Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


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Students select information resources mostly influenced by their previous experiences with particular sources. This unique experience influence students’ future decisions about what and how they use information resources. This qualitative study aims to explore students’ preferences to different information sources when they completing assignments and research projects. We conducted semi-structure interview on 17 undergraduate students whom agreed to participate the study. Data analysis revealed that students’ search for information were complex activities because it involves the following key points: scope of assignment, range and type of reference needed, students’ level of knowledge (including willingness to use the available resources), databases used for information seeking, and recognized access to sources. Books and journals that were recommended by lecturers served as the main consideration in determining information source. Lecturers were considered as the main information source for academic purposes. Google and Google Scholar were the most popular databases for initial search. Students discovered the other information resource availability, such as repository, by searching using Google and Google Scholar. Students found the university repository when they followed several links shown by the search engines. Librarian can develop an education program concerning library information services and users based on the study findings. Future studies can be done on different targeted groups, such as graduate and post-graduate students, and may explore students’ satisfaction towards the information they found.