Web Scale Discovery Systems and Library Instruction : A qualitative study of instruction librarians‟ practices and their perceptions of discovery systems‟, impact on students‟ information literacy at three university libraries

University essay from Högskolan i Borås/Akademin för bibliotek, information, pedagogik och IT; Högskolan i Borås/Akademin för bibliotek, information, pedagogik och IT


The purpose of this thesis is to examine how instruction librarians‟ perceptions of web scale discovery services and their perceptions of the impact of web scale discovery on students‟ information literacy are reflected in their instruction practices in academic libraries. This study addresses how instruction librarians generally perceive WSDS and students‟ information literacy as well as how instruction librarians conduct their instruction sessions. The study‟s empirical data consists of the responses received through seven semi-structured interviews with ten instruction librarians at three separate universities in the Västra Götaland region. The study concludes that library instruction practices reflect many of the librarians‟ perceptions surrounding WSDS, most notably in the areas of source criticism and critical assessment of search results. The study also shows that the search strategies, techniques, and tools taught in instruction sessions are greatly influenced by librarians‟ perceptions of the usefulness of WSDS in student search processes. The librarians‟ responses demonstrate the importance of teaching students search strategies and techniques as well as helping them develop critical evaluation skills that will remain relevant as search technologies continue to evolve.

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