Romance in the Stacks: Why Genre Fiction is Important for Student Engagement
From Congwen Wang
Romance novels are not only fun to read, their characters are also representative of the cosmopolitan college campuses of the twenty-first century. The twenty-first century student expects a user-centered experience at the library, and that includes borrowing books to read in their leisure time. Though many libraries have embraced this trend by purchasing popular titles, using rental plans for mainstream popular culture books, embracing graphic novels and audiobooks, the genre of romance novels remains largely absent from academic bookshelves. As we work towards diversity and equity in the stacks, we should also examine our popular titles collections and be sure that our collections reflect our students and their interests. Contemporary romance novels are one piece of this puzzle.
Annie Jansen is the Reference and Instruction Librarian at Penn State Brandywine, just outside Philadelphia. In this role, she is responsible for student engagement and outreach activities, information literacy instruction, and collection development. Annie has been a part of YALSA's Amazing Audiobooks Blogging Team for the past two years. She received a B.A. in English from Michigan State University and an MA in English at DePaul University in Chicago before later completing an MLIS through Kent State University. Before becoming a librarian, Annie worked in adult education at the Chicago City Colleges, served as a senior content specialist for PR Newswire in Cleveland, OH, and was a freelance writer and editor. She would love to talk to you about what you're currently reading!