ATG Book of the Week: Students Lead the Library: The Importance of Student Contributions to the Academic Library

Title: Students Lead the Library: The Importance of Student Contributions to the Academic Library
Editors:  Sara Arnold-Garza and Carissa Tomlinson.
Softcover: ISBN: 9780838988671, $62; PDF e-book: Item Number: 8400-8671, $44
Imprint: Chicago: ACRL, 2017

The book features case studies of programs and initiatives that seek student input, assistance, and leadership in the library.

Academic librarians are driven by the belief that student scholars are at the heart of the library. Collections, programs, and services become meaningful when students use and learn from them. Websites and other digital services, buildings, marketing and communication strategies, and content are designed to meet their needs. The library exists, at least in large part, for the students-and student employment, leadership, and input into the library can increase engagement and outreach and improve both the library and the students it employs.

In six parts – Students as Employees, Students as Curators, Students as Ambassadors, the Library as Client, Student Groups as Library Leaders, and Students as Library Designers – Students Lead the Library gives practical perspectives and best practices for implementing these kinds of initiatives in ways that can be easily adopted to fit many different needs and circumstances. Through the library, students can develop leadership skills, cultivate high levels of engagement, and offer peer learning opportunities. Through the students, libraries can create participatory design processes, enhancement and transformation of the library’s core functions, and expressed library value for stakeholders.

This book is useful for libraries seeking to improve their services to students, reach out to new student populations, give students experiential learning opportunities, and even mitigate staffing shortages.

 

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