Published in California Association of Research Libraries (CARL) Conference Proceedings, April 10, 2010. Copyright © 2010 Anna Gold
Studying students to understand how they find and use information is one of several newer assessment strategies that shift the focus of library research from the library to the user, with sometimes surprising results. Another way that libraries can engage in user-centered research is to offer the library as a student research site. The Kennedy Library at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo has been used in recent years as a research site for undergraduate students, including individuals, groups, and courses, in fields that include architecture, business, and computer science. A case study will illustrate how a faculty member and students in one business course developed their library research agenda and research questions; interacted throughout their research with the library; and presented their findings. Discussion will focus on the benefits of creating an ongoing research program in libraries in which students take the lead.