Value of libraries

Graduate student focus group on the libraries

In spring 2016, the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) held focus groups for first-year Master and PhD students to learn more about this cohort’s needs. The first focus group topic was about library resources and services, and seven students attended to share their experiences. Guided questions to get the group thinking about their library experiences … Read More

What can liaison librarians do to support and encourage use of our less popular but outstanding databases?

As part of the June 13 2013 liaison librarians event on acquiring and deploying e-resource collections at the U of T, Dan D’agostino provided an overview of the Oxford Bibliographies and Sage Research Methods Online.  These are excellent tools but receive low use. Many faculty and grad students aren’t aware of them. Librarians discussed how … Read More

RE-Read: Academic Libraries in a Digital Age (2000)

I just re-read John Lombardi’s 2000 article “Academic libraries in a digital age” and was struck by how so many of his observations on digitization issues in libraries continue to be true.  In 2000, Google was still a relatively new company.  Librarians were struggling with hardware, software and content that was hard to access and … Read More

Attitudes Toward Re-Envisioning The UC Berkeley Library

Commissioned by the University of California Berkeley’s Library, this highly readable study of the campus users’ attitudes regarding print and digital collections, library spaces, hours, and staff provides a useful reminder of how different our library constituencies are.

Assessment in the One-Shot Session: Using Pre- and Post-Tests to Measure Innovative Instructional Strategies Among First-Year Students

From the abstract: “Many studies focus on the use of different assessment tools within information literacy instruction; however,  there are very few that discuss how pre- and post-tests can be utilized to gauge student learning, and even fewer of those published deal with pre- and post-test assessment within the one-shot paradigm. This study explores the effectiveness of using … Read More

Information literacy and employability

What a great idea — connecting information literacy to employability, and using student tesimonials of how being information literate makes a difference in their daily working lives.   More at

ACRL Top 10 Trends in Academic Libraries 2012

and they are… Communicating value Data curation Digital preservation Higher education Information technology Mobile environments Patron driven e-book acquisition Scholarly communication Staffing User behaviors and expectations Read more

Results of the “snowball” exercise from Megan Oakleaf’s December 2011 workshop

Thank you Patricia Bellamy for compiling and organizing the results of the “snowball” exercise held during Megan Oakleaf’s December 2011 presentation to U of T librarians.  The snowball exercise contained questions that each of had remaining at the end of the day.  We scrunched up each question into a ball, tossed it into the middle … Read More

How to conduct a “help” study to explore academic library value

Megan Oakleaf provides an easy method to conduct a study to determine what kind of help users received from their library.

Megan Oakleaf – December 14 2011

Over 50 librarians from across all libraries at the U of T devoted a full day to discussing and learning about library assessment and library value, with the help of University of Syracuse iSchool professor Megan Oakleaf. What a great day. Not only did Megan share much evidence-based information on teaching and learning assessment, but … Read More