Framing the Core Issue 9 experienced plenty of obstacles that felt insurmountable at the time. Con- sider that precise moment when you felt stuck. What was it that helped you get beyond the obstacle, if you did? Or is it something you are still struggling to overcome? What helped you, and what would help you? Often, there are systems that are barriers, and while the systems may be there for a reason, they may also keep out many legitimate requests. Was the answer truly something that came from within you? Did someone else help you? Was change an improvement or an answer you can bring about within yourself, or are there external situational obstacles that can be modified or changed to remove those barriers? Another way to look at it would be to think about any time you have ever had a moment where you wondered why things exist the way that they are, such as the design or orientation of a bathroom, or why crosswalks are designed the way they are. Or have you ever wondered if there was a ser- vice for individuals in specific situations? Did you find healing in overcom- ing a particular challenge? Barriers can sometimes present as punishment. More often than not, when you did succeed, it was because someone lent a hand or a change was made. The question posed to libraries and universi- ties today is the same. How can we offer services that will help all students succeed? This is the question to keep in mind as you explore within this book. Student success may mean different things to each individual. Students have their own goals, and success may be meeting those goals. Sometimes, the goals may be about how to improve their lives while remaining a part of their own communities. How can higher education best support students to both continue to be a part of the community where they are from and to obtain a degree and job success? In some cases, it may mean staying in their home community while obtaining education, though it may not always mean this. For some students, success means being able to think of themselves as a college graduate. Success may mean that the students are able to graduate, then continue on to do the kinds of work they want to do. The nature of suc- cess is individualistic. Consider how to adjust the agenda of the university to become more equitable for students, all of whom have individualized goals and run into unique barriers. Libraries and the workers within them have a responsibility to help stu- dents achieve their goals. By understanding that the students know where they want to go, reaching them where they are, and recognizing they have the skills and experiences to reach those goals, we can learn more about them and support them to obtain success. Library workers have essential information skills that can be used to connect with other educators and student success professionals on college campuses to build new programs and support all students. These are performance metrics—all students need support structures, opportunities and programs to succeed. Through
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