Achievement and outcomes

Top Resources for College Student Research

It seems that no matter how many student research papers you assign, each new assignment brings your students the challenge of finding the right sources in a timely manner. Facing an impending deadline can lead some students to try shortcuts that result in lackluster papers that don’t meet academic standards. Instructors can help students take control of the research and writing process by providing guidance along with the project instructions.

Student research guide

In their book, Cengage Guide to Research, 3rd Edition, Susan K. Miller-Cochran and Rochelle L. Rodrigo lead students through the process of completing a research paper. Recognizing that Read More…

Librarian Employs Unconventional Marketing Tactics and DemoNow to Reach New and Underserved Residents

If you’re looking for Kathryn Lynip, Manager of Technical Services at Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library in Broomfield, Colorado, don’t assume she will always be stationed at the reference desk waiting to help. Instead, you might find her out among new developments in her city, at a table in a public place, reaching out to gain potential cardholders. Her tactics help reach the people in her community who may not be aware of the library’s resources or how they can be used to make smarter decisions that can improve lives.

While Lynip still takes a few shifts at the library’s reference desk, she won’t likely run out of new parks to visit anytime soon as the city of Broomfield is growing rapidly. If current projections hold, hoards of new residents are expected to move to town without any firsthand knowledge of the library.

Besides being a conduit between the library and underserved populations, Lynip also helps the city plan for the future with Gale’s DemographicsNow: Business & People (DemoNow), a highly customizable, cloud-based collection of rich business and demographic data that provides patrons easy access to real-time demographic, purchasing, and consumer behavior data.
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Why College Students Choose to Use Library Resources

In a previous post, we noted that a portion of college students opt not to use the college library and its resources as the starting point for their research projects. But under what circumstances do students choose to use resources available to them?

To better understand their reasoning, we recently asked thousands of college students: “What do you like about using library resources to do your research?” Below, we’ve summarized the top reasons that they choose to use library resources for assignments.

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Why Some Students Don’t Use the College Library

When beginning a research project, where do you typically look for resources first? Do you start with a quick search online, a stroll to the college library? Do your students do the same? We recently surveyed over 5,000 college students to discover that only 11% of them begin their research in the school library.

Non-library resources

From our pool of respondents, one student explained, “I love the simplicity and ease of using basic search engines such as Google, they also do a pretty great job of helping you find necessary information.” Many students also admitted they feel using non-library sources are much faster Read More…

From Print to Digital, from Library to Classroom: Using Gale Resources to Support Student Learning and Skill Development

As the economy and society becomes more information-intensive, it is imperative that today’s students develop strong research skills that will enable college and career success. Increasingly, educators, employers, and policymakers see the effective use of digital content within instruction as a cornerstone for the development of these research skills. Despite the enhanced use of digital resources within many K-12 schools, a gap still exists between classroom and library usage. To explore how to close this gap, Project Tomorrow® collaborated with Cengage Learning to examine the use of traditionally library-based digital content within classroom instruction. The resulting study during the 2014-15 school year specifically focused on how the Gale Resources databases from Cengage Learning supported student research projects at two independent high schools in the greater Philadelphia area.
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Entrepreneurs Lack the Resources Necessary to Start Successful Businesses

Librarians can find themselves in difficult positions when budding entrepreneurs, in search of answers that may determine the fate of their businesses, rush into the library.

Steven Assarian, a business librarian at Grand Rapids Public Library, is well familiar with this scenario. Not only is it Assarian’s job to provide consultation for entrepreneurs in need of business plans, but he’s also responsible for teaching business research techniques to classes of between ten and twenty people. The ability to locate and use relevant information during the formation of a startup is a determining factor in whether the business will succeed. The pressure on librarians like Assarian to link entrepreneurs with current and rich data can be great.
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Support for Faculty Research in Academic Libraries

Faculty and librarians agree: support for faculty research is among the key missions of the academic library. According to “Bridging the Librarian-Faculty Gap in the Academic Library,” a recent report produced by Library Journal and Gale, a global provider of library resources and part of Cengage Learning, 84% of faculty and 79% of academic librarians believe that it is “essential” or “very essential” to provide these services to the faculty on campus.

Given the strength of this response, we wanted to further investigate what the report had to say about this important function of the academic library. Below, we take a deeper dive into the report’s findings on this topic, and we also offer some recommendations that can help you make the most of the research services available to you as faculty member.

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Students’ Use of the College Library’s Electronic Resources

Electronic resources form an important part of a college library’s collections and services. Without those resources, it would be difficult for students to access the wealth of information available to researchers around the world.

But how (and how often) do college students engage with these resources?

In our previous post, “Top Four Reasons Students Use Their College Library,” we noted that more than half (51%) of the students who responded to our Spring 2015 Student Engagement Insights survey said that they’re at the library to use the online databases; also, 19% of the students said that they use the library to look up job and career information. This indicates that a good number of students do know about, and make use of, the library’s electronic resources.

However, we also wanted to better understand their use of resources (such as electronic databases and e-books) away from the library itself. Read below, and see if this information surprises you!

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Entrepreneurs (and Others) Gain Valued Insights with DemographicsNow

Public libraries continually seek cost-effective ways to make their patrons’ user experience more convenient; finding demographics information can often require searching multiple sources, which can be time-consuming.

Bloomfield Township Public Library meets the information needs of a wide variety of businesspeople, jobseekers, and individuals by using Gale’s DemographicsNow to deliver convenient access to highly detailed demographic information on any U.S. geography — in a single, easily searchable database.

DemographicsNow provides users with access to highly detailed demographic data that can span the entire U.S. That makes it ideal for gaining consumer and market insight for anyone considering opening a business and wanting to create a business plan or conduct a location analysis. It also serves a variety of other needs and users. Small business owners can rely on it to identify competitors in their area or help relocate their business; marketing and sales people can develop targeted customer leads and mailing lists; students can research companies and regions for assignments; and jobseekers can find information on a company before a job interview.
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GVRL Helps Students at an IB School Meet High Standards for Research Proficiency

Klaudia Janek is the librarian at the Bloomfield Hills campus of the International Academy (IA), a nationally recognized public high school in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. The IA is an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, and as such, offers a unique program featuring rigorous academic standards, student-centered learning, and an emphasis on global citizenship. Demonstrating research competence is a fundamental requirement at any IB school, and the Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL) is ideally suited to support IA’s students in developing a sound set of skills.

In this success story, you’ll read how Gale’s easy-to-use search features and high-quality, credible resources enable students to develop skills in online research. You’ll also discover how a full suite of Gale resources (including Gale Virtual Reference Library, History In Dispute, Global Issues in Context, Opposing Viewpoints in Context, and others), as well as Questia, empower students to develop critical-thinking skills and to broaden their perspectives through exposure to in-depth analyses as well as to non-U.S. and pro-con viewpoints on compelling issues.

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