Creating the sandbox: the juxtaposition of collections and student development

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Salmon, Helen
Graburn, Linda
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While academic library collections are typically built and assessed in relation to pedagogical or curricular needs and accreditation processes, they can also be intentionally developed, accessed and promoted with more conscious attention to the developmental needs and context of the students who will use them. This paper will explore the role(s) that academic library collections play in relation to the psychosocial development of young adults. Drawing upon contemporary learning and young adult development theory, we will situate the role of academic library collections in relation to the various developmental stages, tasks and learning challenges that young adults experience during a typical university experience. We will also explore how traditional ways of selecting, promoting, and providing access to library collections can be modified to create more direct and meaningful engagement for our students as they struggle to define themselves and to consider “where do we go from here?” for their generation.

Paper presented at the 35th annual Charleston Collections Conference (2015). To be published by Purdue University Press in fall 2016.
student development, library collections, psychosocial development, student wellness