Fostering Student Success: Academic, Social, and Financial Initiatives

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the author
  • Reviews

This book provides real-world advice and ideas drawn from case studies to help academic libraries support students academically, socially, and financially, especially those who are facing barriers.

Academic libraries are confronting a myriad of challenges, including consequences stemming from the pandemic, the changing demographics of student bodies, and the financial obstacles that many students are struggling to overcome. What’s needed is practical guidance on how to effectively serve students’ needs amidst rapid change. The contributors in this collection share several approaches to bolstering their success, with guidance that can be tailored to your own institution. Inside, you’ll learn about 

  • methods for reimagining learning and interactive programming during times of disruption;
  • using technology to provide personalized support for vulnerable students, from free wifi hotspots to inclusive programming;
  • promoting data skills through a makerspace; 
  • facilitating information access and STEAM learning for first-generation students;
  • ensuring accessibility for rural community college students;
  • responding to challenges brought about by systemic racism and COVID-19;
  • impactful mentoring;
  • expanding an open textbook program;
  • supplying laptops for students through an academic/public library partnership; and
  • paid internships and work/study positions for low-income students.


Part I         Support in Rapidly Changing Learning Environments  
Chapter 1    Taking a Byte Out of the Data Divide: How an Academic Library Made Data Skills More Accessible by Creating a Makerspace 
Joyce Garczynski
Chapter 2    Small Victories in STEM Librarianship: Taking on the Big Problem of Missing Information Literacy Instruction in Science Curricula and the Case of First-Generation Students
Elizabeth Pickard and Michelle R. Desilets
Chapter 3    Identifying and Addressing the Evolving Accessibility Limitations of Rural Community College Students
Heather VanDyne and Rachel Koszalka
Chapter 4    Together from the Ground Up: Deconstructing the Research Process for First Semester Students at Louisiana State University
Sarah Simms, Narcissa Haskins, and Ebony McDonald
Chapter 5    So Close and Yet So Remote: Using Technologies to Provide High-Touch, Personalized Support for Vulnerable Students 
Rosalind Fielder-Giscombe and Gabrielle Toth
Chapter 6    Reenvisioning Learning in a Time of Disruption
Jennifer Matthews and Deborah Gaspar

Part II        Programming That Fosters Inclusion
Chapter 7    Information Privilege and First-Generation Students: A Librarian-in-Residence Program to Facilitate Information Access at the University of Wyoming
Kristina Clement
Chapter 8    Aflame and Unafraid: A Case Study on Creating Interactive Programming in Remote Learning
Karina Kletscher and Jennifer Tirrell
Chapter 9    Inclusive Programming: Empathy, Support, and Access as Foundational Tools
Tariana Smith
Chapter 10    Student Well-Being and Libraries: Addressing Systemic Racism and COVID-19
Jason Coleman, Lis Pankl, and Leo S. Lo
Chapter 11    Employing the Disenfranchised Student for Mentoring and Empowerment
Michelle Reale

Part III: Libraries Providing Financial Support
Chapter 12    Loving Libraries: Stanford University Library’s Paid Summer Internships
Felicia A. Smith
Chapter 13    Throwing the University Wide Open: Textbook Affordability and COVID-19
Zara Wilkinson
Chapter 14    Bridging the Digital Divide in Appalachia: Lending Technology with a Personal Librarian
Jonathan Roy Wilson
Chapter 15    Laptops for Students: An Academic and Public Library Partnership
Shannon L. Dew, Gretchen Mitchell, and Susan B. Mythen
Chapter 16    Paid Positions for Students: A Win-Win for Everyone Involved
Paizha Stoothoff

About the Editor and Contributors

Sigrid Kelsey

Sigrid Kelsey is director of scholarly publications at Louisiana State University. An award-winning librarian, she has coedited five books and written numerous articles. Kelsey has served on the ALA Publishing Committee and the American Libraries editorial advisory board. She is currently on the editorial board of Library Diversity and Residency Studies and is the general editor of Catholic Library World.

"Vulnerable student groups are the focus of many of the chapters—that is, students who may have challenges such as racism, childcare difficulties, financial problems, or other barriers to overcome. These vulnerable populations, according to the American College Health Association, include Black, Latinx, Native American and First Nation, Asian American, first-generation low-income, LGBTQ+, international students, unauthorized students, disabled students, and any number of intersectional groups. These students have been identified as being especially affected by the pandemic ... It may seem daunting to try to address the potential issues that these students may be coping with. Fortunately, the contributing authors provide a wealth of suggestions and solutions."
— College & Research Libraries

"The book develops a narrative that engages the reader through the initiatives and collaborations of libraries from a variety of institutions. The stories focus on varied topics including accessibility, information literacy, research and learning services, technology, inclusion, and financial support ... The most important theme within this collection of narratives is how students are placed in the forefront of their own education. Yes, we all experience challenges within the institutions we work in. However, Fostering Student Success makes certain that we as administrators, faculty, and staff remember that ultimately, we are in this profession to walk alongside students, hear their voices, and respond with initiatives that bring these narratives into focus."
— Journal of New Librarianship

"Kelsey includes a who's who of current library trends and topics, noting how these services are mission driven and align with the tenets of student success for institutions. Contributing librarians share their experiences with makerspaces, first-generation STEM support, information privilege, remote learning, textbook affordability, and paid internships, among other topics, noting correlations between their offerings and student achievement ... Good for future and current library practitioners, higher education administrators, and student success professionals."
— Choice

"Librarians will find this easily digestible book a handy reference tool for ideas and inspiration."
— Journal of the Australian Library and Information Association