Library Use, Information Literacy and Student Success
CJCLS/ACRL College Surveys Project Group
Corlett, D. (1974). Library skills, study habits and attitudes, and sex as related to academic achievement. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 34(4), 967-969.
This study used a sample of 81 college students in freshmen English classes to determine the degree of relationship between academic success and 1) library skills, 2) study habits and attitudes, and 3) gender. The Library Orientation Test for College Freshmen was used to measure library skills and grade point averages were used as the measure for academic achievement. The author concludes that, The Library Orientation Test appeared to be valid of forecasting success in college. (p. 969)
De Jager, K. (2002). Successful students: Does the library make a difference? Performance Measurement and Metrics, 3(3), 140-144.
Reports on two studies that attempt to determine if there is a relationship between library use and student learning at the University of Cape Town. In her first study, de Jager found students who obtained the highest marks in the subjects of Psychology, Chemistry, History, Economics, and Environmental and Geographical sciences had borrowed significantly more open shelf books than the students with the lowest marks. (142) The second study focused on a division between humanities and sciences majors, finding that students in the humanities who do well on their exams tend to borrow more books than those who do less well. The relationship was not as well defined for the sciences. [Presented at the 4th Northumbria International Conference. Online proceedings available at http://www.libqual.org/documents/admin/dejager.pdf.]
Educational Testing Service. (2006, November 14). College students fall short in demonstrating the ICT literacy skills necessary for success in college and the
workplace. ETS Press Release. Retrieved March 19, 2007, from http://www.ets.org/portal/site/ets/menuitem.c988ba0e5dd572bada20bc47c3921509/?vgnextoid=340051e5122ee010VgnVCM10000022f95190RCRD&vgnextchannel=d89d1eed91059010VgnVCM10000022f95190RCRD
"Despite the assumption that today's college students are tech savvy and ICT literate, preliminary research released by ETS today shows that many students lack the critical thinking skills to perform the kinds of information management and research tasks necessary for academic success.
ETS reached these conclusions after evaluating the responses of 6,300 students who took the company's ICT (information and communication technology) Literacy Assessment this year....Some of the most surprising preliminary research findings are that only 52% of test takers could correctly judge the objectivity of a Web site, and only 65% could correctly judge the site's authoritativeness. In a Web search task, only 40% entered multiple search terms to narrow the results. And when selecting a research statement for a class assignment, only 44% identified a statement that captured the demands of the assignment. [More results are available at ets.org/ictliteracy/prelimfindings.html.]
Ferguson, J. (2001). Taking the lead: The case for proactive information literacy training. Internet Librarian Conference. Pasadena, CA.
During the summer of 2001, the Office of Institutional Research at Richland College began to analyze data, which had been gathered for the fall 2000 and spring 2001 semesters, to determine if students who earn the librarys Certificate of Information Literacy have a higher course completion rate, a higher student retention rate, and higher student grades. The Certificate of Information Literacy consists of five classes (seven hours). The course completion rate for those who received the Information Literacy Certificate was 97%; for those who didnt, the rate was 77%. The student retention ratefrom the fall to spring semesters--was 90.1% versus 74.3%. In the fall semester, 78% of the students who received the certificate made C or better in their classes versus 61%; in the spring semester, the numbers were 89% versus 59%. Richland College Librarys User Education Evaluation Surveys reveal that most recipients of the Certificate of Information Literacy earned it because it was a course requirement. Not self-selected students.
Flynn, C., Gilchrist, D., & Olson, L. (2004). Using the assessment cycle as a tool for collaboration. Resource Sharing and Information, 17(1), 187-203.
The article focuses primarily on the assessment model used by Pierce College in a general way. The authors also report some of their findings about the relationship between student learning and library instruction. The authors use pre- and post-tests and combine qualitative measures with student ratings of their learning improvement. Quantitatively, both students and instructors can see the students perception of her own learning. The assessment tool also provides the checks and balances of qualitative data. (p. 198) Findings are reported for a 2-hour credit library research methods course (20 hours of instruction). The authors note that 70% of the students showed improvement in language and written discussion skills (more detail, identified specific concepts covered in class). 90% of the students rated themselves as having improved in a number of areas as a result of the course.
Glendale Community College. (2005, July 27). Statistical evaluation of information competency program student outcomes, spring 2002 to spring 2005. Retrieved January 20, 2007, from http://www.glendale.edu/library/instruction/documents/ICEval05.pdf
At GCC the Institutional Research Department and the Library have been conducting a long-term study to identify effective models of information competency instruction. The goals of the project are to evaluate the relationship between the library's information competency instruction and student outcomes. The spring 2005 report summarizes the statistical evaluation of two aspects of the GCC Information Competency program: Library 191 [2-unit credit course] and library workshops. In general, both aspects of the information competency program were associated with positive short-term and long-term student success [higher GPA, increase in completion and persistence rates].
