She was a reference librarian at at DePauw University in Indiana at the time, helping students individually and in "bibliographic instruction" classes. She describes how she felt a powerful resonance when reading about library anxiety, recognizing it in her own students. To have the phenomenon confirmed by research and given a name authenticated it and enabled her to address it directly with students and faculty. She was also intrigued by Mellon's method of grounded theory--a method that based its conclusions on students' own rich descriptions of their realities. A few years later, she read Barney G. Glaser and Anselm L. Strauss's book, "The Discovery of Grounded Theory," and did her own grounded theory study on choices made by academic librarians while working with students. Mellon's article was chosen as one of the seven most important in the 75-year history of "College & Research Libraries" because it made "library anxiety," a phenomenon observed by practitioners, official and uncovered its origins. The article also legitimized the use of qualitative research methods by giving grounded theory wide recognition in a premier journal. Herein, the author summarizes Mellon's method and findings, traces the article's influence, offers a critique, and suggests some directions for future research.
Association of College and Research Libraries. 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A