“We’re Gonna Figure This Out”: First-Generation Students and Academic Libraries

Couture et al. / portal: Libraries and the Academy / January 2021

Although extensive research has looked at first-generation college students’ experiences, little has examined the role of the library in their academic lives. This article reports the results of an exploratory study to better understand the experiences of first-generation college students at three universities. Key findings of this study focus on themes of self-advocacy, a sense of belonging, library customization, and integration of the library with the larger campus. This article discusses these themes in the context of improving library services and spaces, ultimately providing more inclusive resources for all student groups. Implications and recommendations for professional practice are discussed.