Skip to main content

Dworak promoted – research shaping student parents’ lives

Dworak poses with her book in the Family Study Room
Ellie Dworak, professor and research data librarian, poses with her book “Supporting Student Parents in the Academic Library: Designing Spaces, Policies and Services” in the Albertsons Library’s Family Study Room.

Promotion to full professor

Congratulations to Ellie Dworak, professor and research data librarian at Albertsons Library. The library is celebrating Dworak’s recent appointment to full professor along with the recent publication of her book, Supporting Student Parents in the Academic Library: Designing Spaces, Policies and Services. Click here to purchase the book from ALAstore. Dworak co-wrote the book with former colleague Kelsey Keyes, emerita professor at Boise State University.

Kelsey Keyes, Albertsons Library, Faculty/Staff photo by Anabella Antonucci

Student parents at Boise State

Albertsons Library’s mission is to support student success through open access to resources and relationship-rich education. We believe students are more likely to use the library when they see themselves represented in the space. Several years ago research completed by Dworak and Keyes revealed the number of student parents at Boise State is higher than national averages. Boise State seniors also spend significantly more time caring for dependents than students at peer institutions (9.4 hours compared to 6.3 hours per week). This research prompted the library to take action.

Opening the Family Study Room

Initial findings from Dworak’s and Keyes’ research prompted the library to create a Family Study Room for student parents and their children (12 and under). To make the space enjoyable for children, the room is filled with toys, books, small furniture, desks and computers. It opened in 2021, with rave reviews. Click here to reserve the Family Study Room online.

How academic libraries can support student parents

Student parents can feel unwelcome and invisible at their institutions. Supporting Students is a guide for how academic libraries can engage with, and support, student parents on campus. It provides a framework for how faculty and staff can lead the charge in making their campus family-friendly.

Click here to listen to the New Book Network’s New Books in Library Science podcast for an interview with Dworak and Keyes.