Librarians interview students about research

What do Trinity students think when they hear the word “research”? Librarians at Coates Library decided to create multiple videos of interviews with Trinity students to find out how students approach research.

Ten interviewees were recruited by professors and liaison librarians to produce a unique group of students from different years with a variety of majors. Students were interviewed in groups of two or three by Anne Jumonville, first-year experience librarian, and Alex Gallin-Parisi, instruction and liaison librarian.

“In the end, we’re hoping to have the interviews blended together and create little vignettes where we would pull from multiple interviews to create a snapshot of a particular theme that maybe came up across multiple interviews,” Jumonville said. “We don’t really know what those are yet because we want to see what people say before we decide what the end product will be.”

The purpose of creating the videos is to supplement new content for the library website that will better describe what librarians do when they teach research sessions.

“As part of developing that content, we really wanted there to be student voices so that it wasn’t just us talking about what we think,” Jumonville said.

By incorporating student voices, Jumonville hopes to create a more realistic picture of what happens with research on campus.

“We also wanted it to be from the student perspective, what their current experiences are, and not just what we think students should get out of their time doing research here at Trinity,” Gallin-Parisi said.

Junior Sarah Davis was selected by Jumonville and Gallin-Parisi to be the videographer for the project.

“We very strongly wanted the videographer to be a student, if possible,” Gallin-Parisi said. “We thought it would be nice to have a student included both to have that student’s perspective on it, but also to help out an individual  student in building some of their resume and having more experience.”

The final, edited videos will include student responses to questions about what research means to them, what they find is the hardest part of research, where they go to do their research, where their understanding of how to do research came from and why having good information is important to them.

“Especially over the past couple of years, I feel like we’ve been trying to do more based on what the students experience and using our services and building,” Gallin-Parisi said. “It can only benefit the students and make this a better, more usable, comfortable library.

Gallin-Parisi believes that there is a lot that librarians can say that they know and believe about students, but hearing from students makes that much more powerful.

“It also brings it home for what students’ lives really look like while they’re here at Trinity,” Gallin-Parisi said.

The videos are expected to be available on the Coates Library website by May.