Thursday, September 20, 2007

Right back where we started from?

We were totally focused on Faculty when I started in academic libraries twenty years ago. Then we all changed course and turned to Graduate Students. Now it seems we're in the era of The Undergraduate Student.

It was clear from interviews we did as part of the Undergraduate Research Project that students think of their professors as "the experts", the experts in everything. They don't even think of librarians as the experts for what database to use, their professors are. We pretty quickly concluded that we're going to have to work with faculty if we want to promote library resources to undergraduates.

We started to review some of the graduate student interviews this week. What a suprise. Not. Again, the graduate students view their professors as the experts. They model their behavior after their professors, they seek their advice, they are the center of their world.

Wouldn't it be ironic that I am going to end my career right back where I started, by focusing primarily on faculty? Only this time, I'm older than a lot of them....

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