In the fall of 2010, two well-known liberal arts institutions, Drexel University in Philadelphia and Wesleyan University of Middletown, Connecticut, began programs that provided “personal librarians” for incoming freshmen. This apparently new idea received some notice in higher education news feeds, and was even featured in Library Journal’s Newsletter.

Academic librarians are always inquisitive, of course, and a national discussion about the history of such programs began quickly in a variety of listservs. Within a few days it was revealed that the concept was far from new, and that the first successful version was still flourishing at the University of Richmond, right here in Virginia. Lucretia McCulley, the Boatwright Library’s director of outreach services — and a former editor of this publication — was kind enough to answer questions about the history and value of the program that she began over a decade ago.

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Copyright © 2011 Virginia Library Association. This article first appeared in Virginia Libraries 57:3 (2011), 11-12.

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