Bibliotheks-Angst

Alex Nunes schreibt im JSTOR Daily-Artikel „Do You Suffer from Library Anxiety?“ über das Phänomen der Bibliotheks-Angst bzw. der Schwellenangst vor dem Betreten oder Benutzen der Bibliothek:

„According to Mellon, three general themes emerged: Students found their own library skills inadequate; they found their perceived shortcomings shameful; they feared seeking out help would only reveal their inadequacy. (…)

Bostick, who consulted on a library renovation and expansion project when she worked at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, says reducing fear can come down to something as simple as layout: “One of the big things is, if you walk into a library, you should immediately see a human there to help you. It’s amazing how many library designs do not allow that.”

In her 1986 article, Constance A. Mellon envisioned library instruction sessions that functioned as “warmth seminars,” opportunities for librarians to establish themselves as friendly, open, and helpful people. It’s a philosophy that’s central today. In addition to informational sessions for students, library tours, ask-a-librarian tools, and the placement of younger, more approachable graduate students at the reference desk, librarians have also teamed up with instructors to better integrate themselves into courses. It’s an important factor considering research has shown a connection between library use and encouragement from professors. (…)

These days, a new threat to academic research may be students’ lack of understanding about the value of libraries, rather than anxiety about librarians. “[A] new qualitative project has yielded another surprise: Students in this study weren’t intimidated by librarians or reluctant to lose face by approaching them; they simply had no idea why the librarians were there and what they were for,” Gremmels writes. “Are we labeling as library anxiety phenomena that would more accurately be described as library ignorance or library indifference?” (…)

So where does this all leave the student who’s still fearful of making that first approach to the reference desk? Librarian Michel C. Atlas has some age-old, conventional wisdom to offer: “[T]he bottom line on library anxiety—just get over it!”“

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