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Journal cover: Reference Services Review

Reference Services Review

ISSN: 0090-7324

Online from: 1973

Subject Area: Library and Information Studies

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Academic library participation in recruitment and retention initiatives

Document Information:
Title:Academic library participation in recruitment and retention initiatives
Author(s):Melissa A. Hubbard, (Library Affairs, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Carbondale, Illinois, USA), Amber T. Loos, (Library Affairs, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Carbondale, Illinois, USA)
Citation:Melissa A. Hubbard, Amber T. Loos, (2013) "Academic library participation in recruitment and retention initiatives", Reference Services Review, Vol. 41 Iss: 2, pp.157 - 181
Keywords:Academic libraries, Librarians, Student recruitment, Student retention, Students, United States of America
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/00907321311326183 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – The purpose of this study is to determine the extent to which academic libraries participate in and assess initiatives to increase or maintain student enrollment levels at colleges and universities in the US.

Design/methodology/approach – An online survey of academic library directors in the US was conducted. The 31 question survey was distributed via email to 321 librarians in the sample population. The survey response rate was 42.7 percent. Quantitative data were analyzed using SPSS 19.0 and qualitative data were coded according to recruitment or retention strategy.

Findings – Regardless of institution type or size, libraries in the sample population were just as likely to participate in recruitment and retention initiatives. However, some libraries stood out as particularly active in recruitment and retention initiatives. Indicators of active library participation were identified.

Research limitations/implications – The response rate for the survey did not generate a statistically significant sample size, given the population. However, the data generated here contribute significantly to the relatively scant literature on academic library participation in retention and recruitment activities. The findings also suggest the need for the profession to focus on creating assessment tools to measure library impact on recruitment and retention.

Originality/value – No other studies have surveyed the academic library field to document the extent to which they participate in and assess recruitment and retention initiatives.

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