By Paulina Borrego
Science & Engineering Librarian
University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries
Seed Libraries have been sprouting up in public libraries across the country, but what about a seed library in an academic library? Is such an idea in line with the mission of the library or even a viable option?
A seed library offers excellent opportunities to highlight University strategic plans and connect with academic departments and extension services, along with student and community groups. What follows is the story of the Mass Aggie Seed Library, how it came about, lessons learned, and steps to set up a seed library within an academic library.
Continue reading The Making of the Mass Aggie Seed Library: A Gardening How-to for Others
By Christopher Raab
Associate Librarian, Franklin & Marshall College
Take a look around your local library, or any modern library for that matter. You will likely see people interacting with a variety of Self-Service Technologies (SSTs) or Do-It-Yourself (DIY) service points. From self-discovery (catalog and database searching) to self-selection (open stacks and computers) to self-service (printer/scanners and checkout machines), the modern library is, in many ways, a veritable gas-and-go service station for the brain. While modern sociologists have at times noted the negative attributes of self-service – such as diminished human interaction and increased consumer labor – this article seeks to explore and enhance the self-service experience within libraries, empowering patrons (and staff) through the application of visual workplace solutions.
Continue reading Enhancing the Self-Service Library with Visual Workplace Principles
By Ashley Roach-Freiman
Research and Instruction Librarian
University of Memphis
Strategic planning is an important issue in academic libraries, and a practice that doesn’t often come easily. Recent literature shows that academic libraries suffer the consequences of poor planning by struggling with low morale, personnel turnover, and burnout (Kendrick, 2017). In an effort to combat and prevent such situations, one Instructional Services department at a large Southern urban graduate-degree granting university library sought ways to plan for the future. As a department, we were in a unique position, having recently acquired several new faculty members, replacing others who had retired or otherwise left. The incoming librarians included a hire new to the university, a Department Head who had served recently as Interim Dean of Libraries, the former Dean of Libraries returning to the faculty, and myself, a librarian formerly in a visiting position with this department who had left the university for a period of months before being rehired in a tenure-track position. We needed an opportunity to both get to know one another as colleagues and determine the department’s vision at a crucial stage of growth. To help the department heal from the effects of high turnover, we planned for a two-day departmental retreat to take place during the university’s Fall Break. Inspired by recent trends in library planning, we decided to incorporate design thinking methods into the retreat’s structure. After discovering the open-access IDEO toolkit Design Thinking for Libraries, we created an agenda that led us through brainstorming, ideation, and goal-creation.
Continue reading Square Peg, Round Hole: Big Picture Planning and the Opportunities and Limits of Design Thinking
By Michelle Bishop
Acting Coordinator of Reference
Penfield Library, State University of New York, Oswego
It was 7:30 p.m. and the student actors were beginning to arrive to review their roles for the “Experience World Libraries” workshop that would start in 30 minutes. As a live-in Faculty Resident Mentor in Hart Hall at SUNY Oswego, I had designed the workshop as an experiential learning activity meant to illustrate the critical role libraries around the world play in facilitating access to information. It was rewarding to see that after going through the three scenarios, students were actively discussing the impact that limited access to information has on societies. Two years later, I can still say this has been one of the most exciting teaching experiences I have had as an instructional librarian. It is important to point out that this experience occurred in a residence hall and not a traditional classroom. This workshop and other residential outreach experiences I have designed are as a result of the educational mission of Residence Life and Housing on the SUNY Oswego campus. Like Oswego, an educational focus is a key element of residential life missions on other campuses. As such, there is exciting potential for wide-ranging instructional outreach opportunities for librarians in campus residential settings.
Continue reading Teach Where They Live: New Opportunities for Library Instruction and Outreach in Residence Halls
By Derek Malone
Assistant Professor, Instructional Services
& Interlibrary Loan, Scanning & Delivery Librarian
University of North Alabama
At the University of North Alabama, our first-year library instruction has developed over time into a three-part sequence. The sequence is embedded in three required general education courses: FYE 101 (First Year Experience Seminar), EN 111 (First-Year Composition I), and EN 112 (First-Year Composition II). All students, unless they have tested out of one of the requirements, will attend all three instruction sessions.
Continue reading Escaping Library Orientation: The Introduction of Escape Rooms Into First-Year Experience Courses for Library Orientation and Familiarization