Finals week. Usually I’d be at the library, and so would be seemingly our entire student body. But not this year, as I’m working from home, and most of the student population went home before Thanksgiving. Though the library itself is usually very busy during finals, the research help desk is less so, as students use the building mostly to study. Faculty are less likely than in previous decades to assign big research projects. That’s reflected in our online reference and chat statistics for the past few weeks. A bare handful of students are requesting help, and those are mostly citation questions rather than for anything earlier in the research process.
Work goes on as the semester winds down. We’re looking forward now: discussing changes to the student survey for the information literacy course we teach as part of the general education program. And we try not to make UX changes to our website or services during the semester, so it’s time to begin seeing what can be fixed or improved between now and late January.