Hiscock, J. E. (1986). Does library usage affect academic performance? Australian Academic and Research Libraries, 17, 207-14.
Nine hypotheses on library usage and academic achievement were tested with 196 students at the Underdale site of the South Australian College of Advanced Education. While the majority of hypotheses were not confirmed, the study did identify a positive relationship between academic performance and usage of library catalogs. In addition, students with previous library experience were more likely to meet their information needs.
Holmes, B., & Lichtenstein, A. (1998). Minority student success. College & Research Libraries News, 59(7), 496-99.
Describes a program at the University of Central Arkansas to better prepare minority freshman for university work. The program, African Americans Partnering Talent (APT) Summer Academy, was collaboratively designed by librarians and other academic units. Through APT, the librarians taught information literacy skills through ten one-hour sessions and follow-up homework assignments and projects. Institutional data show that APT students are performing at a higher level academically than other student populations and are achieving higher overall grade-point averages. (p. 497) APT students also had higher persistence rates than non-APT students.
Jones, S. (2002, September 15). The internet goes to college: How students are living in the future with today's technology. Pew Internet and American Life Project. Retrieved March 19, 2007, from http://www.pewinternet.org/pdfs/PIP_College_Report.pdf
Findings from a large national sample include a variety of data, including college students beliefs that the Internet has enhanced their education. Internet use is a staple of college students' educational experience. They use the Internet to communicate with professors and classmates, to do research, and to access library materials. For most college students the Internet is a functional tool, one that has greatly changed the way they interact with others and with information as they go about their studies. (p. 2) Nearly four-fifths of college students (79%) agree that Internet use has had a positive impact on their college academic experience." (p. 3)
Kelly, M. C. (1995). Student retention and academic libraries. College and Research Libraries News, 56, 757-759.
After an explanation of the roles that academic libraries and librarians play in student retention, the author describes a particular case at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). UIC created a Freshman Success Seminar in 1995 to help reduce the attrition rate of UIC students. The UIC Student Retention Task Force at that time recommended that the library significantly participate in the development of the seminar. Today, UIC still offers the seminar with a library research component.
Kraemer, B.A. (1997). The academic and social integration of Hispanic students into college. The Review of Higher Education, 20(2), 163-179.
The author reviews studies that have examined academic and social integration in relationship to student persistence. The author then questions whether or not conventional definitions of academic and social integration are appropriate for Hispanics at two-year colleges. The author tests six indicators for academic integration and five indicators for social integration. Through factor analyses, some indicators are eliminated. The author concludes that frequency of use of the library can serve as a separate construct for the concept of academic integration.
Kohl, D.F., & Wilson, L.A. (1986). Effectiveness of course-integrated bibliographic instruction in improving coursework. RQ, 27(2), 206-211.
This study compared two different approaches to research skills instruction - - a traditional tool-specific approach vs. a cognitive approach to bibliographic instruction. The bibliographies of 118 student term papers were evaluated by writing instructors and librarians to determine if the content of the instruction session (tool-specific vs. cognitive) made a difference in the quality of student research as reflected in their bibliographies. Results showed that the cognitive strategy did increase the quality of student bibliographies to a statistically significant degree. Originally, the researchers also wanted to study the degree to which ratings on the bibliographies correlated with grades on the papers. They discovered, however, that too many other factors (writing clearly, proofreading skills, getting the paper in on time) affected the grades. [NOTE: Currently, academic libraries have moved away from traditional bibliographic instruction and now embrace information literacy instruction (aka the cognitive approach) to contribute more meaningfully to student success.]
Kuh, G.D., & Shouping, H. (2001). The relationship between computer and information technology use, selected learning and personal development outcomes, and other college experiences. Journal of College Student Development, 42(3), 217-232.
This study examines the relationships between student characteristics, student use of computers and other information technologies, the amount of effort they devote to other college activities, and self-reported gains in a range of desirable college outcomes. Based on an analysis of responses to the College Student Experiences Questionnaire from 18,344 undergraduates at 71 four-year colleges and universities, students appeared to benefit more from computers and other information technologies when they used them frequently and in a variety of ways. Equally important, using computer and information technologies was positively related to educational effort with the effects of computers and information technologies on outcomes of college being largely mediated through the educational efforts students put forth. [NOTE: Community college library research in the 21st century relies heavily and, in some cases, exclusively on information technology. Computer skills are a component of information literacy. This reference is a CCSSE citation at http://www.ccsse.org/aboutsurvey/biblio/question.cfm?id=4j ]
Kuh, G.D., & Vesper, N. (2001). Do computers enhance or detract from student learning? Research in Higher Education, 42(1), 87-102.
