Proposal Title

What could possibly go wrong? Evaluating mandatory reference consultations for a graduate cohort.

Presenter Status

Academic Librarian

Description

Since launching an appointments option, Odum Library at Valdosta State has had a robust schedule of reference consultations for students throughout the university, with an enthusiastic participation from graduate students. Recently, two professors from a graduate program required each of their students to schedule an individual research consultation with a reference librarian in tandem with a compendium project about social policy. In previous semesters, these students had only been advised that such assistance was available, and some had scheduled research consultations. This strategy of assigned consultations proved somewhat disruptive, in part due to the extra preparation for the high level of research required for an intensive project, and students did not always respond well to the interaction. Ultimately, this experience is forcing us to confront and reevaluate what we had thought was an effective way to work with graduate students. This report presents an analysis of opinions from the librarians, students and faculty involved, collected through interviews and surveys. We will investigate student satisfaction, anticipated goals from faculty, and librarian perspectives on the experience. Based on the results of this reflection, we hope to develop a more effective way to meet the needs of this and other graduate programs.

Comments

Keywords:

graduate students, research consultations, research appointments, working with faculty

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What could possibly go wrong? Evaluating mandatory reference consultations for a graduate cohort.

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Since launching an appointments option, Odum Library at Valdosta State has had a robust schedule of reference consultations for students throughout the university, with an enthusiastic participation from graduate students. Recently, two professors from a graduate program required each of their students to schedule an individual research consultation with a reference librarian in tandem with a compendium project about social policy. In previous semesters, these students had only been advised that such assistance was available, and some had scheduled research consultations. This strategy of assigned consultations proved somewhat disruptive, in part due to the extra preparation for the high level of research required for an intensive project, and students did not always respond well to the interaction. Ultimately, this experience is forcing us to confront and reevaluate what we had thought was an effective way to work with graduate students. This report presents an analysis of opinions from the librarians, students and faculty involved, collected through interviews and surveys. We will investigate student satisfaction, anticipated goals from faculty, and librarian perspectives on the experience. Based on the results of this reflection, we hope to develop a more effective way to meet the needs of this and other graduate programs.