Connecting 24/5 to Millennials: Providing Academic Support Services From a Learning Commons
In response to the seamless academic and personal behavior of Millennial college students, libraries are creating a learning commons in which campus academic support services are integrated with library services to provide everything students need to succeed in a single facility 24 hours a day with food. Roving may be an effective way to satisfy the immediate support needs of students collaborating in these bustling environments. A survey conducted on March 16, 2006 of users of the UMass Amherst Learning Commons (opened in the W.E.B. Du Bois Library in September 2005) provided detailed insight into who they are, how often they visit, what services they use, how they want to receive reference and technology assistance, and what enhancements they want. Results indicated a preference for face-to-face research and technology assistance: 40% of respondents wanted library and technology staff to rove the Learning Commons to offer assistance. To remain vital to today’s library users, academic libraries need to become a value-added and convenient resource to solve their research dilemmas. Librarians need to not only keep current with and integrate emerging technologies embraced by current students into their services, but also move out from behind the desk to assist today’s users with evaluating and managing information. Color figures and photographs reveal activity trends along with suggested innovations.