Meeting Campus Linguistic Diversity: A Multilingual Library Orientation Approach

Jennifer Congyan Zhao, Nazi Torabi, Sonia Smith

Abstract


This study sought to determine whether offering multilingual orientation sessions to non-native English-speaking students at the beginning of an academic year would improve their knowledge of library services and resources. In September 2015, McGill Library offered 11 orientation sessions in five different languages—English, French, Mandarin Chinese, Persian, and Spanish. A total of 74 students attended the sessions. Noticeable attendance patterns included: (1) sessions offered earlier in the semester had high attendance and (2) the Chinese sessions received the most participants. This study also evaluated students’ learning via an assessment questionnaire at the end of each session. The assessment results suggest an increase in students’ awareness of services and resources offered by McGill Library. This article reports on the planning, implementation, and assessment of this program; discusses the challenges encountered and lessons learned in organizing and delivering these sessions; and provides recommendations on organizing similar multilingual library orientation programs to address the needs of a diverse student population on campus.

 


Keywords


linguistic diversity; library orientation; non-native English-speaking students; international students; multilingual library services

References


Barber, K. (2005). The Canadian Oxford dictionary (2nd ed.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Baron, S., & Strout-Dapaz, A. (2001). Communicating with and empowering international students with a library skills set. Reference Services Review, 29(4), 314-326.

Bosch, E. K., & Molteni, V. E. (2011). Connecting to international students in their languages: Innovative bilingual library instruction in academic libraries. In P. Jackson & P. Sullivan (Eds.), International students and academic libraries: Initiative for success (pp. 135-150).

Downing, A., & Klein, L. R. (2001). A multilingual virtual tour for international students: The web-based library at Baruch College opens doors. College & Research Libraries News, 62(5), 500-502.

Greenberg, R., & Bar-Ilan, J. (2014). Information needs of students in Israel—A case study of a multicultural society. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 40(2), 185-191.

Hughes, H. (2010). International students' experiences of university libraries and librarians. Australian Academic and Research Libraries, 41(2), 77-89.

Ishimura, Y., & Bartlett, J. C. (2013). Uncovering the research process of international students in North America: are they different from domestic students? Information Research—An International Electronic Journal, 18(1).

Ishimura, Y., & Bartlett, J. C. (2014). Are librarians equipped to teach international students? A survey of current practices and recommendations for training. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 40(3-4), 313-321. doi:10.1016/j.acalib.2014.04.009

McGill University. (2015a). Enrolment report Fall 2015: Total (FT and PT) enrolments by mother tongue. Retrieved from https://www.mcgill.ca/es/files/es/fall_2015_-_total_full-time_and_part-time_enrolments_by_mother_tongue.pdf

McGill University. (2015b). Enrolment report Fall 2015: Total (FT and PT) visa enrolments by countries. Retrieved from https://www.mcgill.ca/es/files/es/fall_2015_-_total_full-time_and_part-time_visa_enrolments_by_countries.pdf

McGill University. (2015c). Enrolment reports. Retrieved from https://www.mcgill.ca/es/registration-statistics

McGill University Library. (2016). Welcome to the McGill library. Retrieved from https://www.mcgill.ca/library/orientation

Morrissey, R., & Given, L. M. (2006). International students and the academic library: A case study. Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science, 30(3-4), 221-239.

Nzivo, C. N., & Chuanfu, C. (2013). International students' perception of library services and information resources in Chinese academic libraries. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 39(2), 129-137. doi:10.1016/j.acalib.2012.11.004

Sin, S. C. J. (2015). Demographic differences in international students' information source uses and everyday information seeking challenges. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 41(4), 466-474. doi:10.1016/j.acalib.2015.04.003

Song, Y. S. (2004). International business students: A study on their use of electronic library services. Reference Services Review, 32(4), 367-373.

Zhao, J. C., & Mawhinney, T. (2015). Comparison of native Chinese-speaking and native English-speaking engineering students' information literacy challenges. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 41(6), 712-724. doi: 10.1016/j.acalib.2015.09.010

Zhuo, F., Emanuel, J., & Jiao, S. (2007). International students and language preferences in library database use. Technical Services Quarterly, 24(4), 1-13.


Full Text: PDF HTML

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.