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Student success


The Toaster Community heats up!

With students making their way back to campus, the Toaster experienced an almost 900% increase in community members in FY22 — reaching more than 2,100 students, up from only 239 in FY 2021.

In FY22, the Toaster experienced an almost 900% increase in community members

Demonstrating that the Toaster is a student-centered space, 41% of the 135 events, workshops, or student meetings held in the Toaster were facilitated by student leadership and student organizations.

In addition to student empowerment, the Toaster’s dedication to promoting multi-disciplinary collaboration is illustrated by the community demographics: The Toaster draws students from high school (PSEO) to graduate programs and from 19 different U of M colleges.

The Toaster is a collaboration between the Libraries and the Carlson School of Management’s Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship.

A student in a patterned maroon sweater sits at a desk in front of a 3D printer

A U of M student uses a 3D printer at the Toaster in Walter Library.

Instructions, library guides, and online tutorials

  • Library staff provided instruction in more than 700 classes, reaching a total of 15,550 students.
  • Our WRIT 1301 partnership reached about 4,500 students in FY22, helping first-year students hone their writing skills and develop critical thinking skills.
  • Librarians and staff offered 159 workshops to 2,768 participants.

Quotes from instructors:

“[B]eing able to find such amazing sources is a skill that I will definitely continue to use for the rest of my college career, and probably for the rest of my life.”

“It is so valuable for students to get to know the resources around them at the UMN. And you’re working directly with us not only brings the libraries closer to the students, but you also provide them valuable feedback. I appreciate the time and expertise that you share with our students!”

“It’s so nice to get another perspective on a text and to have someone else’s voices be present in the class, clarifying and deepening students’ under-standings of key concepts — like authority vs. credibility — and helping them to think about how they might evaluate and use texts.”

Quotes from students:

“I have wanted to use library resources more. Everything in this workshop is very useful for me.”

“Hands down, my biggest improvement was learning how to find peer-reviewed sources, and which websites to use in order to do so. The University librarian that we worked with taught me how to use keywords in my searches, and being able to find such amazing sources is a skill that I will definitely continue to use for the rest of my college career, and probably for the rest of my life.”

Student Advisory Board

The Student Advisory Board was launched in FY22. Made up of 10 students from across the University, they provided key feedback on course readings and textbooks, library hours, and using the Libraries website for research — and more. They also hosted study breaks, did social media takeovers, and walked with the Libraries in the Homecoming Parade.

Several students wearing matching maroon University of Minnesota Libraries t-shirts gathered on the street in front of a banner that reads "University of Minnesota Libraries"

The U of M Libraries marching unit at the Homecoming Parade.

Student Savings

  • Library course materials were embedded in 1,917 courses (or 3,272 sections) at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.
  • More than 54,617 items (including multiuse e-books, open textbooks, and licensed journal articles) reached 90,917 students.
  • If every student took advantage of these resources, the potential savings would have been $7.7 million in FY22.
  • The Libraries saved students in Prof. Hallsby’s class $12,000.

Peer Research Consultants

Our Peer Research Consultants (PRCs) are students trained to help other students with research papers and assignments — while also guiding interested students to faculty so they can work on impactful research projects.

In FY22, PRCs provided:

  • 313 one-on-one research consultations across 67 different courses
  • Helped 26 students with online requests following workshops
  • Presented to 130 students at the BIOL 1806 Undergrad Research Info Session.

Quotes from students

“This was my first-time meeting with a Peer Research Consultant. It was definitely positive. I feel like it helped a lot.”

“I’m very excited about my research topic and its many aspects to explore. [But] I reached a point of [being] overwhelmed. … Just a few helpful tips [from my Peer Research Consultant] on how to narrow my topic was all I needed to bounce back and move forward with my research project.”

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