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Programming Information for ACRL's Academic Library Services for Graduate Students Interest Group.

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Convener, ALSGS-IG


A forum to discuss issues related to library service for graduate students, including instruction, outreach, reference, collections, and programming.

Our latest "Listen and Discuss" Webcast: Online Library Services for Graduate Students

Our panelists discussed the following projects:

Allan Cho (allan.cho@ubc.cashared how the libraries at UBC are using github

Nancy Garmer (ngarmer@fit.edubrought up the Evans Library GradTrack Guide at FIT:

Mandy Havert (mhavert@nd.edushared a link to a “getting to know the libraries” checklist that is provided to Notre Dame Graduate Students:

Anne Melville (

Matt Ogborn (matt.ogborn@asu.edudiscussed a tutorial created in Rise in collaboration with a colleague: "Library 501: What Grad Students Need to Know about the Library"

2019 ALA Annual Presentation Abstracts

Presentations will be given at ALA Annual at the Marriott Marquis, Capitol Room, on Saturday, June 22, 2019. All are welcome to attend.


You Are Not Alone: Facilitating a Holistic Graduate Academic Experience through a Dissertation Writing Workshop

Stan Trembach, Education Librarian, University of Northern Colorado


For graduate students belonging to the Millennial generation, writing a dissertation can be an isolating and anxiety-provoking experience. While several recent studies suggest that thesis and dissertation writing support ranks highly among possible workshop topics graduate students expect from their institution's library, there is a gap in both research and practice focusing on the often-crucial role of libraries in providing these services. In designing outreach and literacy initiatives for graduate students, librarians face the challenge to take into account the particular learning styles, habits, and socialization patterns of the current generation of students.


This presentation will delineate the University of Northern Colorado Library collaboration with the Graduate School to launch the campus’ first ever Dissertation Prep and Writing Intensive workshop to provide peer support opportunities for UNC doctoral students at all stages of the dissertation writing process. The author will situate the success of this multi-agency project within the prism of the 5R learning model put forth by Price (2009) who posits that today’s students excel when they are able to form rapport with their instructors and peers and also have the rationale to engage in research–oriented practices in a relaxed classroom environment. The presentation will then address what implementation strategies may need to be factored in to ensure the immediate relevance and long-term sustainability of such comprehensive library outreach initiatives through the buy-in from a wide variety of stakeholders, including library administration, individual subject liaisons, the graduate school, academic departments, and various other units across campus.


Graduate Student Bootcamp: Feel the Force!

Mou Chakraborty, Director of External Library Services, Salisbury University


Often graduate students feel disconnected from the main campus. This is even more evident in the non-traditional students who are returning to graduate schools. Salisbury University offers a wide array of services to the graduate students who may not always be aware of these resources. In response to a campus-wide growing need for equipping graduate students with adequate research skills, Salisbury University Libraries partnered with the Office of Graduate Students to host a day Graduate Student Bootcamp: Feel the Force for incoming and relatively new graduate students (typically in their first year). The objective was to expose them to the vast array of services and resources available to them from across the campus. Based on the Star Wars theme, the bootcamp offered various sessions starting with a breakfast panel where key administrators and faculty addressed what it takes to be a graduate student. Food throughout the day and door prizes were a big hit! The daylong bootcamp ended with a yoga/mindfulness session. Faculty, administrators, and staff from across campus led the various sessions. Registration exceeded expectations. Based on student feedback the university’s Graduate Council recommended offering such bootcamps twice a year!


The presentation will report on the planning, implementation, and outcome of the very successful bootcamp. Collaboration with various stakeholders across campus was a key to this success. The presentation will not only include the colorful visuals of the bootcamp’s Star Wars inspired flyers, LibGuide, pictures from the sessions, but will also include graphical results of the pre-test and the post session survey.


Working with Graduate Students at a Distance: Liaison Librarianship to an Online Doctoral Program

Samantha Harlow, Online Learning Librarian/Kinesiology and Public Health Education Librarian, University of North Carolina Greensboro


Many universities and colleges are creating more online courses and degree programs. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, as of Fall 2015, 26 percent of post baccalaureate students are enrolled in “exclusively distance education courses.” With this new trend in higher education, more and more graduate programs are moving online, which changes the way librarians work with graduate students. Many online graduate students do not live near campus, work full time jobs, and have possibly been out of school for a long period of time. With this shift in education comes unique challenges for liaison librarians in creating trust, engagement, tutorials, and communities within online graduate programs concerning their research needs. This 10 minute presentation will tackle the research question: how can librarians create active and effective learning environments for online graduate students, using a variety of methods? This presentation will quickly cover projects, successes, and failures of a liaison librarian at a mid-size, public university working with a fully online Kinesiology EdD program. This presentation will cover strategies for online asynchronous and synchronous library instruction with higher level research and dissertations, including services such as virtual consults on Google Hangouts and Docs, embedding and working within a learning management system (Canvas), digital tools to create interactions, library orientations, webcasts, and online tutorials. And lastly, this presentation will include one section on assessments of online graduate students and library services, including findings from a usability study and survey.


Libraries Supporting Graduate Students on Alternative Career Paths: How & Why

Barbara Rochen Renner, Library Services Evaluation Specialist and Liaison, Allied Health Sciences; Lee Richardson, Information Discovery and Metadata Librarian, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Health Sciences Library


Alternative Academic careers, or Altac, is a term coined in 2010, according to Inside Higher Ed, referring to two post-PhD career tracks, most often the first: 1) positions inside academia other than traditional tenure track faculty positions; may include teaching or research, adjunct or fixed term faculty appointments, or primarily administrative positions or 2) research or administrative positions in the public or private sectors outside academia.


There is a significant and growing shortage of traditional tenure track faculty jobs. Many students who entered PhD programs planning to seek those positions face a reality that includes both that shortage and a general move in higher education toward non-tenure-track positions, often part time with low pay and lacking benefits. Graduate students struggle with this new reality, most critically in the humanities, and while many are trying to think ahead to graduation and jobs, their faculty advisors and committees may have little knowledge of non-traditional jobs and the best preparation for them, or they may view anything other than traditional tenure track faculty positions with some distaste and suspicion. Many faculty are thus reluctant even to discuss other options. Some students even report being dropped by faculty if it becomes known that they are considering experiences and training for non-traditional faculty positions when they finish.


Libraries can serve as a neutral and accessible place to gather resources providing information and guidance for students considering the Altac path. This presentation will share the process of creating an academic library guide for doctoral students considering alternative, academically oriented careers. Although the main audience for the guide is doctoral students and those faculty who are aware of the situation and supportive of exploring alternatives, students at all levels and others interested in exploring career opportunities for advanced degree holders will find useful information.

Presentation Files from our Latest Forum (ALA Midwinter 2019)


Geoff Johnson, Convener



Graduate Teaching & Learning Librarian

University of Colorado, Denver


Jessica Hagman, Incoming Convener

Social Sciences Research Librarian

University of Illinois



Mark Lenker, Past Convener

Teaching and Learning Librarian

University of Nevada Las Vegas