The experience of Chinese students in Irish third level libraries: an investigation of current challenges and an analysis of possible solutions

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Title: The experience of Chinese students in Irish third level libraries: an investigation of current challenges and an analysis of possible solutions
Authors: Mannion, David
Thornley, Clare V.
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Date: Oct-2011
Abstract: Past research has shown that international students often experience difficulty in the library due to cultural differences and difficulties with language and communication. This can cause a gap between the quality of library service experienced by international students and indigenous students in any country. Previous studies have tended to investigate international students as one entire group rather than a multitude of different nationalities with different needs. In the Irish context little has been done to investigate the library experiences of international students, despite the constant efforts being made to attract international students to study here and the huge revenues they generate into the economy. This article, based on a Masters thesis in Library and Information Studies (2010), provides an insight into the academic library experiences of Chinese students (both under-graduate and post-graduate) studying at an Irish third level institution. Corroborating past research conducted elsewhere, it found that they do not always enjoy the same quality of library service as indigenous students or those whose first language is English. This is due to factors such as limited communication skills, diverse cultural traits, and a lack of understanding of library services. It also found that the library failed to adapt to a diverse user base in areas such as policy making and user instruction. It suggests that the library should acknowledge the cultural traits of Chinese students, and others, when developing library induction and training courses. It recommends that library staff undergo training in how best to serve an international user base. Finally, it suggests that co-operation with the International office and student societies are essential to find ways to establish a library service that is useful to all patrons.
Funding Details: Not applicable
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: The Library Association of Ireland and The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Ireland
Keywords: International studentsAcademic librariesIreland
Subject LCSH: Chinese students--Foreign countries
Students, Foreign--Ireland
Library users--Ireland
Academic libraries--Services to minorities--Ireland
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Information and Communication Studies Research Collection

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