International Students and Academic Libraries: Identifying Themes in the Literature From 2001 to the Present

International Students and Academic Libraries: Identifying Themes in the Literature From 2001 to the Present

Barbara Blummer (Center for Computing Sciences, USA) and Jeffrey M. Kenton (Towson University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4097-7.ch013

Abstract

Ethnic, racial, and gender diversity remains a feature of the demographic composition of students in higher education. Diversity on college campuses exposes students to new perspectives, research opportunities, and pedagogy practices. International students studying in academic institutions contribute to the ethnic diversity in universities, and this chapter examines their interactions with librarians and libraries. Librarians' understanding of international students' library use can foster the development of appropriate training opportunities, program initiatives, and outreach efforts for these individuals. It can also identify the necessary staff skills for successful interactions between librarians and international students and facilitate their use of library resources and services. To this end, the authors present a literature review of international students and academic libraries.
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Background

A recent United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) report illustrated the number of students studying in higher education institutions abroad is increasing (United Nations, 2016). The report identified the most popular countries for these students as the US, the United Kington, Australia, France, Germany, and Russia respectively. On the other hand, the report pointed to China, India, Germany, Korea, France, Saudi Arabia, and the US as claiming the most mobile students. Yi (2007) suggested the US remained especially attractive to foreign students due to the extent of technological and scientific development in the country. In addition to an increasing rate of international students in the US and abroad, studies suggest a rise in immigration trends will impact the demographic composition of academic institutions, especially in the US. For example, Morelaes, Knowles, and Bourg (2014) predict the number of Hispanics enrolling in higher education will double from 2012 to 2060, with similar figures for Asian college students. To this end, it is especially critical that academic librarians develop appropriate programs and skills to support the diversity among their users.

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