International students: a priority for the Kent State Library

The Kent State University Library is a great tool and resource for international students upon their arrival and throughout their stay in Kent.  One of the library’s biggest priorities is to help international students feel welcome, and to help them get acclimated into life in the US. To accomplish this task, the library holds its International Student Reception that welcomes many new students to Kent State  at the start of each spring and fall semester.  During the most recent reception,the students were able to socialize with one another, along with their families over a dinner provided by the Library. In addition to the reception, numerous resources are also available for international students within the University Library.

When students arrive, they have the option to take the one-hour Fundamentals for New International Students introductory class that addresses the library catalog and databases, language tools and other topics on how to conduct research.  Also available is the International Conversation Hour that takes place three times each week.  Students can come practice their English skills in a casual setting, while learning about and talking to students from other cultures.

Recently, a Global Education Librarian was appointed at Kent State to address the growing needs of the international population.  Dr. Peggy Nzomo, a former international student herself, knows the difficulties they can have upon entering a new academic system. “The need for it is greater now, more than ever.  We need to find a way of making sure they succeed in their studies here and a way of retaining the information,” Nzomo said. In addition to Global Education Librarian, there is also an ESL Librarian for students who may not speak English well and are seeking other assistance.  In many cases , they can refer you to one of the KSU librarians who speak other languages including Chinese, Spanish, Swahili, German, Japanese, Korean, French and Turkish.

According to Nzomo, they see the majority of international students because they were referred to plagiarism school by professors.  This happens after a student is caught copying another’s work on papers. Unlike domestic students, most of the international students don’t understand what plagiarism is and do it unintentionally.  Because of this, KSU librarians are starting to take a preventative approach, rather than a remedial approach.  They run different types of workshops before students begin to write papers.  Other than plagiarism, they also have workshops on citation management and basic library research, including online multilingual access tools.

“We want them to give Kent State University a good name and that will depend on their experience here.  If they come here and they’re failing because of plagiarism, they cannot keep their status.  We are committed to their success and we want to make sure they obtain the degree they came here for.” - Peggy Nzomo, Global Education Librarian

Visit the International LibGuide for more information!