“Be bold, be bold, be not too bold,” was the theme of the keynote presentation James Shulman, president of ARTstor, gave at the annual gathering on Friday, January 11, 2013. Over 100 members of the library staffs from Drexel University, Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania were present as Shulman spoke about how bold ideas can lead to innovation.
Appropriately, the event was held in Drexel’s Library Learning Terrace, a space that was created as a result of the bold idea to embed the libraries in the heart of the student residential area.
The start of a new year draws us to think of what is ahead. This issue of In Circulation highlights several services and information resources that have been introduced to improve convenience to access ideas and build Drexel’s connections to scholarship. Here, I foreshadow initiatives that are on the horizon.
Over 60 Drexel faculty and professional staff gathered together to toast the last day of fall classes and join in cross-disciplinary conversations at the Libraries’ quarterly ScholarSip event held on Monday, December 10th. Associate professor of biology, Kenneth Lacovara, Ph.D., offered the evening’s ‘food for thought’ with his presentation on the discovery of a new giant dinosaur in Patagonia, Argentina.
Lacovara provided a humorous and insightful presentation about his numerous trips to the remote area in Patagonia where he and his team discovered fossils representing one or two large dinosaurs.
Over 3,000 students attended the Libraries’ instructional sessions for freshman students enrolled in English 101 classes over the past several weeks. In total, 160 sessions were held and students were taught fundamental research skills and to effectively use library resources to locate scholarly information.
The sessions provided a brief introduction to the characteristics of databases and database search techniques. This was followed by students working independently to conduct research for their projects as library instructors offered individual guidance.
The Drexel Libraries is in its third year of offering the Personal Librarian Program. The program is off to a successful start this quarter. Each freshman is assigned a library staff member who serves as the student's primary contact for the library during the first year. Students may call, email, or meet with their personal librarian for assistance in getting started with research and using library services and resources.
During New Student Days, each freshman received an introductory letter from his or her personal librarian. The Libraries also sponsored a jumbled word scavenger hunt, providing students an opportunity to become familiar with the library and to meet the personal librarians who helped staff the event.
A short week ago we were all worried about the wrath of Sandy, and unfortunately many of our readers and staff were addressing power outages, fallen trees, and flooding. I hope none of you, your families, and homes were severely affected by the storm, and that we all are back to our routines by now. This storm set precedent for the Libraries as an “essential” service during a campus emergency.
We have been encouraged this past month by other votes of confidence in the Libraries' contributions to advance the University’s mission. The first solicitation letter sent to select alumni identified a “matching gift” opportunity made by Michael Hagerty and his family, requesting support of the renovation of the W. W. Hagerty Library building, named in honor of his father, the late President of Drexel University. Response has been encouraging as we prepare for the launch of the design phase meeting on November 9 with the architects awarded the contract.
I write this update in October, just after the first meeting of the Library Advisory Group (LAG) for this academic year. Once again we are fortunate to have a diverse set of perspectives and wonderful channel of communication through the service of 16 faculty, students and staff representing the Colleges and Schools, student groups, and several departments with which the Libraries partners in advancing the University’s mission. For this group, library administrators offered a brief orientation to the Libraries and were delighted to share copies of the 2011-2012 Annual Report, hot off the press. I invite you to review the summary of the year’s events online. We also highlighted what staff has done during the summer and speculated on topics to raise with the LAG this coming year. It was a full agenda.
Contributing Author: Jaya Mohan, Assistant Director of the Office for Undergraduate Research.
Over the summer, sixty rising sophomores in the STAR Scholars Program participated in a four-week instructional series led by Nancy Bellafante, Librarian for Undergraduate Learning.
The STAR (Students Tackling Advanced Research) Scholars Program provides an opportunity for high-achieving first-year students to participate in faculty-mentored research, scholarship, or creative work. For many of them, the experience is their first introduction to research, and the Libraries offered them instruction on research skills. The program partnership was a success, and we plan to offer the series to more STAR Scholars in the future.
Larry Milliken, Liaison Librarian for Humanities and Social Sciences, presented a research instruction workshop this summer to the 33 participants in this year’s Fulbright Pre-Academic Training Program. The Fulbright scholars in the packed classroom received an introduction to using American academic research libraries and the types of services and resources they could expect to use when they reach their host institutions. The scholars had an opportunity to ask about topics such as how to cite sources in their discipline and what kind of assistance reference librarians typically offer graduate students. Larry guided the group in looking for scholarly journal articles to support the posters the group presented at the conclusion of the program.