International Students and the Library: Empowering Students

International Students and the Library: Empowering Students

All times listed are in Eastern time.

You can access the recording of this session on the OCULA Events and Professional Development page here:

Over the last two decades, the numbers of international students and English language learners has continued to grow in Canadian postsecondary institutions, but how much do we really know about our international students and their needs? How does the library benefit from the varied knowledges and experiences of these students? How can the library empower these students, especially English language learners, through library resources, programs, and services? What role does / should the library play in helping to create a sense of community? Please join librarians Karen Bordonaro, Yayo Umetsubo, and Guoying (Grace) Liu for this free one-hour webinar to learn about their lived experiences, work, and research on these topics.

Key Outcomes: 
1) Learn about the positive benefits that international students who are English language learners can bring to your library;

2) Better understand who your international students are, their needs, and how the library can empower them; and

3) Acquire practical tips and strategies for conducting research about international students, including research ethics, data collection, and grant opportunities

About the presenters: 

Guoying (Grace) Liu is the Head of the Systems Department & Liaison Librarian for the Faculty of Engineering, at the Leddy Library, University of Windsor, in Windsor, Ontario. She is the  inaugural President of the Chinese American Librarians Association Canada Chapter (2018-2020), and has conducted grant-supported research projects on international students as both a principal investigator and co-investigator. One of Grace’s papers on Chinese graduate students and the Canadian academic library won the Canadian Association of College and University Libraries (CACUL) Robert H. Blackburn Distinguished Paper Award.

Karen Bordonaro is a Liaison Librarian IV at the James A. Gibson Library, Brock University, in St. Catharines, Ontario. Her formal education, library practice, and research projects all connect library learning (most often through information literacy and self-directed learning) to language learning (specifically, for those learning English as a second / additional language). 

Yayo Umetsubo is the Scholarly Communications and Liaison Librarian at the University of Toronto Mississauga Library. Based on her experience as an international student at Glasgow University in the United Kingdom (2005-2006) and at the University of Toronto (2007-2011), she initiated and designed the English Conversation Group program when she was a co-op student at the Leddy Library, University of Windsor (May-December 2013). Yayo’s teaching interests include how instructional techniques can empower students to explore and discover their great learning potential. 

The recommended readings for this session are:  

Click, A. B., Wiley, C. W., & Houlihan, M. (2017). The internationalization of the academic library: A systematic review of 25 years of literature on international students. College & Research Libraries, 78(3), 328-358.  Available online at

Liu, G., & Winn, D. (2009). Chinese graduate students and the Canadian academic library: A user study at the University of Windsor. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 35(6), 565–573. (open access version:

Bordonaro, K. (2019). Forging multiple pathways: Integrating international students into a Canadian university library. In  Y. Luckert & .L. T. Inge (Eds.), The globalized library: American academic libraries and international students, collections, and practices (pp. 85-97). Association of College & Research Libraries.  Book chapter open access version available online at
About the OCULA Free Webinar Series:

Within such a diverse sector, it can be difficult to keep up to date on all of the issues that arise. In response to the challenges faced by those working in libraries, and in an effort to share knowledge and increase awareness on current topics in academic libraries, we have developed a series of free webinars. 
Over the next year, OCULA will be partnering with experts on a variety of topics to offer four free webinars on topics that we think are important to librarians and library staff. 
In these webinars, several presenters will come together to share their unique perspectives on a topic with the audience. From exploring core theories to applications in practice, our presenters will share how academic library staff can get involved as well as discuss the challenges that they might encounter.
12/10/2019 12:00 PM - 12/10/2019 1:00 PM

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