What does it mean to think about libraries as some combination of ““materials, space, and services”? This frame reflects some of the fundamental questions we are trying to address at Penn State Greater Allegheny.
how should libraries participate in assisting students with identifying and acquiring cheaper course materials, especially those that come from a source other than the campus library? Does the creation of a research guide or flyer for textbooks that points to commercial sources other than the campus bookstore fit into the library’s mission and role on campus? More generally, what is the library’s responsibility when it comes to textbooks?
The spring semester always has a unique kind of newness to it, different than the fall semester. Returning students who participated in various orientation events and the campus convocation have a sense of what they are doing and clearer expectations. But there are a handful of students for whom the spring semester is their first semester. Their orientation experience is limited at best and often lacks an opportunity for contact with the library.
We talk a lot about outreach in academic libraries, but this semester these students have been on my mind, and in thinking about them I realize I’ve been the fortunate beneficiary of an illuminating kind of “reverse outreach.”