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Student library time dedicated to shopping and social networking

12 July 2013 - 11:52 by Sarah Collinson

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A new report has found that students spend most of their time in the library participating in shopping online and engaging with social networks via laptops and smartphones.

The study, which was carried out by Lawrence T Paretta and Amy Catalano and published in The Reference Librarian, determined that students read books for just 18 per cent of the total duration of a typical visit to the library of their school or university.

Facebook, meanwhile, accounts for about 11 per cent and 9.3 per cent of the time they are visiting gaming and other sites not necessarily related to their studies.

Students are also likely to spend about 0.7 per cent of their time in the library asleep, according to the Daily Mail.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was discovered that those who were working on PCs were more likely to become distracted by activities not related to educational matters, which is no shock, given the procrastinating power of the internet.

About 1.1 per cent of library time was dedicate to safe shopping online, suggesting that students may well like to shop, but they lack the disposable income to have as much spending power as older groups.

Of course with so many library resources now being available in a digital format, the use of computers and smart devices to access them is bound to increase.

The written word may still be important, but it is no longer bound solely to paper and is arguably a more flexible tool for learning, if it is available as a file hosted locally or in the cloud.

It will be interesting to see whether trends in library use shift further, as more students use computers, tablets and smartphones to carry out their work and further their studies.