Our Article on CUNY Students’ Library Use

The preprint for our latest article, “I am more productive in the library because it’s quiet:” Commuter Students in the College Library, has just gone live! It’s being published in College & Research Libraries in November. This article draws on the library-specific data we collected in our research and discusses how, where, and why CUNY students use (or don’t use) their college libraries for their academic work. Many thanks to our C&RL editor and peer reviewers!

About this Study

This project uses ethnographic methods to examine student approaches to research at New York City College of Technology (City Tech) and Brooklyn College during the 2009-2010 academic year. Ethnographic techniques such as interviews, questionnaires, photo surveys, and mapping diaries will be employed at both colleges to gather qualitative data from faculty and students. To our knowledge, there have as yet been no studies on colleges similar to City Tech and Brooklyn College: diverse, urban, public, commuter colleges in a large university system. Our project fills a gap in the research on student scholarly habits, and has broad utility to many stakeholders in the academic community.

Guiding questions for this study include:

  • What are faculty expectations for student scholarly work and assignments?
  • How do students study, research, and complete their assignments?
  • How do students use the library for their coursework (and, if they don’t, why not)?

Principal Investigators:
Maura A. Smale
Assistant Professor, Information Literacy Librarian
New York City College of Technology, CUNY

Mariana Regalado
Associate Professor, Associate Librarian for Information Services
Brooklyn College, CUNY

This work is supported (in part) by grants from The City University of New York PSC-CUNY Research Award Program.