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500 Student Voices: an idea

May 17, 2011

While listening to a student panel at the Future of Academic Libraries Symposium at McMaster University, an idea for a mass feedback round hit me. The audience was really grooving to what they had to say, but as someone asked the group, were they really representative? With that, an idea was born.

Here’s how it could work. At about the same time on the same day (no need for precision), 100 libraries across North America (or the world) gather five students in a room, ask them to respond to a series of questions about libraries, film the whole thing, and ultimately post the results on YouTube or any video platform. What do we get? A cross-sectional slice of student views, and a chance to see if students are saying the same things everywhere, or if important differences emerge based on institutional type, location, country, etc.

What we need is a better name, and a tiny bit of central organization. The rest would be up to participants to pull off, and that’s the beauty. At the very least, we could have a lot of fun, and who knows, getting 500 students involved in a project like this might yield benefits we cannot even imagine.

Anyone game?

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6 Comments
  1. Emily permalink
    May 17, 2011 18:45

    I’m interested. I’m hoping to pull together a Student-Library Advisory Council in the fall; this would be one way to get feedback from them. Keep me posted …

  2. May 19, 2011 09:09

    You know it, Dale. Let’s make it happen.

  3. Dale permalink*
    May 19, 2011 15:54

    Excellent, two takers! I have other commitments via other channels, so it’s at about five now, I think. Only 95 to go. Please spread the word.

  4. Mike permalink
    May 19, 2011 17:39

    This would be very interesting. Guelph is a definite maybe.

  5. Jennifer Robinson permalink
    May 20, 2011 10:44

    Western Libraries is in!

  6. Dale permalink*
    May 20, 2011 13:54

    Mike – Other Guelphers have already been more committal! I’ll take a definite maybe as evidence of support for that.

    Jennifer – Great!

    Please spread the word. Am contemplating how best to organize this and am open to any and all suggestions.

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