Setting Out on the Right Path: Academic Libraries and the First Year Experience
ENY ACRL Spring Conference
SUNY Oswego, May 19, 2014

Why this topic Matters:
4 R’s:
1. Resources Invested
2. Recruitment (high school to college, tours, prevent misinformation)
3. Retention (student employment, textbooks?)
4. Research in the area
The idea of an FYE librarian is taking root, BUT it is EVERYONE’s job.
-Curriculum mapping: Learn your landscape. They mapped out a difference experience into 5 different classes. It empowered them to say, “no” to generic tours.
-NSSE information literacy module
-High-impact practices (AACU)
- – National resource center for FYE
-She feels outreach to targeted groups is more effective and more engaging than the traditional subject liaison work.

Her Top 10 List:

1. Read the Beloit list (ask someone to distribute it to your entire staff as a reminder)
2. Volunteer for at least one initiative related to first year students on your campus
3. Talk to a staff member who has a first year student and ask them if they have a first impression of the library
4. Talk to a first year student about their first impression of the library
5. What is the enrollment number for first year students for the year?
6. What percentage of students was retained from first to second year on your campus?
7. Think of one idea that the library could pursue to help a first year student be successful. Tell someone!
8. What unique first year population do you have on campus?
9. Suggest that someone from the first year programs office talk to library staff about the first year student profile and what the library could do to help first year students.
10. Walk in the shoes of a first year student/first time user of your library.

Other FYE ideas:
-Peer Mentor training – get involved with them.
-Special night and/or programming for EOP students or other population. (Syracuse has 3 targeted populations.)
-Freshman library session: Le Moyne gives the student a sheet with directions and lets them learn on their own or in groups.
-ESOL students—many don’t understand plagiarism. Special session(s) for them, one night per week.
-EOP students – embedded librarian in summer and all semester.
-Work with Career Development.
-Work with the Center of Civic Engagement, etc.

Teaching Ideas:
-You use databases all the time: iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, etc.
-Have students write down their topic on whiteboard- helps them take ownership of their ideas.
-Open a session with music then learn about resources (e.g. Kent State riots, song, primary/secondary sources, internet/databases).
-Analogy to shopping: Have them pretend to “shop” for an article. Start with a real life object, like boots, sofa, etc. The questions they ask to limit the search help them understand how to select a databases or limiters better.
-Analogy: Their favorite singer has: backup band, mixers, stage crew, etc. The librarian is that background help. “I’m your people.”