Soria, K. M., Fransen, J., & Nackerud, S. (2017). Beyond books: The extended academic benefits of library use for first-year college students. College & Research Libraries, 78, 8-22. doi:10.5860/crl.78.1.8
Descriptive Summary: This study looked at the correlation between students’ use of library classes, and library resources and databases, with academic performance. It attempts to understand how use of library resources promotes critical thinking skills and also how it affects grades and other academic measures of success. Academic resources studied were books, reference use, web use, databases, and library classes. The primary correlation was to grade point average since this is measurement closely looked at in accountability. The study recognizes that student academic success seems to go hand in hand with library use, but it is unclear whether it is a case of a motivated student using the library, or library users becoming motivated students. Using an Input-Environment-Output model, this study measured precollege variables, college experiences, library usage, and grades to look for relationships. The study concluded that students who used the library resources were more likely to do well academically.
Evaluation: I thought this a valuable study. In a time when libraries have to prove that they are still useful, this study highlights that library users are engaged students and engaged students use their library resources.