Tag Archives: programming

Poetry, Pizza, and Pandemics: How an Academic Library Successfully Moved a Popular In-Person Student Engagement Program Online

Stephanie Evers Ard
Social Sciences Librarian
Marx Library
University of South Alabama

Abstract

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced most libraries to move their services online, the University of South Alabama’s Marx Library was quick to respond. The library already provided robust online services, and library workers understood their crucial role in providing remote academic support to faculty and students. However, the Marx Library also recognized that providing social support was just as essential. This article describes how the Marx Library Student Engagement Committee rallied to provide students with a much-needed sense of community by developing online programming–specifically, by moving the library’s very popular semesterly “Poetry & Pizza” open mic events online. The author details how the library successfully planned two fully virtual poetry events by identifying and collaborating with relevant campus departments and community organizations, adapting available technology to create a safe and comfortable place for student expression, and drawing upon a strong social media presence. The author also evaluates the Student Engagement Committee’s successes, reflects on the problems they encountered, and offers suggestions for other libraries hoping to plan similar online events.

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Adults Need STEM, Too: An Assessment of One Public Library’s Experiment With STEM Programming for Adults

By Jennifer Wilhelm
Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University University Libraries
and Jessica Jones
Branch Manager, Bryan + College Station Public Library System

Abstract

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.

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Making Stone Soup: Integrating Academic Libraries into International Outreach Programs and Initiatives

By M. Nathalie Hristov, Associate Professor & Music Librarian
and Allison L. Sharp, Associate Professor & International Education Liaison Librarian
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Introduction

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.

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