College & Research Libraries is a scholarly research journal published by the Association of College & Research Libraries.

Current Issue: May 2022

Cover: College & Research Libraries volume 83, number 3, May 2022

The Case for Retroactive Author Name Changes

Amy Lazet, Brian Watson

A name is a reflection of the individual, yet for authors who no longer identify with their birth name or whose name has changed, continuing to see their previous name on publications can be painful, annoying, or even potentially dangerous. While this applies to many authors (as will be discussed below) trans and gender-diverse authors are particularly faced with an untenable choice: disassociate themselves from their previous writings (thereby losing their scholarly record), or out themselves as trans by claiming previous publications under their new name. Neither choice is viable, and in response, there is a growing movement to correct the published record to reflect these authors’ true names. ...

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“Looking for Pictures of Clouds”: Defining the Unique Research Needs of Creative Communities

Laura Dimmit Smyth, Ian Moore, Kodi Saylor

The purpose of this study is to define the unique research needs of creative communities as seen by the academic librarians supporting those communities. After surveying academic librarians, visual practice, information relating to the practice of a creative discipline, and inspiration were identified as unique research needs of these populations. Survey respondents also identified challenges to serving creative communities, including perceptions of library relevance, buy-in, and scheduling. While past literature has engaged with supporting specific creative disciplines, this study focuses on the collective research needs of creative communities. ...

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Native American Student Experiences of the Academic Library

Rosalind Bucy

Native Americans are underrepresented in higher education; and, while considerable research examines Native student persistence, the role of academic libraries in their experiences has received little attention. This study proposes to investigate Native American undergraduate students’ library experiences, needs, and perceptions. Qualitative interviews explored Native student perspectives on library services, space, and culture. Findings suggest that core library services are important to Native students, that visible representation of Native Americans contributes to a sense of belonging, and that Native student identity has varied significance for library use. This study has implications for librarians seeking to improve services for Native students. ...

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Impact of Undergraduate Students’ Library Use on Their Learning beyond GPA: Mixed-Methods Approach

Jung Mi Scoulas, Sandra L. De Groote

The research aims to identify the primary reason for students’ library use, to explore how they characterize academic success, and to further examine the impact of library usage on student learning outcomes beyond GPA, through a mixed-methods approach. By surveying and interviewing 27 undergraduate students during 2019–2020, the findings revealed that almost every participant strongly believed that their use of library space was positively associated with their GPA, independent of how often they would use the library. While many participants defined academic success as getting a good grade, some identified academic success as developing application skills and obtaining new knowledge. ...

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Dissonance between Perceptions and Use of Virtual Reference Methods

Tara Mawhinney, Sandy Hervieux

This multimethod study investigates differences in question complexity and type between live chat, email, and texting by comparing findings from user interviews and virtual reference transcripts, with the goal of better understanding how different delivery methods can meet user needs in the context of an academic library. Findings reveal dissonance between perceptions and use of chat and email. Interviews suggest users consider chat to be for basic queries whereas transcripts coded using the READ Scale, a well-known reference assessment tool, show question complexity to be highest in chat. Our analysis also found statistically significant differences in the presence of reference interviews and instruction for chat, email, and texting. Rebranding chat more explicitly for intermediate and advanced queries may succeed in attracting users who consider chat only for basic queries, thus narrowing the gap between user perceptions and actual use. ...

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Library Services and Incarceration: Recognizing Barriers, Strengthening Access

Reviewed by Megan Riley

The ongoing crisis of mass incarceration and racialized, violent policing in the United States touches more aspects of our daily lives than many realize, and libraries are no exception. Library furniture built by exploited prison labor, book and information censorship, reference by mail requests, police presence in libraries as security, re-entry services for formerly incarcerated community members: these are just a small handful of the ways in which libraries and library workers are integrated into the carceral system in the United States. People experiencing incarceration are often marginalized or entirely omitted from discussions of censorship, both in popular and professional discourse, and library services for incarcerated people rarely make more than a brief appearance in LIS school curricula. There has never been a better time to correct these concerns. ...

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