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Library And Information Use Patterns By Engineering Faculty And Students

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Meeting the Needs of Engineering Faculty, Researchers, and Students

Tagged Division

Engineering Libraries

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.849.1 - 14.849.13



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Paper Authors


William Baer Georgia Institute of Technology

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Engineering Librarian
GA Tech Library

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Lisha Li Georgia Institute of Technology

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Engineering Librarian
GA Tech Library

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Library and Information Use Patterns by Engineering Faculty and Students


This paper reports the results of a survey conducted at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The students and faculty of the schools of civil and mechanical engineering were asked about how they use the library. They were also asked questions concerning their information seeking habits. The responses from undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty are compared, revealing expected and unexpected patterns.


The library has traditionally been seen as the heart of a university with information flowing outward, sustaining the life of research and learning. In recent years libraries and the universities they serve have changed. Technology plays an ever increasing role in education. The Internet provides access to vast amounts of information both commercial and free. How have recent changes affected the “heart” of campus? Is the library building still important to the learning process? Or has its role become more virtual in the eyes of the campus community with the increasing flow of digital information?

Over the past several years, the Georgia Institute of Technology Library has stressed the library as a place. The Library has transformed from a place for books to an academic resources center by opening up two Information Commons with a computer productivity lab, multi-media lab, presentation studio, group study areas, class rooms, and a performance space. Students come to the library for activities related to their learning and research, and library gate counts have increased significantly. The transition to a learning commons environment has provided an invigorating atmosphere in which to study. Yet there is a sense that faculty usage of the facility is somewhat low.

The library has focused on providing digital access to as many resources as possible. The proliferation of electronic resources has enabled faculty and students to do quality research without setting foot in the library building. More electronic journals, e-books, and online databases have been added to the collections. Overall, electronic resources usage has increased sharply.

Given this situation, the authors asked several questions. How do the faculty and students from engineering schools use the library space? How do they approach information resources when conducting their research? How well do they acknowledge the major resources and services available to them? What effect has Google and Google Scholar had on their search for information? What are their preferences in using library resources? What are the barriers in using certain resources and services?

Baer, W., & Li, L. (2009, June), Library And Information Use Patterns By Engineering Faculty And Students Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4724

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2009 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015