Underserved Patrons in University Libraries
Assisting Students Facing Trauma, Abuse, and Discrimination
by Julia C. Skinner and Melissa Gross, Editors
January 2021, 204pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-4408-7041-5
$75, £56, 65€, A102
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7042-2
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

A variety of contributors help librarians understand how to work with students whose needs have traditionally been overlooked.

This practical and research-based volume focuses on how libraries can meet the needs of underserved patrons in college and university libraries, with an emphasis on those facing trauma, abuse, and discrimination.

While university libraries strive to meet the needs of all students, some groups have traditionally been overlooked. This volume engages with those underserved populations on college campuses, with an emphasis on those facing trauma, abuse, and discrimination. It brings a variety of authorial voices to discuss different aspects of that service and to share current research related to underserved populations in libraries. This combination supports research in LIS and beyond while offering concrete ways for service providers to make a difference in the lives of their patrons.

Editors Skinner and Gross have both conducted extensive research in ethically meeting patron needs. They and their contributors are keenly aware of the complex and interwoven considerations that inform such service, such as patron desire for confidentiality accompanied by an urgent need for assistance. This volume is committed to sharing diverse voices in the field and to exploring the interrelationship between theoretical findings and practical applications—all in the service of underserved patrons.


  • Readers will gain a deep understanding of these underserved populations and how to respond by providing meaningful services
  • Readers will learn strategies for outreach and the development of community service programs
  • Readers will become aware of the wide variety of user populations whose information behavior may be limited by an experience or life circumstance that they may not want to divulge
Julia C. Skinner, PhD, received her doctorate at the School of Information at Florida State University and has published numerous works within the field. Her work has always been at the intersection of theory and practice with a strong community focus. Presently, she runs a community-oriented organization called Root, which offers food history and fermentation services, and she continues her dedication to the field of librarianship through her work as an instructor in library history and rare books librarianship, as well as through her service on the Georgia State Board for the Certification of Librarians.

Melissa Gross, PhD, is professor at the School of Information at Florida State University and a past president of the Association for Library and Information Science Education. She received her PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1998 and was awarded the prestigious American Association of University Women Recognition Award for Emerging Scholars in 2001. She has published extensively in a variety of peer-reviewed journals including Library and Information Science Research, Library Quarterly, Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, and College & Research Libraries. She has authored, coauthored, or coedited ten books.


"Offering a nuanced look at how patrons’ lived experiences impact their interactions with libraries, this book is widely applicable to people working in any college or university setting—big or small, public or private."—Library Journal, April 1, 2021
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