I’m Not Your Mommy. Now, How Can I Help You?

A relatively recent study entitled Studying Students: The Undergraduate Research Project at the University of Rochester has the following to say concerning the Google generation and their approach to reference services at an academic library:

So self-service is the preeminent model and strategy of the information-seeking student. But when the student cannot satisfy his/her own needs and turns to real-life service providers, what happens? In their drawings of ideal library spaces, students sometimes group librarians with technical support staff and baristas at service desks (see Chapter 4). When they do not differentiate between different kinds of service providers, it is in part because they do not know the service providers, having experienced few person-to-person service relationships. If they have a need, they want it filled. If they want a need filled, they want to go to a font of all sorts of service, a sort of universal service point, a physical Google. In other words, they want Mommy. (p. 76)

HT: Nicole Engard, Metadata Librarian at Princeton University

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