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‘Ask, ask, ask!’: a case study of Umeå University library provision for its international students
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2007 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this Master’s thesis is to investigate Umeå University Library’s provision for its visiting international students. Questions addressed include: whether this library considers its international students to have specific needs which are different from those of domestic students; what kind of provision is offered to international students; and whether and what kind of affective barriers international students experience in this academic library.

For this case study two semi-structured interview questionnaires were designed, one for librarians and the other for international students. Three contact librarians and five international students were interviewed. The students differ as to nationality, gender, and level of education. They are non-native English speakers and have stayed in Sweden longer than six months.

The theoretical framework for this study is partially based on Budd’s library instruction model and partially on Bostick‘s five dimensions of library anxiety: barriers with staff, affective barriers, comfort with the library, knowledge of the library, and mechanical barriers.

The empirical findings are that apart from a library introduction and a library tour the library does not provide any special services for international students. The library appears to work on a one-size-fits-all assumption, sprinkled with a feel-free-to-ask-me attitude, rather than offering course-integrated library instruction sessions. At best, international students might get one timely library instruction opportunity. At worst, they use the library only for studying in it rather than for information searching. The study confirms the findings from the literature that the international students experience library anxiety. In order to overcome this anxiety, this thesis proposes that library instruction sessions are introduced into all international programmes and courses; that a liaison librarian should be appointed; and that a library website tailored to the needs of international students should be designed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Sociologi , 2007. , 76 p.
Keyword [en]
International students, Umeå University Library, information searching, information literacy, library instruction, library anxiety, emotional barriers
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-1482OAI: diva2:141205
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2008-01-09 Created: 2008-01-09 Last updated: 2011-01-04Bibliographically approved

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