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Investigating first-generation students’ perceptions of library personnel

Investigating first-generation students’ perceptions of library personnel PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to investigate the perceived role of library personnel in supporting first-generation students at Penn State University Libraries, and also how students’ perceptions of library personnel change over time, and the various experiences that influenced their changes in perception.Design/methodology/approachThis study employed focus groups to solicit input from first-generation students. A four-step team-based approach to qualitative coding process was developed including the development of a codebook informed by common themes and concepts drawn from the literature.FindingsFindings indicate that operating from a deficit of library cultural capital often results in low awareness of available services and changes in perception are more influenced by personal exploration than limited interactions with personnel. Further, while currently employed interventions are well targeted, opportunities exist for enhancing efforts.Research limitations/implicationsAs this is a case study, the findings are not generalizable. Per conducting only four focus groups, the experiences of participants may not represent the typical scope of personnel-related interactions.Originality/valueThis study adds to the limited body of evidence that first-generation students’ struggle from a deficit of library-related cultural capital. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Performance Measurement and Metrics Emerald Publishing

Investigating first-generation students’ perceptions of library personnel

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1467-8047
DOI
10.1108/PMM-07-2018-0018
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to investigate the perceived role of library personnel in supporting first-generation students at Penn State University Libraries, and also how students’ perceptions of library personnel change over time, and the various experiences that influenced their changes in perception.Design/methodology/approachThis study employed focus groups to solicit input from first-generation students. A four-step team-based approach to qualitative coding process was developed including the development of a codebook informed by common themes and concepts drawn from the literature.FindingsFindings indicate that operating from a deficit of library cultural capital often results in low awareness of available services and changes in perception are more influenced by personal exploration than limited interactions with personnel. Further, while currently employed interventions are well targeted, opportunities exist for enhancing efforts.Research limitations/implicationsAs this is a case study, the findings are not generalizable. Per conducting only four focus groups, the experiences of participants may not represent the typical scope of personnel-related interactions.Originality/valueThis study adds to the limited body of evidence that first-generation students’ struggle from a deficit of library-related cultural capital.

Journal

Performance Measurement and MetricsEmerald Publishing

Published: Feb 4, 2019

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