Halloween seems like a fitting time to discuss library research anxiety. Though I’ll spare you an extensive literature review, I shall share a most interesting article on the subject.
Stewart-Mailhiot (2014) applies the idea of low-stakes writing assignments to library research. She notes that, as with high-stakes writing, high-stakes research assignments can contribute to anxiety. Reviewing the literature on both library anxiety and low-stakes writing, she even suggests some possible low-stakes research assignments (p. 39). The suggestions address a variety of learning outcomes and can reinforce a library visit (pp. 39-40 ).
High-stakes assignments and low-stakes assignments need not be mutually exclusive, of course. The latter can provide useful practice and build confidence for the former (p. 40).
Doing research may not be a party game. All the same it need not be so scary.
Stewart-Mailhiot, A. (2014). Same song, different verse: Developing research skills with low stakes assignments. Communications In Information Literacy, 8(1), 32-42. Retrieved from http://www.comminfolit.org/