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C&CS Session: Listening to Community Users in Our Academic Libraries, October 29 at 3pm EST

October 7, 2019

C&CS presents

Listening to Community Users in our Academic Libraries

with Monica Singh and Celia Emmelhainz

October 29, 2019: 3 pm Eastern (12 noon Pacific)

Register here for the free Zoom link

As academic librarians, we focus first on supporting faculty and student research at our own institutions. Yet many of us also help community patrons who hope to use our print and electronic resources in pursuit of their own academic or passion projects. Serving campus researchers while also supporting the wider community can be mutually rewarding and enriching, yet also requires a balance of time, resources, and library policy. In this webinar, Monica and Celia will discuss highlights from their article, “Listening to Unaffiliated Users of the Academic Library.”

In it, they report on interviews with community users who appreciated campus libraries but also experienced logistical inconveniences and anxieties when asking library staff for help. While librarians at times fear that outreach will result in greater use than they can support, we found that small adjustments to policy and welcoming signals such as posters and brochures could go a long way towards encouraging those who approach our libraries to make the most of them. In addition to sharing some of the challenges we encountered when trying to research a less-identifiable population such as community users, we will also open up the webinar to a broader discussion about integrating and responding to community needs in the academic library. 

Learning outcomes for this webinar:  

  • Librarians can listen to community users as a means of library outreach.
  • Librarians can approach research interviews as a listening and reference tool.
  • Librarians can engage user narratives to improve academic library services.


thumbnail_Monica Singh.jpg


Monica Singh is a business librarian for the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. She works with RUSA’s Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS) to publish topic-specific business guides and has written reviews of reference sources for business librarianship journals. Comments welcomed at





celia emmelhainz crd ccs


Celia Emmelhainz is the anthropology and qualitative research librarian at the University of California, Berkeley, and was previously the social sciences data librarian at Colby College in Maine. She has led workshops on qualitative data management and on ethnographic assessment in libraries, and enjoys helping other librarians learn to conduct qualitative research. Comments welcome @celiemme on Twitter.

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