The role of the university library in supporting international student transition: Insights from an Australian-American case study
Mary M. Somerville: 0000-0002-4201-8335
Journal of Academic Librarianship
As an outcome of the Libraries and Information for International Students Project (LIISP), this paper presents insights into first year international students’ experiences of using library resources, services and spaces at their host university. It focuses on a collective case study conducted between 2014 and 2016 at one Australian and three North American libraries, with 320 first year international students. The research design was informed by the Project Information Literacy study of US first year domestic students’ library use (Head, 2013). Data were collected via survey and semi-structured interviews, and analyzed thematically. Findings of the four cases were compared with each other, and with the PIL study. Four key insights emerged:
- International students are characterised by their diversity and individuality.
- First year international students’ library and information use, and associated challenges are generally similar to those of US domestic first year students transitioning from high school to university.
- The challenges international students experience generally relate to unfamiliarity of the socio-cultural environment and academic and library practices at their host university, rather than generalised educational deficit.
- The library is vital to supporting international students’ transition to life and study at a host university.
The findings inform library space design and inclusive transition support that integrates informed learning and transition pedagogy. They are relevant to university administrators, librarians and educators in culturally diverse higher education.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.
Somerville, M. M.,
The role of the university library in supporting international student transition: Insights from an Australian-American case study.
Journal of Academic Librarianship, 44(5), 582–594.