“Without this kind of soul-searching and updating of the library’s traditional mission, we are concerned that these spaces may become less and less relevant to research and learning,” they wrote.

The ease of checking Facebook, Twitter, eMail accounts and various other online social tools on smart phones and tablets has created an academic distraction unlike any generation of college students has ever faced, Gregory said.

“I think this fragmented way of operating isn’t always healthy,” she said. “It’s like a self-inflicted [attention deficit disorder]. While college-age students may be able to control this to some extent, when it’s crunch time, I see that in younger students it is having a negative effect on their ability to concentrate and focus.”


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