June 25, 2013
What do we mean by underserved?
Why do we care?
What Barriers exist?
What can we do?
What is a traditional student?
• Right out of High School
• Lives on campus
• Full time student
Outside The Box
Who is underserved?
• Adult learners
• First-generation students
• Transferring students
• International students
• DE students
But aren’t we all the same?
Help all the students!!!!!!!
Well sort of……
An orientation that highlights
cultural commonality and
universal values and principles
that may also mask deeper
recognition and appreciation of
Adapted from Paige (1993)
What’s the problem?
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
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
Defining the Barriers:
• What patrons expect
• What patrons expect
from the librarian
• Expected interactions
• How the patron
interacts with the space
• Ability for patron to use
space (DE Students)
• part of cultural
• Can make
seem difficult for
both librarian and
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
• Design around the needs of
all patrons (services,
physical spaces, outreach)
• 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
Targeted Spaces and Collections
Don’t lose them
• Patrons may miss out of freshman instruction
• Provide information literacy classes outside the
• Keep innovating
• Brings together staff
• Provides a united
front to patrons
• Staff can learn from
Marketing and Outreach
Go to the patrons
Promote what we have
When we create new programs and outreach to
target underserved populations, we give new life
to our organization and improve our image to
Libraries are there to serve our patrons, so lets
make sure everyone is included
• 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
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:
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.