The popular reading collection at Mansfield Library is a brand new feature, based on student requests. Like most academic libraries, Mansfield Library previously did not have many titles for students to read for enjoyment. However, after students asked for “books that are fun to read” and “books that will give my brain a break,” members of the library faculty developed a list of best sellers and popular fiction books to stock in the library to enhance the student experience at the University of Montana.
Megan Stark, Outreach Librarian and Professor, said that librarians are discovering that popular reading collections in university libraries are an important part of student engagement and the academic experience.
The popular reading collection has been a hit so far. To date, over 50% of the titles have circulated and new books are constantly brought in to keep the selection up to date. Stark also stated that it is essential for students to view the library as both a place to study and a place to find some leisure reading.