General

A survey reported in 1978 of 74 North American libraries providing point-of-use library instruction (“any presentation that informs the patron about the use of a particular reference/research tool and is found at the location of that tool”) showed thatthe 2 most frequently reported nonprint formats for point-of-use instruction (multiple responses allowed) were slide-tape (19 or 25.7% libraries) and audiotape (14 or 18.9% libraries), while the 3 most frequently reported print formats for point of use instruction were (multiple responses allowed) handouts (48 or 64.9% libraries), charts (23 or 31.1% libraries), and posters (19 or 25.7% libraries).                  (Source)

Academic

A 1967 random survey of 200 members of The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (94 responding) seeking information on library user education practices showed that19 (20%) used a combination of handbooks, lectures, and tours; 89 (95%) gave orientation for freshmen only; 8 (9%) offered a credit class; and 17 (18%) offered no library instruction at all.             (Source)

A study reported in 1979 at the University of Arizona of 487 entering students showed thatrequired completion of a library instruction workbook caused a statistically significant increase in test scores of library use skills [significance level not given; presumed to be .01].                (Source)

A review reported in 1979 of 16 study guides showed thatthey did not offer a fruitful or sophisticated approach to library research, made serious omissions in their recommendations of indexes and abstracts, and assigned librarians only a limited service role.                  (Source)

A survey reported in 1981 of bibliographic instruction in business school libraries (sample size: 120; responding: 65; usable: 61 or 50.8%) showed thatthe following use was made of printed materials for orientation and instruction:

                handbook/guide                                    86.7% respondents

                single-page handouts                             70.0% respondents

                subject bibliographies                            70.0% respondents

                information on specific sources              56.7% respondents

                walking tour                                          51.7% respondents

                map                                                      50.0% respondents

                library column                                       25.0% respondents                       (Source)

A study reported in 1982 at Bowling Green State University in Ohio that compared library instruction provided via a workbook (250 students) versus lecture (203 students) showed thatgenerally students preferred the workbook. For example, 74.8% of the students “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that the workbook was “clear and understandable” compared to 63.2% of the students so responding for the lecture, while 48.0% of the students “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that the workbook helped them feel more confident in using the library compared to 43.6% of the students so responding to the lecture. Later revisions of the workbook used by another group of students (460 students) raised its “clear and understandable” rating to 85.6% and its “more confident in using the library” rating to 70.0%.                 (Source)

Dr. David Kohl

 "Libraries in the digital age are experiencing the most profound transformation since ancient Mesopotamian scribes first began gathering and organizing cuneiform tablets."

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