Students Share Stories and Feedback about the Libraries at Fall 2017 ScholarSnack
December 1, 2017
On Wednesday, November 29, more than 25 Drexel students from seven different colleges gathered in the W. W. Hagerty Library for the Drexel Libraries’ first ScholarSnack event of the 2017/2018 academic year.
The fourth ScholarSnack event focused on stimulating open and honest conversations about informal learning activities and engagement with the Libraries. In the past, the event featured formal student presentations on some aspect of research or academic inquiry.
“This year, we’re exploring different ways of engaging students in how they conceive of the library space and how the Libraries can and does stimulate their quest for life-long learning,” Danuta A. Nitecki, PhD, Dean of Libraries, explained during her opening remarks. “We’re here today to give you a chance to tell your stories about the Libraries: How do you use the Libraries’ spaces? Why do you come to the library? What about this space inspires you?”
Dean Nitecki went on to speak about the space changes the Libraries has made over the last few years – from the Data Visualization Zone to the most recent addition of new “Practice Zone” furniture where the event was held (pictured at right) – all of which have been consciously added to facilitate the active learning behaviors students need to become life-long learners. They range from quiet areas for working alone to different places to encourage learning with social and group activities.
"I started to realize students don’t use the Libraries enough or in the ways that they should. So I convinced a few of my friends to study [in the library] with me… Now, they come here all the time. It's like one time and you're hooked!" -- Matthew Brooks
Following the Dean’s introduction, she invited Matthew Brooks, a sophomore communications major at Drexel, to jump-start the conversation by recounting his first time studying in the Libraries and the impact it has had on him.
“I didn’t really come to the library when I first started at Drexel until one night when I got stuck [in the Libraries] after a class. It started pouring, and instead of running back to the dorm without an umbrella, I decided to stick around and study here,” Brooks explained during the event. “I realized I didn’t have the same distractions in the library, and I got so much more work done here.”
Brooks also recounted that many of his friends had never been to the Libraries, a fact that he found surprising.
"I started to realize students don’t use the Libraries enough or in the ways that they should,” he said. “So I convinced a few of my friends to study [in the library] with me… Now, they come here all the time. It's like one time and you're hooked!"
During the discussions that followed, other students recounted similar experiences, sharing stories of how inspiring it can be to work and study in a building full of people doing the exact same thing – studying and working to achieve an academic goal. Others expressed interest in more interactive events and activities, like University-wide book clubs or monthly social meet-ups organized by the Libraries.
Students also offered opinions on how to improve both the Libraries’ services and informal learning environments – many suggesting coffee and snack stands and new and improved furnishings – as well as suggestions for renaming the Bookmark Café. Their thoughtful comments and suggestions are currently on display on a dry erase board in this 24/7 room. Just a few of the ideas discussed during the event can also be found below.
Want to share your own stories about the Libraries? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Why Do You Come to the Libraries?
- “For easy access to Library employees and expertise”
- “Being around other students studying motivates me.”
- “The group study rooms”
What Should We Rename the Bookmark Café?
- Dragon’s E.D.G.E. (Effective Discovery of Great Evidence)
- Dragon’s Den
- Spiro Gyra
What Do You Want from the Libraries?
- A University book club
- Multiple printing options
- A bigger, more modern building
ScholarSnack It is a quarterly event open to all Drexel students and interested faculty and staff. It was launched in December 2016 and is a venue for Drexel students to discuss their experiences in exploring information and data resources. During each event, light snacks are served, and invited students share brief presentations about the discoveries they have made while building their information and data research skills.