Library Immersion Fellows Teams (LIFT)

The LIFT Program matches small groups of first-generation students with a personal research librarian during seven weeks of fall semester. Every LIFT student is awarded an iPad to use for the four years at Earlham and beyond. By meeting for 90 minutes for one session per week with their librarian, LIFT students undertake a one-credit tutorial in information literacy.

The tutorial occurs within the context of assigned weekly readings, research and discussion based on current events, using media like The New York Times, National Public Radio, The Earlham Word, and TED Talks. To gain additional perspectives on current events, students will utilize a toolkit of library resources including Credo, Academic Search Premier, JSTOR and subject-specific databases (e.g. PsycINFO). The result is such that students will engage with trending issues while acquiring research competencies, library experience and personal connections with an Earlham administrative faculty member and a few of their classmates in a small-group setting.

In the spring, the LIFT Program offers a course based on career discernment, designed to help students learn how to find research and apply for internship opportunities.


The LIFT Program works with first-generation students residing in the USA and assumed to be citizens based on demographic data supplied in the Earlham admissions process. Definitions of “first-generation” vary. Like many schools, Earlham has adopted the Federal Government Department of Education TRiO Program definition of first-generation to ascertain LIFT eligibility:

  1. An individual for whom both parents did not complete a baccalaureate degree
  2. In the case of any individual who regularly resided with and received support from only one parent, an individual whose only such parent did not complete a baccalaureate degree

International students are not eligible for LIFT at the moment; they instead work with an international student adviser and participate in support initiatives managed by the Center for Global and Career Education.

“[The Montréal LIFT immersive term], when I look back years from now, will always be the starting point into my ‘fire.’ … I know I can go out and wander a city now, I know I can make new friends, even if we don’t click exactly. Montréal is the beginning of my path to change the world and hit the ground running, and I’ve done a surprising amount of running here, alongside those new friends.”

Testimonial from Montréal Immersive Term 2017


In the first-semester LIFT course, you will:

  • Identify library resources and campus services to support your curricular and co-curricular lives
  • Practice and engage with ideas of ethical behavior while finding, using and sharing information
  • Read, evaluate and interpret media coverage of trending issues and current events, including those that affect first-generation college students
  • Develop community through intentional dialogue with a group of peers from similar and diverse backgrounds

The LIFT second-semester course and the all-expenses-paid immersive term goals expand on the first-semester course.

Fully funded off-campus immersive term

As an incoming LIFT student, you are eligible to apply for an all-expenses-paid immersive term at the end of your first year (pending developments and guidelines regarding COVID-19). In the past, LIFT cohorts went to Montréal (2017), Hawai’i (2018) and Italy (2019). The 2020 immersive term was planned for Germany, but was postponed due to COVID-19.


You can fill out an application for this program online or get in touch with the program leader, Amy Bryant.