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Abstract

Serving large populations of at-risk, first-generation, and low-income students, open access institutions face unique challenges regarding student retention. Academic libraries with intentional outreach programs are a valuable element of a comprehensive institutional retention plan targeted to the unique student population of open access institutions. Using the Clark Memorial Library at Shawnee State University in Appalachian Ohio as a case study, this article explores the elements of an intentional library outreach program targeted to support the retention of first-year students, many of whom are classified as first-generation, academically underprepared, or otherwise at-risk. The outreach librarian facilitates collaborative and intentional engagement opportunities such as orientation activities, in-class visits, embedded reference hours, events, workshops, and assessment projects to support campus-wide retention efforts.