Want better grades? Science says use the library!

Some things just make sense. Water is wet, dogs are better than cats, and students who use library resources as part of their study achieve better grades. Across the globe, the use of academic libraries is being shown to have a measurably positive relationship with student outcomes. Simply put: the more time you spend making use of library resources, the better the chance you’ll be turning in high quality work!

A number of studies in the last few years have explored the subject:

  • In Australia, the University of Wollongong (UOW) developed the Library Cube to collect information about the use of physical and electronic resources (Cox & Jantti, 2012).
  • A Turkish University gathered data on book borrowing by undergraduates (Çetin & Howard, 2015)
  • An American university developed a Library Cube-inspired system to track resource use online and in the physical library space (LeMaistre, Shi, & Thanki, 2018)

All of these studies combined their library usage information with data about students’ academic performance, and all three found a strong positive correlation between library use and student success. The studies also provide us with a handy demonstration of the value of libraries in the academic world. As student-friendly digital materials become more common, it’s even more important that we’re able to show our patrons and institutions how valuable we are. You may not always be able to see us, but we’re here to help!

If you’re not sure where to start, here are some quick suggestions :

It’s scientifically proven to be worth your while!



Çetin, Y., & Howard, V. (2015). An exploration of the relationship between undergraduate students’ library book borrowing and academic achievement. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 48(4), 382-388. doi:10.1177/0961000615572404

Cox, B. L., & Jantti, M. H. (2012). Discovering the impact of library use and student performance. EDUCAUSE Review, July(18), 1-9.

LeMaistre, T., Shi, Q., & Thanki, S. (2018). Connecting library use to student success. Portal: Libraries & the Academy, 18(1), 117-140.