Beyond the research paper: First-generation students and the Framework in everyday contexts

College & Research Libraries News / June 2020

hands holding book in library

"Being first gen, it’s hard, like, the library information is not in us ’cause we are learning this by ourselves.” This sentiment, expressed by Vanessa, a first-year, first-generation student, is a common one. The unspoken norms, procedures, and genres that incoming students are expected to grasp—both in higher education generally and in information literacy and academic libraries specifically—often make college an unfamiliar, confusing, and unwelcoming new world for first-generation students (FGS). Yet in my work as a liaison librarian for TRIO and other support programs at the University of Northern Colorado, I constantly wonder at the highly developed and varied knowledge and skills FGS bring with them from their homes, workplaces, communities, and previous education.