The More Things Change the More They Stay the Same: The Libraries and Academic Success
“There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves
as fiercely as if they had never happened before.” Willa Cather, O' Pioneers!
Below: Students using the audio lab in the library to help study and prepare for class at UW Richland, circa 1968.
In a world of rapidly changing technology, it seems as though a contemporary student's educational experience bears little resemblance to previous generations. Certainly, technology has changed the way our students gather, engage with, consume, and synthesize information. However, in the UWC Libraries we are seeing a pattern of success that even your grandparents would recognize: spending time in the Library contributes, fairly significantly, to a student's overall academic success. A recent study conducted by the UWC Library Council's Assessment Committee found that students who attend a research instruction session led by a librarian have an average GPA +.63 higher than non-attendees. Additionally, attendees were almost 30% more likely to pass the course. We will be exploring other ways to highlight the role Library engagement plays in student success.
2016-17 has been a busy and productive year in the Libraries:
The UWC Libraries will not rest on our laurels and the library staff is committed to improving our services and collections in 2017-18. Our innovative new consolidated collections model means greater cooperation with our academic departments to insure our resources keep pace with our curricular changes. We will continue to add new, innovative resources so that our students have access to high quality information when they need it.
The "not in my day" phrase is apropos for many things in the modern student experience from air-conditioned dorms to tablets to smartphones. Undoubtedly, today's educational experience has changed considerably from decades past. But when it comes to impacting academic achievement, nothing replaces the time-tested learning environment and information-rich spaces our Libraries have provided our students since earmuff sized headphones were in fashion. Heading to the Library, either physically or virtually, can impact our students' ability to learn and that has been the library mission for years. Even if it is a fiercely, repeating story.
Jennifer Chamberlain, Executive Director of Libraries