Christine Wolff and Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will speak on “Understanding Strategically Important Populations: Assessing the Information Practices, Needs, and Perceptions of International Graduate Students,” at the upcoming Evidence Based Library and Information Practice Conference in Philadelphia. The conference runs from June 18-21, 2017, and more information is available on the EBLIP9 website.

From the abstract:


International student enrollment in the United States has grown considerably in the last decade. International graduate students now represent a significant portion of graduate students in the United States and graduate students represent a significant portion of the total number of international students. Colleges and universities increasingly rely on international students for tuition and fee revenue, which is often significantly higher than the tuition and fees paid by domestic students. International enrollment is not evenly distributed across institutions or geographic areas and indeed international enrollment is quite prominent at some institutions. Only eight universities – one of which is the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – have more than 10,000 international students and as such, international students represent a strategically important population at the University of Illinois Library at Urbana-Champaign.


To gain insights into the information practices, needs, and perceptions of the international graduate students at Illinois, the University Library partnered with Ithaka S+R to develop an international module for the Ithaka S+R Graduate/Professional Student Survey to gather additional data from the international students.


Some of the findings from the survey confirm results previously reported in the literature, while other findings raise questions about commonly-held beliefs about language difficulties and prior library experience shaping library use and research practices. In addition, this is the first known library user study to investigate the impact of whether students completed their undergraduate degrees in the United States or in another country on their information behavior and perceptions.


This session will share findings from the survey and how those findings can inform the Library’s service strategy for a strategically important population. Session attendees have the opportunity to reflect on their own institutions’ strategically important populations and their libraries’ efforts to meet their needs.