This paper aims to describe librarians’ efforts in reaching out to international students through vernacular language videos at both the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Oregon. The videos were created to help international students familiarize themselves with the new library environment and to stimulate their interest in the future exploration of library resources and services.
This paper discusses the challenges of providing effective support to international students in the early stages of their academic life in the USA, explains the rationale for using vernacular language videos as a means of outreach to international students, outlines the factors considered in designing the videos that helped achieve the outreach goals and reviews promotion needs and assessment methods for evaluating the effectiveness of the videos.
Using online videos in native languages as a means to extend the reach of the libraries to international students is seen as useful and practical. Feedback from students and library colleagues shows positive reaction to the videos and provides encouragement for further outreach efforts to international students.
The strategies and experiences detailed here are easily adaptable to other institutions of higher education committed to developing outreach programs for international students.
The novelty of this case study is the librarians’ sophisticated thinking in developing vernacular language videos as a means of outreach to international students. The video project presented in the paper can function as an inspiring example for institutions preparing for the expected large influx of international students.
The authors would like to express their deep appreciation to William Cuthbertson, who initiated the video project at UCB, which then inspired the UO project; the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and University Libraries at UCB who generously funded the UCB video project; Michael Riberdy, Media Services Lab at UCB Libraries, and Lynnette Boone, Center for Educational and Media Technology at UO Libraries, who, with their student team, produced the videos; and all the librarians, staff and students who made the video projects successful. Their contributions are sincerely appreciated and gratefully acknowledged.
Li, X., McDowell, K. and Wang, X. (2016), "Building bridges: outreach to international students via vernacular language videos", Reference Services Review, Vol. 44 No. 3, pp. 324-340. https://doi.org/10.1108/RSR-10-2015-0044Download as .RIS
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