Planning Academic Library Orientations: Case Studies from Around the World. Edited by Kylie Bailin, Benjamin Jahre, and Sarah Morris. Cambridge, MA: Chandos Publishing, 2018. 351 p. Paper (ISBN 978-0-0810-2171-2).

For those engaging with first-year students and planning first-year programs in academic libraries, the library orientation is a key part of the work we do. “Library orientation” is often a catch-all term that is used to describe many types of library activities aimed at new college students, including in-class sessions, tours, online tutorials, and more. For a librarian revising an existing orientation program or starting from scratch, the possibilities are almost limitless, and it can be daunting to weed through the many options and settle on one that works for your library, your institution, and your students.

In Planning Academic Library Orientations: Case Studies from Around the World, the editors have compiled thirty-four case studies from libraries that offer orientations for new students. The single volume contains a diversity of institutional and library contexts reflective of the variety in the academic library world. The editors feature a wide range of case studies, including differing sizes of colleges and universities, as well as both public and private institutions, which highlight the innovation of librarians from many contexts and cultures. For example, for those looking for ways that small, private liberal arts colleges are providing library orientations, they will easily find a variety of experiences and each includes practical details that would help with local implementation. To add to the volume’s practical appeal, each case study includes several key components: institutional context such as university size and location, library faculty/staff size, details of history (or lack thereof) of library orientation, explanation of design and implementation process, and librarian reflection and/or formal program assessment.

One key strength of the book is the thematic organization that makes it easy to navigate and identify sections most relevant for an individual reader. Chapters are organized thematically into sections, so those looking for inspiration or experience with a specific type of library orientation, will easily be able to navigate to the examples most useful for their situation. The themes include games, marketing and promotion, partnerships, specific audiences, technology, and tours. Additionally, because most case studies encompass multiple themes, the editors include tags at the beginning of each chapter and a thematic index to allow for quick cross-referencing.

Planning Academic Library Orientations would be an invaluable asset to any librarian working with first-year students, as it offers a well-organized reference for those who plan, implement, or assess librarian orientations. In addition, it is a worthwhile handbook for any librarian who wants to continue (or begin) offering an active, engaging orientation for new students.—Holly Luetkenhaus, First Year Experience Librarian, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma


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