By Jennifer Wilhelm
Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University University Libraries
and Jessica Jones
Branch Manager, Bryan + College Station Public Library System
In 2016, the Bryan + College Station Public Library System received a $1,000 grant to conduct informal STEM programs for adults. The library’s stated goals were to encourage lifelong learning and civic engagement through informal STEM programs, increase and diversify adult program attendance, and strengthen ties to both the local university and the community. In addition, we wished to promote the idea of libraries as safe spaces for controversial topics; in this case, climate change. This article will examine the experience of developing, promoting, and executing an informal STEM program for adults. The resulting three-part program was divided into book club and science café portions, and was partially facilitated by a science partner. The goals were reached and surpassed, with the resulting increase in adult attendance and positive reaction to a climate change program encouraging the system to increase its STEM-based offerings for adults.
Continue reading Adults Need STEM, Too: An Assessment of One Public Library’s Experiment With STEM Programming for Adults
By M. Nathalie Hristov, Associate Professor & Music Librarian
and Allison L. Sharp, Associate Professor & International Education Liaison Librarian
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
The international student population in the United States has risen by over 72% over the last twenty years; however, a review of the literature seems to suggest that the LIS field would continue to benefit from greater research in this particular area of librarianship (Click, Wiley, and Houlihan, 2017, p. 328). Furthermore, the overwhelming majority of articles published in the library literature focus on services and activities that promote the international education of domestic students rather than the library needs of international students. Future efforts call for academic librarians to define their role in the information seeking activities of their international constituents (Click et al, 2017, p. 344). It is the contention of this article that a solid platform for the engagement of international students by librarians must first be established.
Continue reading Making Stone Soup: Integrating Academic Libraries into International Outreach Programs and Initiatives
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 Matthew Harrick
Early College High Schools partner with colleges and universities to ease traditionally underrepresented and at-risk high school students into college life, increase students’ college readiness, and provide the opportunity to earn college credits while simultaneously earning high school diplomas. One such partnership is between Brooklyn College and the STAR (Science, Technology and Research) program at Erasmus High School in Brooklyn, NY. As part of their introduction to college life, small groups of freshmen receive basic college library orientations prior to enrolling in credit-bearing courses as juniors and seniors. The education and liaison librarian to Early College High School programs created a six-week information literacy, science and research-based pilot seminar to further increase the college readiness of high school students.
Keywords: Early College High Schools; Information Literacy; STEM Research; Academic Libraries; Outreach; High School Students; College; Higher Education.
Continue reading Begin at the beginning: Library collaboration with early college high school freshmen
Jennifer (Castaldo) Hill
Distance Education Librarian and Electronic Resources Manager
Johns Hopkins University
Many academic library mission statements include the phrase, “students, faculty, and staff” when referencing the populations that they serve, but how active are we really at reaching out to non-library staff members at our colleges and universities? Libraries typically spend time and energy marketing to students and faculty, but the staff component of our missions can often be overlooked. During the 2012 school year, the Excelsior College librarians implemented three methods to increase staff awareness and use of the library’s resources and services. Through our Community Forum, on-site reference hours in the cafeteria, and virtual brown bags targeting specific staff groups, we are making inroads to actively engage staff members.
Keywords: Academic Libraries, Marketing, Distance Education, Universities & Colleges
Continue reading The Missing Piece: Outreach to College/University Staff Members