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Library Anxiety and Reference Librarians in Academic Libraries Diana DiPierro & Nincy George Dr. Mary Pat Fallon LIS 704-02 25 April 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Library Anxiety and Reference Librarians in Academic Libraries Diana DiPierro & Nincy George Dr. Mary Pat Fallon LIS 704-02 25 April 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Library Anxiety and Reference Librarians in Academic Libraries Diana DiPierro & Nincy George Dr. Mary Pat Fallon LIS April 2012

2 What is Library Anxiety?  Feel skills are inadequate  Ineptness is a source of embarrassment to be kept hidden  Refrain from asking questions for fear of exposing their incompetence  High level of library anxiety in students who are young, male, ESL students, Freshmen, high levels of academic achievement, and held a job

3 Library Anxiety - Definition Constance Mellon, a Library Science professor first coined the term "library anxiety" in Library anxiety is “an uncomfortable feeling or emotional disposition experienced in a library setting that has cognitive, affective, physiological, and behavioral ramifications. Library anxiety is characterized by negative emotions including tension, fear, feelings of uncertainty and helplessness, negative self-defeating thoughts, and mental disorganization, all of which have the propensity to debilitate information literacy” (Mellon, as quoted in Jiao and Onwuegbuzie 372– 73).

4 Library Anxiety Scale – Developed by Sharon L. Bostick in 1992 (Onwuegbuzie, Jiao, & Bostick, )

5 Library Anxiety – Dimensions Developed by Bostick Using LAS  Barriers with Staff - Students perception of librarians and staff as intimidating and unapproachable.  Also that librarians are too busy to provide assistance.  Affective Barriers - Students feel inadequate about using the library.  Also feel they possess incompetent library skills.

6 Library Anxiety – Dimensions Developed by Bostick Using LAS cont.  Comfort with the Library - Students perception of the safety and welcoming nature of the library.  Knowledge of the Library - Students feelings of how familiar they are with the library.  Mechanical Barriers - Students feelings on operating library equipment.  Examples: computer printers and copy machines.

7 Library Anxiety - Contributing Factors  Perfectionism - Students expectation to be familiar with and have expertise in the library.  When not held to this standard, anxiety is created.  Learning Modality - "Preferences in how students function, learn, concentrate, & perform during educational activities." Ex. noise preference  Work in silence: Anxiety increased if it is noisy in the library.  Work with background noise: Anxiety increased if noise restrictions are imposed.

8 Library Anxiety - Contributing Factors cont.  Frequency of library visit - higher level in Freshmen and Sophomore students  Poorest sense of goal determination  low levels of academic self-competence, intellectual ability, creativity  self motivated and peer-oriented learners, who lack persistence

9 Library Anxiety – Contributing Factors cont.  Changing nature of Reference  Users are overwhelmed by the complexity of a single task or by the amount of available resources  Students often overestimate their ability to locate credible information  Rapid Technology changes- Inability to cope with the new computer technologies in healthy manner.

10 Library Anxiety - Consequences  Prevent developing information literacy skills  Incomplete thesis/dissertation due to avoidance behavior  Lower quality research proposals  Poor academic work and performance will happen

11 Library Anxiety - Prevention Physical Environment  Signs and Graphics – help students with directional inquiries  Building Directory can be placed at the entrance of the library.  Space and Layout – make areas and resources easily accessible for students  Location of Resources – distance  Personal Space – do not crowd study tables  Evaluate Safety and Security Policies  Re: Learning Modalities - Example of noise  Equip libraries with many soundproof rooms  Help students to understand their own preferences  Librarians should look for verbal and non verbal cues

12 Library Anxiety – Prevention Physical Environment cont.  Cooperative Resource Development  Efficient Interlibrary Loan Services  Library Consortia for resource sharing  Reduces students anxiety for availability access  Tours and Open House  Helpful for Freshmen and new students’ acclimation with library  Multimedia virtual tours on library’s webpage  Creates library literate students

13 Library Anxiety – Prevention Physical Environment cont.  Informational Brochures and Handouts  Prepare a take-home guide for students to refer to for info such as:  Policies and procedures  Hours of use  Services provided  Equipment use such as printers, copiers, personal computers  Cell phone usage  Locker availabilities  Food and drink policies  Directory of subject specialist librarians  Telephone numbers  Loan periods  Etc…

14 Library Anxiety - Prevention Through Instruction  Bibliographic Instruction Courses  Interject humor into presentations  Group library instruction followed by online tutorial  Provide Hands On Computer Workshops  How to use:  Online catalog  Electronic databases  Citation software  Research tools  Organizational tools  Cooperative Learning Groups  Peer level awareness that no one is "perfect".  Keeping a Journal of Library Experiences

15 Library Anxiety – Prevention Librarian-Assisted Services  Virtual Reference  For distance learning students and Millennial/tech savvy users, instant messenger and chat provides anonymity allowing them to ask questions  Creating Learning Commons  Consolidating service points to provide more service in one location  Perception of Time and Money  Reference consultation should be marketed to students as time savers  Shows how much money is saved in every time search

16 Library Anxiety – Prevention Librarian-Assisted Services cont.  Roving Reference  Be proactive and show empathy  One-on-one approach  Participate in Professional Development Activities  Study and discuss issues  Try to improve services  Apply new techniques and resolutions  Personal Librarian  Give Freshmen a successful transition from high school to college (Ex:Bowling Green State University)  Personal touch bring students back repeatedly

17 Discussion Questions 1. What innovative programs could help combat anxiety and ease Freshmen into academic libraries?

18 Discussion Questions 2. What other suggestions, or practical strategies, can be used to help patrons become successful library users and provide them a less anxious learning environment?

19 Discussion Questions 3. Do you think Graduate students are less accustomed to library anxiety?


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