Researchers Ask If Libraries Can Do More

Libraries offer a refuge where students study, find books or take the occasional nap. But could these places soon provide additional services beyond homework help?

A new report this week explores whether libraries can play a more proactive role in helping community college students succeed. Researchers started by first asking 37 students from seven community colleges what challenges they face, which will inform the next phase of the project: devising ways to test whether libraries can assist with barriers around, say, finances, childcare, transportation and other challenges.

When it comes to student success, β€œthere is a lot of conversation about guided pathways, advising, on-time registration, all these other sorts of practices,” says Dr. Braddlee, an author of the report and dean of learning and technology resources at Northern Virginia Community College. β€œBut there has been less focus on the role a library can play in that.”

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