Ethnographic Study of Student Research Frustrations

CARL Research Award
Digital Scholarship Librarian
Claremont Colleges Library
Holly Gardinier
Claremont Colleges Library
Mary Martin
Claremont Colleges Library


Studying Students Librarians (SSL) investigated the factors that contribute to student stress, as well as the role of the Claremont Colleges Library and its staff during the students’ research process at The Claremont Colleges. In order to create a narrative and uncover trends, the SSL project team interviewed and surveyed students about their living environment and their day-to-day activities, as well as about their studying and research habits inside and outside of library. The team emphasized the students’ perspectives based on what was reported and developed a holistic descriptive understanding of student culture. The two most fruitful ethnographic methods of engaging with students were “maps of a day” and photos of normal, confusing, and “weird.” The SSL team also surveyed the students in the library, via whiteboards and by text messaging. The preliminary findings reinforced that students valued balanced lives, relied on calendars to manage time and regarded the library as a place for concentrated study and reflection.




Date and time: 
Sat, 04/05/2014 - 1:00pm - 2:15pm


Madrone [LL]