Reaching underserved student populations


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reaching underserved student populations in academic libraries

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Reaching underserved student populations

  1. 1. Reaching Underserved Student Populations Emily Mann June 25, 2013
  2. 2. What do we mean by underserved? Why do we care? What Barriers exist? What can we do?
  3. 3. What is a traditional student? • Right out of High School • 18-22 • Lives on campus • Full time student
  4. 4. Non-Traditional? Traditional Student Box Outside The Box
  5. 5. Who is underserved? • Adult learners • First-generation students • Transferring students • International students • DE students
  6. 6. But aren’t we all the same? Help all the students!!!!!!!
  7. 7. Well sort of…… Minimization An orientation that highlights cultural commonality and universal values and principles that may also mask deeper recognition and appreciation of cultural differences. Adapted from Paige (1993)
  8. 8. What’s the problem? Pros: Accepts that there are universal tendencies Works to accept all people and all customs Helps us to avoid stress of contrast Can give open-minded point of view Avoid judgment Cons Demonstrates a knowledge of your own culture not of the cultures around you Fails to learn from other cultures Lack of curiosity May miss values and non-verbal clues “tolerance” may be based on mistaken beliefs
  9. 9. What defines us? See: Holmarsdottir
  10. 10. Every Patron is an Individual! So if everyone is different…. Are we wasting our time trying to customize services?
  11. 11. Not at All! The “traditional” student and experience is changing Paying attention to the needs of specific groups can help serve all patrons Can focus marketing
  12. 12. “Traditional” High School College/Graduate School Work
  13. 13. Education Experience Today 4 year High School Charter school Homeschool/ Self-directed 4 year college Employment 2 year college Graduate School
  14. 14. One size does not fit all • Clearly everyone is on their own path • Why would we expect the same services to meet the needs of everyone?
  15. 15. What to do, what to do? • Think about the barriers that may exist • Targeted programing • Library Staff Training • Marketing and outreach
  16. 16. What stands between me and the student?
  17. 17. Defining the Barriers: Cultural Functional Language
  18. 18. • What patrons expect from library • What patrons expect from the librarian • Expected interactions
  19. 19. • How the patron interacts with the space • Ability for patron to use space (DE Students)
  20. 20. • part of cultural barriers • Can make communication seem difficult for both librarian and patron
  21. 21. Know the barriers and get past them! • There is no magic button, but awareness can help! • Take the time to understand the patron’s needs, not their perceived needs • Design around the needs of all patrons (services, physical spaces, outreach)
  22. 22. Targeted Programing • Promote the tools we have • Increase collection that serves needs and interests of all students • Find out what the students want and need, not what we assume they need • Events that are welcoming to all groups
  23. 23. Targeted Spaces and Collections LGBTQ Collection
  24. 24. Don’t lose them • Patrons may miss out of freshman instruction • Provide information literacy classes outside the curriculum • Keep innovating
  25. 25. Assessment! Implement Review Innovate
  26. 26. Staff Training • Brings together staff • Provides a united front to patrons • Staff can learn from each other
  27. 27. Marketing and Outreach Different mediums Go to the patrons Promote what we have
  28. 28. Innovation When we create new programs and outreach to target underserved populations, we give new life to our organization and improve our image to everyone Libraries are there to serve our patrons, so lets make sure everyone is included
  29. 29. Conclusion • Melting pots mean everyone loses their unique flavor; we need to be a stew • Accepting change as the norm makes us happier librarians and people • Reaching out to all patrons increases retention • Creating programs for different groups works to bring together everyone
  30. 30. Resources Holmarsdottir, Halla, & Hagli, Mari Tørå. (2011). From Christopher Columbus to Evo Morales : indigenous exclusion and inclusion in urban education in El Alto, Bolivia. Høgskolen i Oslo. Avdeling for lærerutdanning og internasjonale studier. Paige, R. M. (1993). Education for the intercultural experience. Yarmouth, Me: Intercultural Press. Paige, R. M., & University of Minnesota. (2006). Maximizing study abroad: A students' guide to strategies for language and culture learning and use. Minneapolis, Minn: Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition, University of Minnesota. Switzer, A. T. (2008). Redefining Diversity: Creating an Inclusive Academic Library through Diversity Initiatives. College & Undergraduate Libraries, 15(3), 280-300.
  31. 31. Questions?