More community resources need to exist

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Libraries should be using technology to help students recognize and overcome library anxiety. Some are as you can see from some of the images in the slideshow above. Yet, the sad fact is that when you do a search for library anxiety related community resources like blogs or lib guides or discussion boards you will come up short.

The sheer nature of the phenomena negates the likelihood that the sufferers of library anxiety will create their own resources, use emerging technology, or share information. They are far more apt to suffer in silence. Some, who are distressed more by seeking assistance than by the technology, may perhaps feel comfortable enough to take advantage of online chat reference or conduct their own searches in library databases. Many however will not, being both intimidated by the resources as well as the library as a place and the professionals who staff it. The abundance of research published for information professionals indicates that these professionals should understand that very fact and thus should be seeking to fill that gap. Sadly, that does not seem to be the general rule.

Students who are anxious, embarrassed, nervous, and overwhelmed by the academic library experience and who are convinced they alone are the only ones experiencing these feelings may naturally isolate themselves. However, when they are provided with support, educated and made aware that they are not alone, and given a place to come together, likely will. Web pages and blogs, lib guides and discussion forums, YouTube videos and magazine articles should exist and be easily accessible from the web and from library homepages. Students should not be left to believe that they are alone in these feelings.

It is the place of the information professionals – the academic librarians – to step up and make this happen. More community resources need to exist for this information community.

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