In “Attending To the Whole Student: Higher Ed’s 2016 Trend,” Steven Bell writes:
“As collaborators, academic librarians already work with residential life, student services, career centers, and other academic and social support staff to contribute to any effort to meet students where and when the need for help arises. […] Academic librarians are proving themselves more perceptive than other learning and support units at getting in tune with students who demand their institutions pay attention to social justice, equality, and diversity issues. Alone, academic librarians won’t meet all student needs, but they certainly demonstrate the ability to connect with students in ways that contribute to a whole health approach.”
Part of my job is to think about (and execute) ways to engage students with the library in ways that reach beyond the reference desk, the classroom, and the stacks. To that end, much of my week is spent meeting with potential collaborators. This constant back and forth between the library and other campus offices has begun to change my perspective on how the library can contribute to the education of “the whole student.” I feel more in tune with the mission of the university. If this is the direction that academic libraries sail in 2016, you can bet I’ll be on board.