IFLA Journal, Ahead of Print.
The findings of this literature review are applicable to university libraries globally, as students accessing libraries are now more culturally diverse than was the case historically. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, this diversity was due to increased numbers of international students attending selected universities in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Canada. The literature suggests that the different information seeking, cultural transition, information disruption, English-language challenges and learning styles of Asian international students are not fully understood by western university libraries. Consequently, university libraries may not have strategically aligned to their university’s internationalisation objectives. Lack of understanding of the experiences of Asian international students potentially attenuates their well-being and academic success. Furthermore, this lack of adaption could place universities, such as those in Australia, at risk of not meeting national regulatory compliance expectations. This review examines the literature about the context of Asian international students’ use of Australian university libraries and introduces a research project that explores the lived experience of using Australian university libraries. The review identifies literature regarding the changing profile of Asian international students enrolled in Australian universities, their information-seeking behaviour, cross-cultural dimensions, their communication skills, and the expectations of an Australian university library. The review of this literature also seeks to explore who is studying international students, which methods are being used to do so, and which topics are of particular interest to the researchers. Finally, the review considers new post-COVID-19 pandemic opportunities for both libraries and other service areas to understand the needs of Asian international students as universities competitively recruit for their return.