Being a college student today requires more hardware and fewer hardcovers. The Internet is having a profound impact on the way students study and do research, particularly in the library. According to a recent study by Project Information Literacy, just 9 percent of students surveyed used library books in the library. Instead, most of the students used the library for access to computers and printers.
While the library might still be a quiet place, it’s buzzing with online activity. It’s nearly impossible for students to block out distractions such as Facebook, Twitter and instant messaging when using the Internet for research. The Project Information Literacy study confirmed a common belief about the life of today’s college students:
Within the course of an hour, a typical student may outline a research topic, draft the opening paragraph of a paper, post a status update on Facebook, check out club and theater listings for Friday night, and IM several friends–without ever getting up from his or her seat or cracking open a library book.
Conversely, for today's undergraduates, the computing devices on which they so readily depend on can also be an endless source of distraction. Figuring out how to balance productivity and social diversion despite the temptations of their technology is one of the most significant challenges of being a student in the digital age.
How do you think digital distractions affect college students? And what is the future of campus libraries? Let us know in the Comments section.
This infographic originally appeared on Project Information Literacy.