Start Date

23-3-2018 9:00 AM

End Date

23-3-2018 10:30 AM

Location

RM 182

Author(s) Bio

Mary J. Markland is the director of the Guin Library at the Hatfield Marine Science Center/Oregon State University in Newport, OR. Prior to coming to OSU Libraries in 2015, she spent many years working as an academic medical librarian. She holds a Master of Arts in Library and Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and a BS in Biology from Iowa State University. Hannah Gascho Rempel is a Science Librarian and the Graduate Student Services Coordination at OSU Libraries. She holds a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Washington and a Master of Science in Horticulture from Oregon State University. She is a co-author of the recently published book, Understanding How Students Develop: A Practical Guide for Librarians.

Presenter Status

Academic Librarian

Presentation Type

90 minutes (i.e. Workshop)

Description

Graduate school is a transformative time for many students. It is also a time when they are part of an elite community of learners. For some students, this is an exciting adventure that allows them to explore new ideas and more fully express themselves. However, many graduate students also experience feelings of anxiety, frustration, and exclusion because they don’t feel like they really belong to this academic community. Graduate students sometimes struggle with how to navigate the new social norms, hierarchies, and structures built on many years of accumulated, implicit knowledge. These socially-based struggles frequently lead to lower levels of retention among graduate students.

Because librarians typically work outside of departmental or graduate school hierarchies, we often strive to act as neutral and safe information brokers for graduate students. However, researchers have found that in order to fit into small, specialized communities, instead of asking for help, people avoid doing anything that would make them look like they weren’t a “normal,” fully-functioning part of the community. So how can librarians create a trust-based relationship where students are willing to ask for help when few of us are part of graduate students’ immediate social community?

In this workshop, we will explore theories such as Social Capital and Information Poverty to provide a lens for examining graduate students’ existing social networks. We will provide a grounding in past research on social capital and information acquisition to help participants better understand the context of graduate students’ information seeking behaviors. We will create personal social capital maps together to illustrate the principles of social capital, and then we will also build social capital maps based on graduate student scenarios. Using an assumptions inventory exercise, we will develop a better understanding of the connection between our beliefs about graduate students’ information needs and our perceptions of how those needs are provided.

We will also explore the unique social capital perceptions and needs of historically underrepresented and underserved students. Drawing upon recent literature on the difficulties historically underrepresented students face, we will share findings that can help participants recognize ways that they can reach reach out to these students without threatening their standing in their academic communities. Using activities such as the critical incident questionnaire, we will ask participants to reflect on how their role as librarians can lead to increased engagement with these students.

Recognizing that librarians’ interactions with graduate students vary based on a range of institutional factors, we will share our own experiences with graduate students at two different libraries - one small branch library and one large, main campus library. Through the use of individual reflection and small group discussions, we will guide participants through ways that they might use their own social capital within their own context to improve interactions with graduate students. Ultimately, we look forward to transforming our own and other librarians’ awareness of graduate students’ affective and information needs so that we can provide appropriate and meaningful assistance.

Comments

Brief Description for Program:

Creating Transformative Connections with Graduate Students Using a Social Capital Framework

Graduate school is a transformative time for many students. For some students, this is an exciting adventure that allows them to explore new ideas and more fully express themselves. However, many graduate students experience feelings of anxiety, frustration, and exclusion because they don’t feel like they belong to this academic community. Socially-based struggles frequently lead to lower levels of retention among graduate students.

Because librarians typically work outside departmental or graduate school hierarchies, we often strive to act as information brokers for graduate students as they navigate their learning communities. In this workshop, we will explore the theories of Social Capital and Information Poverty to provide a lens for examining graduate students’ existing social networks. We will create social capital maps based on graduate student scenarios to develop a better understanding of the connection between our beliefs about graduate students’ information needs and our perceptions of how those needs are provided. We will also explore the unique social capital perceptions and needs of historically underrepresented and underserved students. Participants will examine ways they can increase engagement with these students.

Through the use of a variety of reflective activities, we will guide participants through ways to use social capital within their own context to improve interactions with graduate students. We look forward to transforming our awareness of graduate students’ affective and information needs so we can provide appropriate and meaningful assistance.

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Mar 23rd, 9:00 AM Mar 23rd, 10:30 AM

Creating Transformative Connections with Graduate Students Using a Social Capital Framework

RM 182

Graduate school is a transformative time for many students. It is also a time when they are part of an elite community of learners. For some students, this is an exciting adventure that allows them to explore new ideas and more fully express themselves. However, many graduate students also experience feelings of anxiety, frustration, and exclusion because they don’t feel like they really belong to this academic community. Graduate students sometimes struggle with how to navigate the new social norms, hierarchies, and structures built on many years of accumulated, implicit knowledge. These socially-based struggles frequently lead to lower levels of retention among graduate students.

Because librarians typically work outside of departmental or graduate school hierarchies, we often strive to act as neutral and safe information brokers for graduate students. However, researchers have found that in order to fit into small, specialized communities, instead of asking for help, people avoid doing anything that would make them look like they weren’t a “normal,” fully-functioning part of the community. So how can librarians create a trust-based relationship where students are willing to ask for help when few of us are part of graduate students’ immediate social community?

In this workshop, we will explore theories such as Social Capital and Information Poverty to provide a lens for examining graduate students’ existing social networks. We will provide a grounding in past research on social capital and information acquisition to help participants better understand the context of graduate students’ information seeking behaviors. We will create personal social capital maps together to illustrate the principles of social capital, and then we will also build social capital maps based on graduate student scenarios. Using an assumptions inventory exercise, we will develop a better understanding of the connection between our beliefs about graduate students’ information needs and our perceptions of how those needs are provided.

We will also explore the unique social capital perceptions and needs of historically underrepresented and underserved students. Drawing upon recent literature on the difficulties historically underrepresented students face, we will share findings that can help participants recognize ways that they can reach reach out to these students without threatening their standing in their academic communities. Using activities such as the critical incident questionnaire, we will ask participants to reflect on how their role as librarians can lead to increased engagement with these students.

Recognizing that librarians’ interactions with graduate students vary based on a range of institutional factors, we will share our own experiences with graduate students at two different libraries - one small branch library and one large, main campus library. Through the use of individual reflection and small group discussions, we will guide participants through ways that they might use their own social capital within their own context to improve interactions with graduate students. Ultimately, we look forward to transforming our own and other librarians’ awareness of graduate students’ affective and information needs so that we can provide appropriate and meaningful assistance.