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Engineering Libraries and Student Organizations: Working Together to Enhance Outreach to Underrepresented Groups

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Engineering Libraries Division Technical Session 1: Diversity

Tagged Division

Engineering Libraries

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Paper Authors


Paul McMonigle Pennsylvania State University

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Paul McMonigle is the Engineering Instruction Librarian at the Pennsylvania State University. He graduated from Syracuse University with a MS-LIS degree in December of 2018 and from the Pennsylvania State University with a BA degree in History in 2017. His research interests include information literacy instruction for STEM students, student engagement and outreach programs, collections development and maintenance, and the history of STEM subject libraries.

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Linda M. N. Struble Pennsylvania State University

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Linda Struble is the manager of the Engineering Library on the University Park campus of the Pennsylvania State University. She graduated from the College of Arts and Architecture and the Schreyer Honors College of the Pennsylvania State University in 2010. Her interests include onboarding, student engagement, sustainability, project management, and operations.

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Ensuring and maintaining a diverse student population is extremely important for any post-secondary STEM program. Students from traditionally underrepresented groups come from a wide array of backgrounds; they can bring new ideas and new perspectives to existing knowledge. Libraries can play an important role in helping engineering programs welcome these crucial members to the university as well as provide an environment that nurtures their growth as researchers and engineers. This paper documents the initial outreach done by a new Engineering Librarian, with the full assistance of the library staff and student workers, designed to let underrepresented students know of our resources and services for them and to enlist their help in making those services better. Although the COVID-19 pandemic wrecked a bit of havoc during the first year of this new outreach program, the library was able to successfully contact many student organizations who were willing to work with it. These contacts led to two successful exhibits showcasing the achievements of recent minority engineering graduates from the university; the first was a collaboration between the Engineering Library and the student chapter of the National Society for Black Engineers while the second was a joint exhibit created with the help of the student chapter of the Society for Women in Engineering. These first steps have convinced the library that such collaborative work can be effective and will be the foundation for further outreach events, both virtual and, hopefully one day soon, in person.

McMonigle, P., & Struble, L. M. N. (2021, July), Engineering Libraries and Student Organizations: Working Together to Enhance Outreach to Underrepresented Groups Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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