Whether they’re conducting research for an assignment, looking for a quiet place to study, or simply want to take a “time out” with a fun book or magazine, students can (and do) find multiple reasons to visit their college library.

Instructors, too, find many reasons to view their on-campus library as an important resource. Among these, they can send students to conduct their research projects, place copies of assigned readings on hold, and of course use the library’s holdings for their own research and class preparation.

Given that can easily access volumes of information from our computers and smartphones, how do today’s students and instructors view and value library use? And in a day where it’s easy to type a keyword into a browser and produce millions of results, how do they perceive students’ research skills?

In our recent Engagement Insights Survey, conducted this spring, we asked hundreds of instructors and thousands of students to provide their perspectives on library use and research habits. The infographic below compares their responses and provides insight into the ways that instructors and students across the United States make use of their campus libraries.

From the data, we see that, on the whole, both instructors and students find great value in their campus library… but that there’s still a great deal of opportunity for both students and instructors to take advantage of all the resources and services that college libraries offer.

What’s more, there’s a clear gap between students’ perception of their research skills, and instructors’ confidence in them.

How might these challenges and opportunities have an effect on your courses? Review our findings, and share your own suggestions for encouraging library use and teaching effective and appropriate research skills in the comments. 

A Comparison of College Student and Instructor Feedback on Library and Research

Infographic by Cengage Learning

A Comparison of College Student and Instructor Feedback on Library and Research - Infographic by Cengage Learning,

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About the source:
Data for this infographic was gathered from nearly 3,000 students and nearly 700 instructors as part of the “Spring 2015 Student Engagement Insights” survey.