First Year Experience Discussion Group: Launching a Personal Librarian Program

On Friday November 9, 2018, Professors Carl R. Andrews (Bronx Community College) and Derek Stadler (LaGuardia Community College), co-conveners of the First Year Experience Discussion Group, facilitated a follow up meeting to its Spring event, entitled “Launching a Personal Librarian Program at Your Campus: A discussion on collaboration, outreach, teaching, and programming.”  Prior to the meeting, attendees were asked to read two articles: “Get to Know Your Librarian: How a Simple Orientation Program Helped Alleviate Library Anxiety,” by Rachael Muszkiewicz, and “An Exploration of Academic Librarian Positions Dedicated to Serving First Year College Students,” by Katelyn Angell.  The goal of the meeting was to explore the many ways in which FYE Librarians execute personal librarian programs on their campuses. Among the topics discussed was the anxiety that students face when coming to the library and ways to reduce stress.  Attendees offered suggestions such as specialized library orientations, methods for reaching students individually, scavenger hunt programs, floor maps, guided tours, and library peer mentors. The group also talked about ways to change freshman student’s perceptions of librarians and libraries in general; in particular, first generation and ESL students.

Some of the other themes addressed throughout the meeting were: student engagement, library swag, roving librarians, becoming a “go to” librarian, teaching strategies, outreach, embedded librarianship, learning circles, and the use of Learning Management Systems to connect with students. All of these themes can be used as a vehicle to initiate personal librarianship programs. As a follow up, attendees received links to archived presentations from the 3rd Personal Librarian and First Year Experience Library Conference [] which took place at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland last Spring.


The ACRL/NY First Year Experience Discussion Group (FYEDG) aims to offer a platform for the discussion, presentations, workshops and exchange of ideas relating to the role of the librarian in providing service to first-year students in higher education. Topics that may be considered include student preparedness and transition issues, transfer student populations, cross-campus collaborations, outreach and a wide range of literacy programs and workshops and will include discussion on ways to reach out to students as well as teaching faculty. This group may be of interest to librarians working with first-year students in all academic settings (community colleges, four-year colleges, research universities) as well as those working in the high-school setting. We welcome suggestions for and participation in our FYEDG events and encourage newcomers to join ACRL/NY as well as ACRL national.

Questions? Contact Carl Andrews and Derek Stadler Check the ACRL/NY events archive for information about previous meetings and programs. Any upcoming meetings or events will be posted on our homepage [].