Why do college students use the library?

CENGAGE Learning blogged about why university students choose to use the library – and also why many choose not to use the library.

I know I use the library now because I’ve bought into library science, but even before I had the slightest desire to be a librarian, I used my university’s library.  I always found that the library was the safest bet because it provided high-quality materials that I knew I had immediate (and free) access to.

girls going to school
“Children in India Girls going to school” by Sandra Cohen-Rose and Colin Rose, CC BY-SA 2.0.

At the same time, I understand why some users forego the library.  Resources like Amazon and Google are fast and easy.  And even as a librarian, I’ve found that Google Scholar can be an excellent link resolver when your own systems are clunky and not working.

So, why do students use the library? Or why don’t they?  Here are some highlights from CENGAGE Learning’s blog:

Why do university students use the library?

  • They trust the quality of the library’s resources. It’s easy to know that most of the materials are scholarly and peer reviewed – great for college assignments.
  • The library staff is there to help. With how much effort I know librarians put into outreach and getting people to ask for help, I’m glad that at least some students have heard and appreciate the library’s services.
  •  The library has technology and internet access. Having access to computers and stable internet are great draws. My undergraduate university had an information commons with tons of computers – and access to printing. I understand loving the library’s technology.

Why do university students not use the library?

  • It’s easier and more convenient to use something else. Students are much more integrated with services like Google, which can be an effective search tool (duh).  And if you’re networked to a university’s internet, Google can still pull up electronic resources for you – without seemingly having to use the library at all.

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