How academic libraries can serve commuter students

For Immediate Release
Mon, 06/04/2018


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

ALA Publishing

American Library Association

(312) 280-5052

CHICAGO — More than 85% of U.S. undergraduates commute to college, yet the literature geared to academic libraries overwhelmingly presumes a classic, residential campus. “Academic Libraries for Commuter Students: Research-Based Strategies,” published by ALA Editions, redresses that imbalance by providing a research-based look at the specific academic needs of commuter students. Edited by Mariana Regalado and Maura A. Smale, librarians and anthropologists with City University of New York, the largest urban public university in the U.S, the book draws on their ongoing research examining how these students actually interact with and use the library. The insights they’ve gained about how library resources and services are central to commuter students’ academic work offer valuable lessons for other institutions. Presenting several additional case studies from a range of institution types and sizes, in both urban and suburban settings, this book provides rigorous analysis alongside descriptions of subsequent changes in services, resources, and facilities. Topics include:

  • why IUPUI interior designers decided to scrap plans to remove public workstations to make way for collaborative space;
  • how ongoing studies by University of North Carolina anthropologist Donna Lanclos shaped the design of the Family Friendly Library Room, where students may bring their children;
  • ways that free scanners and tablet lending at Brooklyn College supports subway studiers;
  • ideas from students on how best to help them through the use of textbook collections;
  • using ACRL’s Assessment in Action model to learn about student engagement and outcomes with library instruction at a community college; and
  • guidance on enlisting the help of anthropology students to conduct interviews and observations in an ethnographic study.

Regalado is Associate Professor and Head of Reference & Instruction, Library at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. She has researched and published on undergraduate research habits. Smale is Professor and Chief Librarian at New York City College of Technology, City University of New York. She has researched and published on student scholarly habits, critical librarianship, and open education. Previously, the authors cowrote “Digital Technology as Affordance and Barrier in Higher Education.”

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide. ALA Editions and ALA Neal-Schuman publishes resources used worldwide by tens of thousands of library and information professionals to improve programs, build on best practices, develop leadership, and for personal professional development. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a growing range of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA Editions at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5052 or