Skip to main content

Dworak’s research shapes student parents’ lives

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.
Ellie Dworak poses with her book in the family study room at the Albertsons Library

Ellie Dworak, a research data librarian at Albertsons Library, was promoted to full professor along with the recent publication of her book, “Supporting Student Parents in the Academic Library: Designing Spaces, Policies and Services.” Dworak co-wrote it with former colleague Kelsey Keyes, emerita professor at Boise State.

Portrait of Kelsey Keyes
Kelsey Keyes

The Albertsons Library supports student success through open access to resources and relationship-rich education. Through their research, Dworak and Keyes found that 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 (over nine hours compared to six hours per week).

Their findings prompted the library to create a “family study room” in 2021 for student parents and their children ages 12 and under. To make the space enjoyable for children, the room is filled with toys, books, small furniture, desks and computers. Reserve the room here.

Student parents often feel unwelcome and invisible at their institutions. Dworak and Keyes’ new book discusses how academic libraries can better engage with and support student parents on campus. It provides a framework for how faculty and staff can make their campuses family-friendly.

Learn more about the book and purchase it here. The two also were interviewed for the “New Books in Library Science” podcast.