Are We Speaking The Same Language? International Students and Academic Libraries
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International students are a significant and growing population at the University of Maryland – College Park. With more than 3,600 international students or 10 percent of the students who enrolled at the University of Maryland (UM) on campus in 2010, we have over 150 different countries represented in our university community, placing the university among the top 20 U.S. universities serving international students. Different departments on campus work together in helping students to adjust to the university life while they are facing cultural difficulties, language barriers and social isolation. The presenter will share professional experience in working with international students and will suggest ways to welcome them into the libraries and to empower them with a library skills set through library orientations, bibliographic instruction, mentoring and employment opportunities. In response to the special needs of the international students, to help them cope with their language and social life adjustment challenges, UM librarians partner with the Office of International Education Services Department to host International Coffee Hour at the beginning of each semester and to provide an informal setting where students can meet librarians and learn about library services in a relaxing atmosphere.