Nine Student Needs Academic Librarians Need to Know

By Steven Bell on August 9, 2017. From the Bell Tower

Undergraduates are not the only user group of concern to academic librarians, but they consume significant amounts of our time and energy. Knowing these nine emerging needs of future students could better inform our service planning and design.

If asked what skills the typical college student needs to succeed academically as as well as after graduation, most academic librarians would likely focus their response on information- or research-related competencies. Given our areas of expertise, that makes sense. No doubt we would point to other emerging areas of interest too, such as privacy and data literacy, critical thinking, a growth mindset, or social justice awareness, where we could contribute to the development of a well-rounded skill set. To what extent would our list of students’ needs match up with those our colleagues in other academic units might highlight? A project called Student Needs 2025+ yields some insight into what future student needs will be beyond our library and information perspective. The short-term, possibly disruptive, future in which student lives will evolve is expected to create significant challenges for higher education.

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