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A report released today by Ithaka S+R examines what community college students say are their goals and challenges when navigating their institutions and how campus libraries may help them with their needs.

The report, "Amplifying Student Voices: The Community College Libraries and Academic Support for Student Success Project," found that two-year students see their institutions as accessible and affordable, but they face challenges when balancing work, finances, their classes, transportation to and from campus, and navigating the resources colleges offer.

The report is part of the Community College Libraries & Academic Support for Student Success project Ithaka S+R is conducting with Northern Virginia Community College, Pierce College, the State University of New York's Monroe Community College and the City University of New York's Borough of Manhattan Community College, Queensborough Community College, Bronx Community College and LaGuardia Community College. Approximately 500 students from each college were randomly invited to participate in the study, and about 40 students were interviewed to investigate their opinions on how the colleges could better serve them.

In the report, the researchers wrote, "We see the necessity and opportunity for libraries to engage in reinvention beyond traditional roles in helping students reach their goals, and to leverage the resources that students most often associate -- for example, the library as the most significant academic physical space on the campus outside the classroom -- as a platform and stepping off point for adopting, adapting, or building new services that will be attractive and relevant to the students crossing their physical and virtual thresholds."

The researchers are planning to develop services that community colleges and their libraries might seek to offer based on the student responses.