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College Students' Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources

College Students' Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources

College Students’ Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources examines the information-seeking habits and preferences of international college students. This report is a companion piece to the December 2005 OCLC Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources report.

The 396 college students who participated in the survey range in age from 15 to 57 and are either undergraduate or graduate students. The college students were from all of the six countries included in the survey (Australia, Canada, India, Singapore, United Kingdom and the United States). Responses from U.S. 14- to 17-year-old participants have also been included to provide contrast and comparison with the college students, as these young people are potential college attendees.

With all-new graphs and additional analysis of how college student data compare to that of total respondents, this report is a subset of the original Perceptions report and provides findings from the online survey in an effort to learn more about:

  • Library use
  • Awareness and use of library electronic resources
  • The Internet search engine, the library and the librarian
  • Free vs. for-fee information
  • The “Library” brand

This report looks at these questions from the point-of-view of college students and 14- to 17-year-olds. In the original study, we found that college students are more aware of and use libraries’ information resources more than other survey respondents. In addition, the more educated the respondents, the more they continue to use libraries after graduation. Awareness does not always translate into high usage.

Overall, respondents have positive, if outdated, views of the “Library.” Younger respondents—teenagers and young adults—do not express positive associations as frequently. These findings, and more, are valuable insights for anyone seeking to know more about the library usage and perceptions of college students and young people.

This subset of the original Perceptions report is appropriate for provosts, deans and academic library administration. Read the report online or order a print copy using the links at the right, then use our feedback form to tell us what you think.

We are a worldwide library cooperative, owned, governed and sustained by members since 1967. Our public purpose is a statement of commitment to each other—that we will work together to improve access to the information held in libraries around the globe, and find ways to reduce costs for libraries through collaboration. Learn more »