Welcome to the presentation. I think Ginny’s presentation has provided a very good overview of international students and faculty’s information needs and behavior. In my presentation, I would like to use ASU as an good example to discuss how to support international students and faculty from a perspective of a subject librarian.
First, I would like to talk about the important importance of international students and faculty in higher education. second, based on my and my ASU colleagues’ experiences, I would like to discuss some challenges we might have when we work with international students and faculty. Finally, I will explore some approaches of supporting international student and faculty to fulfill their research and curriculum needs.
As we know, ASU has grown into a diverse, multicultural and energetic institution with four campuses around the state. It has developed an increasingly international reputation by attracting many excellent international students and faculty from more than 120 countries. For example, the enrollment of Chinese students has grew 34 percent in this year and more than 17% graduate students are international students. ASU is among the top universities chosen by international students. At the same time, international students also contribute considerable financial benefit to the university and the economy of the Arizona state. According to the statistics of the U.S. Department of Commerce, international students contribute $17.8 billion to the U.S. economy through their expenditures on tuition and living expenses. Higher education is among the United States’ top service sector exports. According to ASU news, although the university doesn’t do any recruiting overseas, ASU still has 3,549 international students enrolled in 2010 academic year, up from 3,478 last year. The majority are graduate students, at 2,195, with another 1,220 enrolled as undergraduates. People from all over the world in campus also provide great opportunity to help ASU students, staff and faculty to see and understand the world from different perspectives. This is why when Times Higher Education magazine evaluates universities and colleges, the international mix- the ratio of international staff and students to domestic staff and students is one of the important criteria.
In order to support the international students and faculty at ASU, I think because there are many challenges, being patience should be very important. For example, last time, when I introduced a new database to some East Asian graduate students. Some of them still have questions, but they thought they have taken me too much time and it is impolite to ask too much questions, so when I ask them if my instruction is enough, they all nodded their heads. I looked at some of the puzzled faces, so I said let me explain it one more time to make sure what I said is correct. After I explained one more time with more details, finally, I saw the students who were confused said “oh, yes, yes.” now I know it is not a faked yes, but a real yes. At the same time, training for library staff I think it also necessary. These trainings let them learn about other cultures, education for non-native speakers, different communication skills, etc. Example of finding materials in Chinese from library’s OPAC.
Because many international students are not familiar with English databases, they often go to google to try to find everything the want. Creating bilingual curriculum and research oriented library instruction materials and specific LibGuides should be helpful.
These lectures, classes & workshop should include more detailed explanations and more advance information in vernacular languages. My teaching experience, CHI Research methodology, library instruction especially designed for international graduate students. For example, I am the advisor of the Association of ASU graduate students sinologists. Often Invite international students who are interested in sinology to the library to have seminars and meetings. Collaborate with faculty to teach and advise international students. Why we need good partnership with oversea vendors? Because international faculty often need more vernacular materials for their research. Conducting multi-language collection development is my responsibility. Through building up good relationship with the oversea vendors, they could help us find all kinds of out-of-print materials, rare books, the most current publications and electronic resources in vernacular languages, which are more crucial for international faculty.
Think Globally, Service Locally:
Support ASU’s International Students and Faculty
Chinese Studies Librarian
Arizona State University Libraries
The importance of international students and faculty
in higher education
Some critical challenges of working with international
students and faculty
Exploring the approaches of supporting the research
and curriculum needs of international students and
Tremendous benefit to the university’s international
Considerable financial benefit to the university and
the economy of the state
Great opportunity to see and understand the world
from different perspectives
How to bridge cultural gaps between
international patrons and librarians
How to support a smooth
transition into a different
How to heighten the
awareness of the
library public service
Creating bilingual curriculum and research
oriented library instruction materials and
LibGuides on Chinese Studies
English: American English in China, Chinese in
≠ Research Resources
• Provide lectures, classes & workshops
designed for international students
• Actively involved in international
• Build up good partnerships with
faculty and oversea vendors
Spend more time to Introduce print-based
vernacular materials and special collections