Student Attitude to Finding Information

A recent article by Lorenzo et al in the latest Educause Quarterly (vol 30 no 1 2007) provides a summary of the results of a study into “college students’ perceptions of libraries and information resources”:

  • 72 percent of college students ranked search engines as their first choice for finding information;
  • 2 percent use library Web sites as the starting point for an information search;
  • 67 percent learn about electronic information resources from friends (when excluding search engines);
  • 53 percent believe information from search engines is as trustworthy as library information;
  • 36 percent use librarians to cross-reference information for validation; and
  • 80 percent use other Web sites with similar information as a validation tool, slightly more than those who use instructors for validation (78 percent).

Our librarians have been investigating this for some time. I can see why they are worried and starting to take positive steps in training students to gauge the quality of information discovered via search engines.


About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

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