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Libraries and student persistence at southern colleges and universities

Boris Teske (Prescott Memorial Library, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, Louisiana, USA)
Michael DiCarlo (Prescott Memorial Library, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, Louisiana, USA)
Dexter Cahoy (College of Engineering & Science, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, Louisiana, USA)

Reference Services Review

ISSN: 0090-7324

Article publication date: 7 June 2013

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766

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to determine whether or how academic libraries affect student achievement.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses computation of Pearson's r coefficients and predictor values for correlations of academic library statistics with first‐year retention and six‐year graduation rates reported to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System by Southern Regional Education Board four‐year colleges and universities in 2010.

Findings

Book collection size in doctoral university libraries has the strongest correlation with retention and graduation rates, in the sample, and predicts for every 10 percent increase a 0.5 percent improvement in retention and a 0.7 percent higher graduation rate.

Originality/value

The paper documents the first impact study to correlate library statistics with both retention and graduation rates from a large sample of doctoral, Masters' and bachelors' degree‐conferring institutions. It calculates 21 predictor values of interest to academic administrators.

Keywords

Citation

Teske, B., DiCarlo, M. and Cahoy, D. (2013), "Libraries and student persistence at southern colleges and universities", Reference Services Review, Vol. 41 No. 2, pp. 266-279. https://doi.org/10.1108/00907321311326174

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited