Student perceptions of staff in the Information Commons: A survey at the University of Sheffield
Bickley, R. and Corrall, S. (2011) Student perceptions of staff in the Information Commons: A survey at the University of Sheffield. Reference Services Review, 39 (2). pp. 223-243. ISSN 0090-7324
Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/00907321111135466
Technology has transformed teaching and learning environments in tertiary education, introducing new collaborative library spaces and developing the roles and skills of library staff. Academic libraries need continually to re-examine their services to ensure they meet student needs. The current survey aimed to discover how students perceived staff in the Information Commons (IC) and whether their perceptions of staff attitudes and skills influenced their use of library resources. A questionnaire containing closed and open questions was distributed electronically to undergraduate and postgraduate students at the University of Sheffield. The results showed that most students were unable to distinguish different groups of staff, were unaware of their departmental librarian and did not recognise the academic role of librarians. However, those who had sought assistance in the IC or attended classes delivered by librarians had positive views of their experiences. Low awareness among students of the expertise of librarians and their capacity to provide academic support indicates a need for more promotion to ensure library resources are properly utilised.
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