May 26, 2022

University of Georgia: Some University Students Prefer Digital Assistance to Librarian Interaction

A report from the University of Georgia about how students use or don’t use library services is based on ERIAL (Ethnographic Research in Illinois Academic Libraries) research that received a lot of attention earlier this year.

From The Red and Black (Student Paper at UGA):

A two-year study of students’ research habits at five Illinois universities found that the majority of college students did most of their research with Google and did not properly use scholarly databases.

Caroline Barratt, director of the Miller Learning Center Library Commons, said with so much information available online, students may overlook the services the libraries provide.

“People may be overconfident about the results they find in a Google search,” Barratt said. “For example, Google can be really useful, but it is often the case that a librarian can find a better source for you that your professor will look on with approval.”

Kyle Boutte, a senior middle school education major from Athens, said she studies at the library but has never asked a librarian for assistance.

“I think we have the computers to help us with that — not the librarians,” Boutte said.

Read the Complete Article

See Also: Presentations Using ERIAL Research

See Also: What Students Don’t Know (via Inside Higher Ed; August 22, 2011)

See Also: Yet another study shows that “digital natives” suck at searching (via Lisa Gold)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.