What Do Faculty and Students Want/Need from Librarians?

You can find out at Capitol College on September 18.  The Academic and Research Libraries Division of MLA is sponsoring two programs – one in the morning and one in the afternoon – to explore questions surrounding what faculty and students want and need from academic libraries.

Morning Program: What Faculty Want/What Students Need
September 18, 2009
9:30 – 1:30 (lunch included) 2.5 contact hours
Capitol College, Avrum Gudelsky Auditorium
MLA Members $65, Non-Members $90, Students $57.50
Susan Strasser: Professor of History, University of Delaware
Judi Briden: Digital Librarian for Public Services and Brain & Cognitive Sciences Librarian, Rush Rhees Library, University of Rochester

Join the Academic and Research Libraries Division of MLA on September 18 at Capitol College for a discussion on what faculty and students expect and need from academic libraries.

Prof. Susan Strasser will begin the day with a provocative presentation of what faculty want from academic librarians and stimulate discussion by offering her perspective as a faculty member.  Dr. Strasser is a popular speaker on the “Faculty Point of View” at the prestigious Frye Leadership Institute.  She has taught at Bard, Princeton and George Washington University as well as the University of Delaware, she has won numerous awards, and she has been the Senior Resident Scholar at the Hagley Museum and Library for many years.

Dr. Strasser will be followed by a presentation on the needs of an academic library’s other main constituent: students.  While many have  opinions about what students need from libraries, librarians at the University of Rochester conducted ethnographic research with their own students to find out. They looked at how their students did their work in the context of the university. Judi Briden discusses how the research was conducted, what they learned, and changes they’ve made to improve services and facilities to better meet students’ needs.

Afternoon Program: What Do Your Students Need? Do-It-Yourself Ethnographic Research for Libraries
September 18, 2009
2:00 – 3:30, 1.5 Contact Hours
MLA members $30, Non-members $45, Students $25
Capitol College
Judi Briden: Digital Librarian for Public Services and Brain & Cognitive Sciences Librarian, Rush Rhees Library, University of Rochester

Learning about what students generally need is all well and good, but we all know that each campus is unique.  What you really want to know is what problems your students are facing and what your students need. In this session, Judi Briden will discuss in detail several ethnographic research techniques that were used at the University of Rochester Libraries. Attendees will have an opportunity to model some of these during the session. You can then take these techniques back to your home campus and use them to assess your own students and services.
[Note: due to the hands-on nature of this session only, it will be limited to 20 participants. The morning session is not limited]

Directions: http://www.capitol-college.edu/visit-campus/directions-campus


You may register for either one or both programs.  To register, please complete the registration form at


You can submit the form online, or print it out and mail the form to the Maryland Library Association.
Please remember to be clear about the program(s) for which you are registering.

Susan Strasser, Professor of History at the University of Delaware, has been praised by the New Yorker for “retrieving what history discards: the taken-for-granted minutiae of everyday life.”  Her books include Never Done: A History of American Housework (1982), which won the Sierra Prize of the Western Association of Women Historians; Satisfaction Guaranteed: The Making of the American Mass Market (1989); and Waste and Want:  A Social History of Trash (1999), winner of the Abel Wolman Award from the Public Works Historical Society.  She studied at Reed College and the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and has also taught at The Evergreen State College, Princeton University, George Washington University, and the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture.  Her work has been supported by fellowships from the Rockefeller and Guggenheim foundations, the German Historical Institute, the Harvard Business School, the American Council of Learned Societies, Radcliffe College’s Bunting Institute, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Cultures of Consumption Programme, Birkbeck College, University of London. She is currently working on A Historical Herbal, an account of medicinal herbs in American culture.

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