Good time roving in Canalsidewest this afternoon. Found my colleagues based down the main groundfloor corridor, stopping students as they walked past the stall. They’d used the Summon banner to make the stand more prominent. Although it was less busy than the Business School they had had a few good chats with students, some lasting 5 to 10 minutes. Students usually started off saying that everything was fine but then when questioned would say, “well there is one thing…”
Two interactions I observed really stood out. The Computing Subject librarian approached a passing student who admitted that he used Google Scholar in preference to Summon. Martin then told him how much the library spent on on-line resouces that couldn’t be accessed through Google. He pointed to his tablet which was ajoined to the keyboard and sat on the desk, and showed him the single search box. This led to a question about tutorials which he’d just been upstairs to ask about. He asked if he needed a password. Martin asked him if he knew about Digital Tutors. He then found out that he is studying Digital Media and found one of his reading lists on the MyReading software. Now he really has his attention. I asked him to complete the questionnaire and he says that he will use the electronic library more and wanders off clutching a Summon leaflet.
The second encouner also featured the Computing Librarian. The student he spoke to t first seemed very confident. Yes he did use Summon, but then came the admission that he sometimes had problems with Athens. Turned out he was search Google Scholar! He then mentioned what he was looking for. Martin said “we’ve got lots on that, have you got two minutes?” The student is now leant over the table. Martin keeps referring to his search technique. Uses question such as “Do you do things like that…” He shows him the search strategy he has used and points out a key book. He advised him out to limit results to eBooks, Scholarly journal articles etc. The student seemed to get it “so the more you refine it the better results you get?” He particularly liked the fact that you could limit results by date.