Changing Needs of Our Users
The University of Pittsburgh has a substantial community of international students. The library has long been collaborating with the Office of International Students, which helps international students assimilate to university life, in order to provide them with information literacy training specific to their needs. Looking for innovation in addressing the changing needs of our users, librarians recently offered information literacy sessions in several languages to help alleviate stress experienced by international students due to their new environment and language skills so they can focus on addressing immediate research needs. Student demographics and availability of skilled librarians determine the choice of the target language. Four overall components are included in this service: identifying demographics of enrolled international students in order to select target languages, organizing and coordinating a team of librarians that can teach in these languages, developing supplementary materials in the target language, and assessing the impact of this service on student learning and their overall library experience. Surprisingly, international students continued to attend the non-English sessions along with the English sessions, refuting the notion that non-English sessions are counter productive to their acquiring English. Additionally, this service provided a great opportunity to market the library, specifically the East Asian collection. As a relatively new service, some of these components are still under development. Regardless, the service has been well received by the students and helped us open new doors to possibilities and build a positive relationship between the library and its international student community.