By Britt Boler.
The goal of Thomas University Library is to empower students. We are a small library, holding approximately 20,000 print books, and serve a population of roughly 1,000 associate, bachelor’s, and master’s students. As the only academic library on campus, we strive to provide students with information, tools, and programs to help them succeed in their college pursuits and as members of their communities. An overwhelming majority of the TU student population is Georgia native, but only 20% live locally as most students commute. Therefore, our efforts to help them engage meaningfully with their own residential communities and with the TU community have to be both far reaching and individualized.
The program we recently had success with is the TU Voter Registration Drive that we hosted on April 11, 2018. Our mission was to help give our students the ability to be active participants in their community as registered voters. The registration drive was open to students from any state who are eligible to vote in the United States. The library staff was on hand to provide students with the support they need to be informed voters. This included answering general questions, helping students look up their poll locations, and providing information about congressional, state, and local elections. To celebrate our civic duty and right to vote we provided refreshments, music, and handouts for the enjoyment of all who attended.
Because a substantial portion of our students are distance learners, we made special efforts to keep them informed about the event and welcomed them to participate remotely. We were able to answer questions about voting and voter registration over email. A few distance students even let us know that they had registered to vote after hearing about the event!
The TU Library wants our students to know that this is a place where their questions and voices are valued. In an effort to create meaningful leadership opportunities many of our student workers give input and take the initiative to choose Library programs and displays. Jocelyn, a TU masters’ student in Clinical Rehabilitation and longtime employee of the library, directed the drive as project organizer. She said that it was exciting to help students who had never registered to vote before and that the day went really well. By the end 27 new voters were registered and 13 students verified that they were already registered. That’s almost 10% of our on-campus population who were in attendance.
Right now our private study spaces and computer labs are full of students in the midst of studying for finals week. We even recently converted a spare office into another group study room to give students in a place to talk and practice presentations. The Thomas University Library wishes our students and all the college students in Georgia good luck on their final exams, papers, and projects!
Visit the Thomas University Library website at to learn more about the library and its services.