For almost a century, library skills instruction by academic librarians has been a vital component of university programs created to help first-year students adapt to the social and academic environment of college life (Walter, 2004). Asretention of first-year students has become a strategic goal for universities, a variety of firstyear experience (FYE) programs have been developed over the last decade to address this goal. For many academic librarians, the FYE programs have resulted in an increased collaboration with faculty (Walter, 2004). This collaboration ranges from assisting faculty with incorporating information literacy skills within classroom instruction to embedding librarians within classes throughout the semester. In addition to programs that focus on developing or strengthening learning skills, others have been developed to form social communities for students that are based on shared interests. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has created a number of FYE programs that address both academic and social challenges to retention. Creation of a themed FYE class, the Freshman Seminar 129, provided the UTK Libraries with an additional opportunity for librarians to be involved in the University’s retention efforts for first-year students.

Publication Date

Spring 2011