SPEC Kit 309: Library Support for Study Abroad (December 2008)

This SPEC Kit explores how ARL member libraries are responding to the needs of faculty and student participants in various types of study abroad programs, which library services and resources are provided to participants, how library support is staffed and administered, whether collections are physical or online, and how services are delivered.

For this survey, “study abroad program” was broadly defined as a short-term, formal, credit-bearing educational program taking place outside of the country of the home institution. Research universities have long supported study abroad programs of varying nature, including short-term study tours and service learning experiences, as well as semester- and year-long academic programs. As society becomes more globally focused, and industry requires workers who are prepared to work in a multinational environment, these programs are becoming more critical to America’s competitiveness.

The survey was distributed to the 123 ARL member libraries in May 2008. Fifty-three libraries completed the survey by the deadline of June 27 for a 43% response rate. Forty-four of the respondents (83%) reported that their university sponsors study abroad programs. At 26 institutions, study abroad programs receive library support, at 12 they do not. Four respondents did not supply this data, though one explained, “The programs don’t receive library support but the individual students are supported.”

This SPEC Kit includes documentation from respondents in the form of study abroad program Web pages and descriptions of library services for these programs.

Table of Contents

SPEC Kit 309: Library Support for Study Abroad (December 2008)