WRITER BID WANTED : Mature Students – How they engage with library and information services in Third Level Institutions :Aim/research question: Do libraries provide sufficient learning supports to mature students?

Short indicative bibliography (of ca. six items, correctly cited):
Case, D.O.(2006) Looking for Information: A Survey of Research on Information Seeking, Needs, and Behavior, Emerald Group Publishing Limited;
Fisher, E.,G. (2005) Theories of Information Behavior, Information Today Inc
Given,L (2002) The academic and the everyday: Investigating the overlap in mature undergraduates’ information–seeking behaviors, Library & Information Science Research, 24 (1) , pp 17-29, available: Science Direct http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0740818801001025
[accessed 20/10/2012]
Holden, J (2012) Never too late to return to learning. The Irish Times May 2012, available http://www.irishtimes.com/society/eyaa2012/return-to-learning.html [25 October 2012].
Keogh, O (2002) Mature students bring the benefits of their experience. The Irish Times January 2002, available: [accessed 25 October 2012].
Robinson, C.M, & Reid, P (2007),”Do academic enquiry services scare students?”, Reference
Services Review, 35 ( 3) pp. 405 – 424 available Emerald [access 24 November 2012]
Lawson, K.G., (2005),”Using eclectic digital resources to enhance instructional methods for adult
learners”, OCLC Systems & Services, Vol. 21 Iss: 1 pp. 49 – 60 available Emerald
[accessed 24 November 2012]

Description:
. Aim/research question and objectives: (please include 3-5 objectives)
Aim/research question: Do libraries provide sufficient learning supports to mature students?
1. A Brief overview of who are mature students, why they are returning to education, what they expect to gain from the education experience.
2. Information seeking behaviors
3. Library policies and initiatives to assist these students such as Information Literacy tutorials,
4. Research into cohort of mature students in Limerick Institute of Technology, taking a group of students in the Social Care Degree programme, and how they deal with information retrieval, such as information/reference desk enquiry service, electronic resources and online tutorials.
5. Aim of this study is to examine mature student’s perceptions of university support services and barriers to study.
6. Critically review literature
7. Make recommendations to improve supports, and help institutions with student retention.5 Brief outline of methodology:
The Research methodology will include:
• Primary research including questionnaires, interviews and observation studies.
• Secondary Research including books, journals, government reports .
• Undertake a literature review in the area of mature students in third level institutions.
• Analyse current research into how mature students engage with academic libraries and how libraries engage with them.
• Internal – Carrying out Research of policies dealing with mature students in third level institutions.
• Carry out interviews with students & staff.
• I have chosen to research the mature students in the Social Care Degree programme. This programme attracts a large number of mature students.
• I also intend to carry out a survey of all students in the library at Limerick Institute of Technology of which I will have special questions for mature students included in this library survey.
• Both qualitative and quantitative approaches will be used in collating the information.
• Explore the information seeking behavior of mature undergraduates
• Examine the students’ use of library’s information /reference desk, electronic resources and online tutorials.
• Compare the primary results with the literature review findings.
. In addition to your outline:
a) Participants: who are you intending to use as participants in your study (e.g. if you are intending to carry out interviews, who do you plan to interview)? Mature Students & Library staff

b) Consent: if relevant to your investigation, please briefly explain how you plan to gain informed consent from potential participants to survey them (or their data). Pre interview chat with an introduction to the research by email to the cohort of students I am wishing to carry out the research on.

c) Vulnerable groups: will your study require direct access to participants from vulnerable groups (e.g. children, patients, prisoners)? No.

If YES, please identify the group and explain the steps you will take to deal with this (N.B. this does not mean that you cannot use participants from vulnerable groups but you will need to explain how you will manage any research considerations, such as gaining informed consent). N/A

. Ethical Guidelines: in relation to the ethics training you received at the dissertation workshops, which ethical guidelines are you following for your dissertation?
The BSA Statement of Ethical Practice provides detailed guidelines on ethics in research for DIS researchers to follow. http://www.britsoc.co.uk/equality/

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