Sunday, 15 June 2008

Elsevier Library Connect Newsletter: Vol.6, no. 2, 2008

This "Library Connect" issue explores how libraries and publishers are seeking to understand and serve upcoming generations — in particular Millennials, the generation born from about 1979 to 1994. This generation includes Net natives — people who’ve always known the digital world and embrace its latest offerings.
- Commons, chat and collaboration: How we’re connecting with Millennials at Murdoch University Library
- The future of the undergraduate library: Asking questions with too many answers and too many opportunities
- Millennial disconnects with publishers and libraries
- Undergrads’ research habits, motivators and attitudes:What studies tell us:

The 2006 study revealed key findings:
1: Today’s undergrads are achievement-oriented
- Of students interviewed, only 40% proactively conducted course-related research, but 100% engaged in online study daily or a few times per week.
- “The mean frequency was 4 or 5 times per week and the mean duration was 1.5 hours per search session, implying about 6.7 hours per week spent searching [for course-related information].”
2: Today’s undergrads are selective and like to control their time
- 100% of students interviewed in 2006 used Google and listed it in their top three starting points. Recent research (CIBER, 2008) commissioned by the British Library and JISC states that search engines have become the primary brand Millennials associate with the Internet and are ubiquitously used by this generation.
- But all students interviewed by Elsevier also used their university library websites or catalogs, and they didn’t feel overly positive towards Google.
3: Today’s undergrads are practical
When asked what constitutes a good source of information, students interviewed in 2006 gave the following answers, listed by popularity:
> Recommended by friends
> Its reputation
> Prior personal experience
> Ease of use
> Provides links to other reliable sources

4: Today’s undergrads spend time in libraries
- Regarding their use of the university library, 100% of 2006 interviewees reported visiting the library and 80% reported doing so more than once a week. The majority reported consulting librarians but “only to retrieve books or for inter library loans” and did not consider them a source of recommendations for information sources
5: Today's undergrads are social but prefer to do research at home
Of students interviewed in 2006, 60% preferred to do research from home. When asked to rank their reasons for being on campus, after “to attend a seminar or lecture and studying for exams,” the second and third most popular reasons given were socializing with friends and playing sports.
In conclusion, the research illustrated that today’s undergrads may exhibit a different persona than preceding generations, yet are displaying rather traditional information-seeking behavior. Just as social applications like Facebook don’t make people genuinely more social, the availability of tools such as Google doesn't make today’s undergrads more adept researchers or equip them to skip the very real and challenging work required to earn a degree.
More interesting articles:
* How we're moving to a primarily digital library
* How we’re redesigning academic libraries to keep them as the center of campus
* How we're transforming our library spaces and mindset
* Librarians Speak Up:How is your library innovating to support Millennials?
* Looking to help researchers stay connected?
Try TopCited ( and 2collab (
* Q: Why does Elsevier request transfer of copyright?

If you have missed Elsevier "Library Connect" previous issues got to:

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