Student Engagement and the Academic Library
edited by Loanne Snavely
139 pages • 7 x 10
This unique book explores exciting programs and initiatives that can both engage undergraduate students with academic libraries and assist academic librarians in creating a vibrant library atmosphere.
Libraries are under attack—charges that the book is dead, and that libraries are dinosaurs doomed to extinction abound. Yet a careful examination shows that there are some vibrant academic libraries. What makes the difference? What can you do to ensure that your academic library not only survives, but thrives?
In spite of the doom and gloom predicted in the press for the future of libraries, these institutions aren't at the top of the endangered species list just yet. Librarians who are focusing significant attention and staffing resources on undergraduates—and are thinking creatively about what engages this specific group of students—are forging the future for academic libraries.
Student Engagement and the Academic Library explores how initiatives that involve high impact educational practices and other creative programs can effectively engage undergraduate students with academic libraries. The methodologies described in this work serve to draw students in and make their learning meaningful, both through curricular initiatives as well as through co-curricular and self-initiated activities, disciplinary initiatives, and partnerships across the university. This book will benefit any librarian seeking to further engage their college-age student populations, and will be especially helpful to libraries that are struggling to establish their programs and initiatives with today's students.
Reviewed by Mindy Thuna, Univeristy of Toronto Mississauga
Loanne Snavely, the head of Librarian Learning Services at Penn State University Libraries and the editor of this book, has pulled together an array of different case studies describing projects at libraries in the United States that aim to increase undergraduate student engagement and involvement with academic libraries. Each chapter is intended to serve as a model/template to be adopted and adapted by other institutions. These instances include, for example, an alternate reality game, a radio show, an oral storytelling project, and the use of marketing student interns to help the library develop a marketing plan. The compilation of different authors' voices has both a positive and a negative impact on the material and tone of the content. The book lacks flow as the examples are not well melded together and some chapters are more robust than others as the projects are explained in more detail and are therefore potentially easier to modify for other institutional settings. On the other hand, the diversity of examples ensures that differing sizes and types of academic libraries should be able to find something that they could adapt for use in their own environment. This book is recommended for use in this way, as a catalyst for creating new and innovative library programs to solidify the important role that academic libraries play in higher education.