Similarly different: Finding the nuances in first year students' library perceptions
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Information literacy efforts in academic libraries commonly target first-year students as a way to ensure that students learn foundational research skills at the beginning of their college experience. However, little has been written about different populations within the category of first-year students. First-year students may come to college with a variety of different experiences, concerns, and backgrounds. In this study, the researchers explored how students from several different first-year learning communities described their previous experience with libraries, research, and their perceived preparation for college-level research. The researchers found that different groups of first-year students did express varying perceptions about their level of preparedness for college research, research anxiety, and perception of librarians at the beginning of their college experience. An end of year survey after a library intervention showed a reduction in research anxiety and increased confidence for some groups of students. These findings support library efforts to tailor instruction to the needs of a particular student group.
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