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Utah State University

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Libraries are an essential element of learning on university campuses. The content housed within libraries supports academic exploration and growth. Physically, libraries are designed to provide access to materials and spaces that facilitate learning. This report explored the impact of student library resource use on student persistence to the next term.

Students' library resource use was captured with EZ Proxy log-ins and library material check-outs. Students who had a record of using library resources were compared to similar students who did not have a record of library resource use. They were compared using prediction-based propensity score matching. Students who used library resources were matched with non-users based on their persistence prediction and their propensity to participate.

Students were 98% similar following matching. Participating and com­parison students were compared using difference-in-difference testing. Those who accessed library resources were significantly more likely to persist at USU than similar students who did not use library resources (DID = 0.017, p < .001). The unstandardized effect size can be estimated through student impact. It is estimated that library resources assisted in retaining 278 (CI: 168 – 387) students each year who were otherwise not expected to persist.