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Librarian Futures: In Conversation with Patrons 

We recently held our inaugural Tech from Sage Insight conference, a two-day event held in Birmingham, bringing together Technology from Sage staff, academic librarians, students and thought leaders from across the higher education sector.

At the event, EdTech Success Consultant, Matthew Weldon, spoke with Samantha Sharman (student at the University of Lincoln) and Professor Jamie Wood (University of Lincoln) about the key takeaways from part two of our Librarian Futures series of reports. We’ve summarized some of the main points from this thought-provoking session below, as well as provided audio excerpts from our speakers. 

Check out the recording from our session at Tech from Sage Insight below:

Most Students Use Google

Our research shows that most students are using Google while during their research, and a plurality go to Google first. Our panelists were not surprised by this, and agreed that academic libraries have a crucial role to play in addressing this. Libraries can empower students by training them to use Google effectively, ensuring that students are equipped to navigate through the vast sea of information and access credible sources. 

Students Don’t Approach Librarians

We also found that students do not identify librarians as having helped them across a number of categories, including reading academic literature. Jamie Wood described how signposting, integrating library resources into modules, and modelling the value of the library might contribute to a better understanding of the role and value of the library among students. Samantha Sharman then described how big a difference being taught by a librarian has made to her studies. 

What is the Library’s Role with ChatGPT? 

We asked whether, as technology continues to evolve, libraries should be involved in addressing emerging tools like ChatGPT. Our panelists discussed how educating students on how to use such technologies effectively and ethically is essential to promote responsible academic practices, and how by providing guidance on the appropriate use of ChatGPT and fostering discussions on the topic, libraries can help students navigate the ethical challenges inherent in using these technologies. 

In Summary

In our session, we discussed at length the pivotal role that libraries have in supporting students and academics, especially in the digital age. However, as our Librarian Futures series highlights, to provide the appropriate support to students means that librarians must address the bidirectional knowledge gap that exists between librarians and their patrons. We’re grateful to Samantha Sharman and Professor Jamie Wood for joining us at our Insight event to discuss their thoughts on the knowledge gap and the future of the academic library, and we’re excited to continue to work with and support librarians and library patrons.

Interested in Tech from Sage Insight 2023?

Click below to access all of the Tech from Sage Insight 2023 recordings:

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