Think back to your first year of college. How did you feel? Eager? Excited? Maybe also fearful, anxious about fitting in, making friends, or being successful? First-year students have a lot on their minds. It can be challenging to help them forge a meaningful connection with the library. Amidst the internal cacophony generated by the transition to college and the slew of departments and services competing for their attention when they arrive on campus, they may not realize that the library is here to help, too.
The Reed College Library has had a Personal Librarian program for our first-year students since the 2011 academic year.1 We started our program after realizing that we were having a difficult time connecting with first-year students, for many of the reasons listed above. We were also inspired to start our program after realizing that our liaison model, in which each academic department at Reed is assigned a specific librarian as their subject liaison, might not be reaching students who had yet to declare a major. Finally, like many academic libraries, we were often facing slow traffic at our reference desk and were curious to explore alternative service models.
Your Personal Librarian: Connecting First-Year Students to the Library at Reed College.
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