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At some seminaries the question of who is more effective teaching library research is an open question. There are two camps of thought: (1) that the program faculty member is more effective in providing library research instruction as he or she is intimately engaged in the subject of the course(s), or (2) that the theological librarian is more effective in providing library research instruction as he or she is more familiar with the scope of resources that are available, as well as how to obtain “hard to get” resources.
What began as a librarian’s interest in determining the extent to which Doctor of Ministry (DMin) students begin their research using Google, resulted in the development of a survey. Given the interesting results returned from the first survey in fall of 2008, the survey was conducted again in the fall of 2011. The results of the comparative data led to the discovery of some useful data that will be used to adjust future instruction sessions for DMin students. The results of the surveys indicated that the instruction provided by the theological librarian was more effective as students were more prepared to obtain and use resources most likely to provide the best information for course projects. Additionally, following the instruction of library research skills by the librarian (2011 survey), DMin students were more likely to begin the search process for information resources using university provided catalogs and databases than what was reported in the 2008 survey. The responses to the two surveys piqued interest regarding both eBook use during the research process and the reduction of research frustration to be addressed in a follow-up survey to be given in 2014, results of which we hope to report in a future article.
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