Cataloguers May Tend to Have Learning Styles Different from Other Library Job Responsibilities
AbstractObjective – To determine whether relationships exist between academic librarians’ learning styles and their professional work responsibilities.
Design – Self-selecting survey.
Setting – Email listservs.
Subjects – 1579 academic librarians.
Methods – The authors used the Index of Learning Styles questionnaire, based on the Felder-Silverman Learning Styles model consisting of eight dimensions on four scales: Active/Reflective, Sensing/Intuitive, Visual/Verbal, and Sequential/Global. The multiple choice survey was distributed online to 23 email listservs for academic librarians in 2011, and to 14 additional listservs in 2013 targeting technical services librarians. 1579 responses were received in total, which were analyzed using ANOVA with a Tukey-Kramer post-hoc mean separation, and descriptively using observed frequencies.
Main Results – In examining the relationship between positions and learning styles, the study revealed there to be five statistically significant p-values when the data were analyzed. Catalogers (n=145) were found to be more reflective learners compared to Administrative (n=321) and Instruction librarians (n=228) at the p = 0.009 level. Administrative, Instruction, and “Other” librarians were found to be more intuitive learners than Catalogers, who are more likely to be sensing learners, at the p = 0.0004 level. Digital librarians (n=40) are more likely to be visual learners and Catalogers more likely to be sequential learners when compared to several other librarian categories, at the p = 0.020 and p = 0.001 levels respectively.
Conclusions – The authors concluded that there were some statistically significant differences between librarians’ learning styles scores according to job responsibilities. Catalogers were found to have different learning styles than other types of librarians for three out of four scales. Based on these findings, the authors indicate that further research into how librarians’ work responsibilities impact learning styles is justified.
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