University of British Columbia: “New Library Collection Highlights Good Reads, the Old-Fashioned Way”
Since September 2011, UBC librarians have run a pilot project to highlight new books for leisure reading. The Great Reads Collection — a selection of popular contemporary books labelled with a green “Great Reads” tag on the spine — is intended to revamp the traditional concept of a university library. Students can find Great Reads books in Koerner Library, the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and Woodward Library.
“We wanted to see if a leisure reading collection would be appealing at UBC libraries,” said Jo Ann Ramirez, UBC’s head associate university librarian, collections management. So far, she said, the project has been extremely popular.
The idea behind Great Reads came from a student, Shannon Simpson, who conducted a survey on UBC students’ reading habits. Simpson, a former graduate student doing co-op work in the library, decided to look into students’ reading habits after taking classes at the School of Library and Information Science. Simpson conducted a survey in fall 2010 after Ramirez asked her to assist in creating a leisure reading collection.
The survey results flew in the face of popular perceptions of young people’s reading habits. For instance, they showed that nearly 50 per cent of undergraduates dedicate three hours per week to leisure reading. Further, 97 per cent of respondents preferred reading print books; only 39 per cent expressed an interest in e-readers.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.