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Long Island University (LIU) is a private institution serving approximately 18,000 students at its two primary campuses located in Brooklyn, New York, and Brookville, New York. The LIU Libraries conducted a multi-year research project beginning in 2012 to better understand undergraduate and graduate-student study habits at its urban and suburban campuses. Based upon the understanding of ethnography as one of the best ways to explore a “culture”—in this case, the culture of LIU student research habits—this project’s intent was to improve the libraries’ understanding of student research and study needs. The study examined research practices from students’ perspectives in order to consider those activities not as compartmentalized habits but as situated within the larger constellation of practices that make up students’ lives. Understanding student research processes and preferences can result in the ability to design learning environments and research services that are more responsive to their needs as well as account for the communities of which they and the library are a part.

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Journal of Library Administration

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With permission by Taylor & Francis.