Today’s Students Don’t Like to Read – Does it Matter?

The second annual National Freshmen Attitudes report, linked below, reports that, “Only half of entering students enjoy reading and bring strong study habits. Although their desire to attend college was strong, only about half of respondents indicated enthusiasm for reading and appeared to have strong study habits, as shown below.”
07FRESHMANATTITUDES_report.pdf (application/pdf Object)

I am not surprised by this report. We all know that in today’s media rich world, one can often find the quick information needed without having to sift through lots of text. In addition, there are many forms of entertainment that overshadow simple reading for pleasure. At the same time, academics regularly bemoan students’ lack of critical thinking skills. I think this is an angle that academic librarians can incorporate in Information Literacy training. Communicate the simple idea to students that they must learn to READ complete articles; that they do themselves a disservice by relying on abstracts or quotes. They cannot fully participate in the academic discourse of their disciplines without carefully analyzing arguments. It seems like a simple idea, but maybe no one has thought to mention it to today’s freshmen.


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