Does becoming familiar with computer and information technology during college add to or detract from making progress toward other desirable outcomes of college? Based on responses to the 23 gains items from the CSEQ (including computer use), more than 125,000 undergraduates from 205 four-year colleges and universities were divided into two categories: (1) High Gainers (those who made substantial progress on using computers) and (2) Low Gainers (those reporting less progress). Increased familiarity with computers was positively related to developing other important skills and competencies, including social skills. [NOTE: Community college library research in the 21st century relies heavily and, in some cases, exclusively on information technology. Computer skills are a component of information literacy. This reference is a CCSSE citation at http://www.ccsse.org/aboutsurvey/biblio/question.cfm?id=4j]
Kuh, G. D., & Gonyea, R. M. (2003). The role of the academic library in promoting student engagement in learning. College & Research Libraries, 64(4), 256-282.
This study shows an indirect relationship between student success and library use. The goal of the study is to examine the nature and value of undergraduate students experiences with the academic library. The study is based on responses of 300,000+ students to the College Student Experiences Questionnaire (CSEQ) between 1984-2002. The authors conclude that the library experiences of undergraduates relate to select educationally purposeful activities, such as using computing and information technology and interacting with faculty members. Those students who more frequently use the library reflect a studious work ethic and engage in academically challenging tasks that require higher-order thinking. (p. 270)
Kuh, G.D., Kinzie, J., Schuh, J.H., & Whitt, E.J. (2005). Student success in college: Creating conditions that matter. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
The authors of this book examine what an educationally effective college or university would look like by studying a number of institutions. They identify strong-performing colleges and universities that promote student success, which are referred to throughout the book as DEEP (Documenting Effective Educational Practice) schools. The authors list recommendations based on their examination of DEEP schools. One of the recommendations to promote student success is to harness the expertise of other resources. (p. 312) In this recommendation, the authors explain how at DEEP schools, librarians contribute to first-year seminars, orientations, academic advising, student-faculty research activities, and capstone seminars.
Laird, T.F.N. (2004). Surfin' with a purpose: Examining how spending time online is related to student engagement. Student Affairs Online, 5(3). Retrieved March 15, 2007, from http://www.studentaffairs.com/ejournal/Summer_2004/SurfinwithaPurpose.htm
This study uses data from the 2003 NSSE to investigate the relationships between the proportion of time students spend online for academic purposes and several forms of student engagement. The results suggest that students who devote most of their online time to academics are more likely to engage in other effective education practices. [NOTE: Community college library research in the 21st century relies heavily and, in some cases, exclusively on information technology. Online searching and evaluation skills are components of information literacy.]
Laird, T.F., & Kuh, G.D. (2005). Student experiences with information technology and their relationship to other aspects of student engagement. Research in Higher Education, 46(2), 211-233.
This study shows that at least one aspect of library use has a positive relationship to measures of student engagement. The analysis of NSSE data from 2003 shows a relationship between library website use and other measures of student engagement. Of those students who frequently use their institutions library website to obtain resources, 77% report that their courses emphasize synthesizing and organizing ideas, information, and experiences and 43% report discussing career plans with faculty frequently. The comparable figures for students who infrequently use their institutions library websites are 63% and 27% respectively. (p. 220)
Mallinckrodt, B., & and Sedlacek, W. E. (1987). Student retention and the use of campus facilities by race. NASPA Journal, 24(3), 28-32.
A study of 207 second-semester freshmen at the University of Maryland to determine which, if any, campus facilities are significant predictors of student retention for both students in general and black students specifically. Statistical analysis was conducted on data from a 24-item questionnaire on student use of facilities and continued enrollment data for the survey respondents. Findings indicate that, Uses of academic facilities that were related to retention for students in general for both semesters are studying, research, and number of hours spent in a campus library. For black students, the only use of academic facilities that predicted retention was studying in a campus library. (p. 30) The authors conclude that, The implications for student use of academic facilities in general appear to be that students who use the library are more likely to stay in school. (p. 31)
Mezick, E.M. (2007). Return on investment: Libraries and student retention. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 33(5), 561-566.
This study examined whether there was a correlation between library expenditures and number of professional staff and student persistence. Data on library expenditures and number of professional staff were obtained from ARL Statistics and Academic Library Trends and Statistics. Fall-to-fall student retention rates were obtained from IPEDS of the National Center for Education Statistics. This study demonstrated that library expenditures and professional staff have a significant effect on student retention. The strongest relationships exist between total library expenditures, total library materials expenditures, and serial expenditures at baccalaureate colleges. (p. 564)
Moore, D., Brewster, S., Dorroh, C., & Moreau, M. (2002). Information competency instruction in a two-year college: One size does not fit all. Reference Services Review, 30(4), 300-306.
