The World is Theirs: Supporting our Students as They Study Abroad


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The World is Theirs: Supporting our Students as They Study Abroad

  1. 1. e W o rld is The Supporting Our Th irs: Students as They Study Abroad Tammy IvinsIntroduction 2. Provide general information about traveling abroad ResultsIn the fall of 2011, Francis Marion University’s new Study Abroad Why Support Study Abroad? Enthusiastic feedback from faculty and studentsCoordinator and the newest reference librarian began a collaboration. Study abroad is the future:The goal was to leverage the library’s resources to help students “Colleges increasingly emphasize study abroad as a means I just wanted to say thank you SOprepare for and feel more confident before going abroad. to create the global citizen... without internationalizing our campuses, North American colleges and universities are in much for creating this resource forTo support students, the library decided to provide: danger of failing to prepare our graduates for the global This Libguide is BRILLIANT! International Students. I am so excited to go abroad 1. Research support, World” (Cohen, 2010) 2. General information about studying abroad, & And I couldn’t have done any- . . . but definitely feel more at ease knowing I have 3. Specific country information. But it needs support: thing like it in a million years. this connection to you and the electronic resources “[F]oreign study students have a myriad of information even though I won’t be at FMU.Three chosen methods were: needs. Drawing on their own broad understanding of 1. Acquisition of print travel guides, information, librarians can assist.” (White, 2009) - Teaching faculty member - Study abroad student 2. Construction of electronic guides, & 3. In-person meeting with the students. The library’s support is unexpected: “Notably absent in the study-abroad higher education literature is mention of the potential role of the home institution library in supporting the research needs of Respectable amount of traffic to Electronic Research Guides… study-abroad programs.” (Kutner, 2010) Direct contact with patrons = increased usage1. Support student research while abroad 3. Offer specific country information Rolling With the Punches… what went wrong in the first year Challenge: Quick  Fix: Longterm  Fix: Missed  the  opportunity  to   Increase  communica:on  with   “Met”  the  students  digitally   meet  with  students  in-­‐ study  abroad  coordinator  next   through  email. person. year. Order  new  guides  at  least  3   Print  travel  guides  didn’t   Increased  the  number  of   months  before  students  leave   arrive  in  :me. web  travel  guide  links. campus. Conclusions I consider this program to be an initial success. Qualitative feedback illustrates that students & faculty were very impressed, while quantitative usage stats were good for a first semester. For the minimal expense of few travel guides, the Rogers Library reached out to our student patrons, demonstrated our value, and strengthened the campus community. What’s Next? • Talk to the students as they get back. • Add a new service: electronic document delivery for Ecuador program. • Meet with students before they leave next year. • Add country guides for Japan & Australia. Works Consulted Cohen, S. F., & Burkhardt, A. (2010). Even an Ocean Away: Developing Skype-based Refer- Kutner, L. (2010). Study-Abroad Programs as Information Producers: An Expanding Role for ence for Students Studying Abroad. Reference Services Review, 38(2), 264-273. Support of Our Students Studying Abroad. Journal of Library Administration, 50, doi:10.1108/00907321011045025 767-778. doi:10.1080/01930826.2010.488962 Connell, V. (2009). Getting to Know the Neighbors: Library Support for Study Abroad Programs. Kutner, L. (2009). Think Locally, Act Globally: Understanding Home Institution Library Engage- Library Philosophy and Practice,. ment among Study- Abroad Students. College & Research Libraries, (June), 158-177. Kendrot, N. J. (2011). Academic Library Support for Study Abroad Students. A Master’s White, A. C., Ye, Y., & Guccione, M. (2009). Study Abroad Students: Designing Library Services Paper for the M.S. in L.S degree. School of information & Library Science, Uni- to Meet Their Needs Study Abroad Students: Designing Library. Journal of Library versity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved from Administration, 49, 187-196. doi:10.1080/0193082080231297 papers/?CISOROOT=/s_papers PO Box 100547, Florence, South Carolina 29502 FRANCIS MARION UNIVERSITY Tammy Ivins • 843-661-4677