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Public library, cultural constructs, academic library, language, Latino, Hispanic, unintended message, interaction


Library use is strongly linked with student persistence in higher education, and Latino students have lower rates of academic library use and proficiency than other racial/ethnic groups of students. This study explores Latino undergraduate students’ perceptions of the academic library and library staff and identifies the conditions which impede or facilitate the students’ use of the library. Using a multiple case study design, this study describes the experiences and perceptions of undergraduate students who identify as Latino and attend a four-year public research-intensive university in the Midwest. The findings suggest that Latino students use the library through the influence of peers, interpret the library as a space for cultural support based on their experiences with public libraries, and do not fully understand the range of resources and support available.



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