Libraries today function as robust community centers, often
providing services that people cannot get elsewhere. Currently,
the majority of researchers think that their institutions’ libraries are doing
an effective job in providing the information they need to do their work, but
it is time to consider the future roles and responsibilities of all those
involved in the research cycle – researchers, research institutions and
national bodies, as well as libraries – in meeting the challenges that are
coming. The library of today and tomorrow must provide versatile spaces that
support a wide range of users’ learning and research activities while accommodating
rapid advances in information technology (IT). As expectations for library
resources and physical facilities have changed, stakeholders have been called
upon to transform campus libraries in innovative ways. Libraries have become
more active in helping with institution-wide efforts at increasing student
retention.

Academic
libraries are institutions that are trustworthy knowledge providers. With the
proliferation of information, academic libraries can help the communities
develop. Academic libraries within universities have long been known as
gateways to information. Campbell (2006) argued that academic libraries are
complex institutions with multiple roles. The
academic library has a particularly important role to educate information
literacy to students who require competency in searching for knowledge by
themselves when they are doing their course assignments. Academic
libraries have for centuries played critically-important roles in supporting
research in all subjects and disciplines within their host universities and
colleges. Majority of academic libraries facilitate their students either they
are resident or commuter. There are many aspects of the student experience that
must be considered, including the place of residence. One thing student affairs
experts must be cognizant of is that commuter students have a very different
experience than residential students. The fact that they commute to campus
“influences the nature of their educational experience” (Jacoby, 2000, p. 6). Students
who live in fraternities, sororities, or in off-campus housing in any area
immediately surrounding the campus (Jacoby 2000; Miller, 2003). A commuter
student was defined as “all students who do not live in

institution-owned
housing on campus” (Jacoby, 2000, p. 4). Commuter student have to spend more
time in traveling so they have very little time to communicate with other
students. Academic Libraries serve as informal meeting places for people with
common interests and can be instrumental in the formation of special interest
groups. The majority of libraries that use social networking have used it as a
marketing and promotional medium to push out information and announcements.
From this strong emphasis on marketing and best practices emerges an
opportunity to examine social media networking another perspective—community building.

—which may represent an untapped strength of social
networking for libraries to build community for commuter students.

This paper highlights
the experiences of commuter students and the challenges they faced and how
academic libraries can be helpful by hosting community building in the library
for commuter students.