Library Learning: Undergraduate Students' Informal, Self-directed, and Information Sharing Strategies
Murphy, Jo Ann
PublisherPartnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research
A focus group study of fourteen University of Saskatchewan second to fourth year humanities and social science undergraduate students was conducted in the fall of 2011. The purpose of the research was to determine how students learn about library resources and services. Findings indicate that the participants often use a variety of informal, self-directed and information sharing strategies. Seeking help from professors, peers, friends, and family members is a common practice. Convenience, familiarity, and perceived knowledge are key factors that determine who and how these students learn about the library. Formal instruction and seeking assistance from librarians did not resonate for participants as a typical approach for learning about the library. The author suggests that undergraduate students engage in informal learning and information sharing as many ‘adult learners’ do, similar to an employment setting. The library, within the formal educational structure, lends itself to a more informal learning context. The study concludes that libraries must continue to develop resources, services, and innovative programs that support students’ informal learning styles, while also providing formal instruction as part of the undergraduate curriculum ensuring students are exposed early on to core foundational skills that contribute to their success as informal and self-directed learners.
CitationMurphy, Jo Ann. "Library Learning: Undergraduate Students' Informal, Self-directed, and Information Sharing Strategies" Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research 9.1 (2014): 1 - 20.
informal learning; self-directed; information sharing; convenience; familiarity; adult learners