Ongoing program since 1997 at Glendale Community College (CA) to move away from the on-demand, one-time library instruction sessions. Current efforts are based on prior studies that showed a 35% higher course pass rate in English and ESL composition classes for students who took library workshops as compared to those who did not take the workshops. Based on these findings, we had a strong reason to believe that information competency did improve student learning. (p. 302) Two models are used in the current effort: (1) infusing information competency into the nursing curriculum and (2) using a paired course model for an information literacy course and a beginning English course. The infusion model apparently did not assess student learning beyond information competency skills. For the paired course model, the study notes that quantitative data were not statistically significant to show an impact of the library course and improved grades, but concludes, Students who have participated in such pairings invariably perform better in classes such as English composition which require research projects. Available online at http://www.glendale.edu/library/instruction/documents/RSRarticle.pdf
Palo Alto College, Office of Institutional Research and Grants. (2004). Effectiveness study of information research certificate program. Unpublished raw data.
At Palo Alto College in San Antonio, TX, librarians teach a series of six classes which cover the research and documentation process. Each student that completes this series of classes receives a certificate. Many faculty members at the college give extra credit or require these classes. The Palo Alto College Office of Institutional Research and Grants conducted research on this series of classes in 2002 and 2004. Using social security numbers, they compared the students who took the series of classes to the general student body. In 2002, results showed that students who took these classes were 44.9% more likely to stay in college (retention) and 38.6% more likely to succeed (get grades above a D). In 2004, data showed that the certificate classes increased success 34.3% and retention 6.9%.
Shapiro, N. S., & McAdams K. (2006). Discovery projects: Contextualized research experiences for college sophomores. In C. Gibson (Ed.), Student engagement and information literacy, (pp. 120-142). Chicago, IL: American Library Association.
The authors of this chapter describe a study from the University of Maryland that uses a discovery method for teaching sophomores library and research skills. The Discovery Project was originally funded by a Department of Education FIPSE grant in 1996. FIPSE funding required independent researchers and consultants to assess the impact of student learning over the three years of the grant. These evaluators, though pre and post essays about research, found that 77% of the students in the Discovery Project showed improved competence in their writing skills. They also found that 73% of the students showed improved skills for finding information and 61% showed an improved writing process. (p. 131) Although the authors admit that it is difficult to attribute increased retention to one factor, such as the Discovery Project, the external evaluators claimed in their final report to FIPSE that, Student participation in the undergraduate research experience seems to correlate positively to greater retention/persistence and graduation. (p. 132)
Wang, R. (2006). The lasting impact of a library credit course. portal: Libraries and The Academy, 6(1), 79-92.
This study tracks two groups of Central Michigan University students. One group completed a one-credit library course and the other had not taken the course. The library credit course was an elective course. Results of the study show that students who had completed the library credit course obtained higher grades on their papers and final course grades.
Whitmire, E. (1998). Development of critical thinking skills: An analysis of academic library experiences and other measures. College & Research Libraries, 59(3), 266-273.
The development of critical thinking skills of college students is a primary objective for higher education. This study examines data from the College Student Experiences Questionnaire (CSEQ) to determine which factors influence the development of critical thinking skills. Through factor analyses, this study identified, among other factors, two library experiences influencing critical thinking skills - - library reference activities and library probing activities. While routine use of an academic library did not influence critical thinking, students engaged in more focused library activities did report a significant impact on their critical thinking development.
Whitmire, E. (2002). Academic library performance measures and undergraduates' library use and educational outcomes. Library & Information Science Research, 24(2), 107-28.
This study investigated the relationship between an institution's academic library performance measures and undergraduates' library use and educational outcomes. The sample consisted of 7,958 undergraduates attending 36 colleges and universities representing four institutional types. Regression analyses determined the relationship between academic library performance measures and library use and self-reported gains in critical thinking while controlling for undergraduates' background characteristics and college experiences. Greater utilization of academic library services had a negative relationship with undergraduate library use at two institutional types. However, undergraduates attending research universities with greater academic library resources had higher self-reported gains in critical thinking. Regressions for the four institutional types explained 25% to 32% of the variance for library use and 22% to 27% of the variance for self-reported gains in critical thinking. The results provide a better understanding of how academic library resources and services affect both library usage and educational outcomes. Available online at http://polaris.gseis.ucla.edu/ewhitmir/lisr2002.pdf
Zong, Y, & Alexander, J. (2007, March 30). Academic success: how library services make a difference. Program that will be given at the 13th National Conference of the Association of College and Research Libraries, Baltimore, MD.
Program Description: Learn how libraries impact academic success. Academic persistence and success are critical issues for higher education. Based on research findings from California State University, Bakersfield, this presentation will identify library services, programs, and resources which facilitate student academic success. Participants will learn about CSUB Librarys efforts to assess service, program, and resource components contributing to academic success, will be informed of the most significant library contributions to student academic success, and will better understand the librarys role as a player in student academic achievement.