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Library and Information Science Paper (ID LIS071051)

Makiko NIIMI
The Role of Academic Libraries in Promoting Undergraduate Research: A Case Study of the University of California, Berkeley
No.71, p.51-74
Issue date

Purpose: Undergraduate research is attracting attention internationally in higher education. This study explores the role of academic libraries in promoting undergraduate research, based on a study of one academic library in the US.

Methods: The University of California, Berkeley was selected for the case study because the li-brary was involved in the major project “Mellon Library/Faculty Fellowship for Undergraduate Research”for integrating research into undergraduate education. The study focused on 12 courses for which the library services are regarded as good practices. The library services provided for the 12 courses were examined and their characteristics were clarified, based mainly on documents published on the project’s website.

Results: 1) The project emphasized that library research assignments were incorporated into undergraduate courses to develop students’research skills. Librarians were committed to design-ing assignments for most of the 12 courses. Faculty members and librarians collaborated to de-sign library research assignments, and plan and practice assignment-related library sessions. 2)Undergraduate students were supported in various ways such as library sessions while they were doing assignments. 3) Graduate student instructors taking charge of small discussion groups and laboratory sessions were supported by librarians. 4)The library strengthened its educational role through its commitment to the project, and played a key role in reforming undergraduate educa-tion. The results of this study indicate that academic libraries have an important role to play in improving students’research skills and information literacy when undergraduate research is pro-moted for reforming higher education.

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