Orienting student veterans to the library: Piloting a new model of library orientation
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Student veterans and military service members are a unique population on college and university campuses. They are non-traditional students and often transfer students who can feel isolated among a large population of traditional students. As such, student veterans and service members are often better served by a tailored orientation approach. But getting student veterans and service members to attend a special library orientation can be difficult. Librarians and leaders of the campus veterans center were awarded an IMLS Sparks! grant aimed at developing a new model of library orientation for veterans. This new model builds on these students’ prior knowledge by adapting the model used by the military to orient service members to new duty stations. This orientation model goes beyond a presentation or resource table to provide students with an orientation tailored to their needs and to facilitate exploration of the physical library space. This model also accommodates busy schedules and competing responsibilities by enabling student veterans and service members to complete their orientation on their own time.