The UCSB Library is now rewarding scholarly students with its new Library Award for Undergraduate Research, which seeks to recognize students who utilize library resources to create scholarly or creative work.
UCSB Library staff has been working on this award for the past couple of years and hopes that it will promote lifelong learning skills. The award is open to all currently enrolled undergraduate students at UCSB.
It includes six prizes for first and second place winners in three categories: humanities, social sciences, and science and engineering. The first place winner will receive a cash prize of $750 and the second place winner will receive $500.
Jane Faulkner, Student Success Librarian and head of outreach and academic collaboration for UCSB Library, told The Bottom Line that the award “underscores the role that the library plays in the academic success of our students, and it provides an incentive for students to put information literacy into practice.”
Faulkner states that the library is aware that students are engaging in and developing sophisticated research skills.
“What better way to recognize this than by offering a prize that encourages these skills and celebrates the use of library services and collections?” Faulkner said.
Although students are currently making great use of the library and its services, there are still many more students who are not aware of just how much the library has to offer.
The library is filled with resources to help students with their research, including subject librarians who are experts in their fields and are available for one-on-one research consultations.
She says the library is “constantly trying to remedy this.”
A major submission criterion for the award is that the student must have utilized library collections, resources, or services. Materials that fall within these include books, scholarly articles, library classes, and special research collections.
Additionally, the research project must have been completed during the calendar year preceding their submission. An applicant must also submit a reflective essay and a bibliography.
The type of entries applicable for the award include creative works, empirical research, and interpretive analysis. A panel of judges made up of faculty members and subject specialist librarians will judge the entries.
“We will be looking for students who demonstrate critical thinking and an understanding of the methods of research and inquiry,” Faulkner said. She also added that they will award students “that make extensive, original use of library resources, collections, and services” and who “show evidence of understanding the intellectual and ethical process and research and inquiry.”
An awards ceremony will be held to honor the winners who will also be invited to have their works published in the Alexandria Digital Research Library.
On the topic of why it is important to highlight undergraduate research, Faulkner said that helping students find and critically evaluate information is part of UCSB Library’s mission and having research skills is more important than ever in our knowledge-driven society.
“Learning to evaluate and use information in an effective, ethical way is a crucial, fundamental part of lifelong learning,” Faulkner said.
As far as hoped for outcomes, Faulkner states, “If the award can generate excitement among students and encourage them to develop their budding research skills, and to support one another in their efforts as young scholars, I will consider our first year to be a tremendous success.”
Submissions are accepted from March 1 to March 30, 2019, and should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org