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Welcoming Another Record-Breaking Class to the Drexel Libraries

September 26, 2018

This September, Drexel University once again welcomed a record number of freshmen to campus. With this year’s number of new dragons topping just over 3,300 (slightly more than the 3,255 students in last year’s class), Welcome Week, Drexel’s week-long new student orientation event, was packed with people and activities.

Throughout the week, the Drexel Libraries hosted various activities to introduce students to Libraries staff and guide them to discover and explore the Libraries’ important resources and learning environments. a group of young men and women stand in a circle around another man as he speaks to them

“We hosted a series of open houses at the W. W. Hagerty Library this year, which were really popular with students,” said Elise Ferer, Librarian for Undergraduate Learning. “One of the challenges of Welcome Week is that there are so many activities going on at any given time. We need to find quick, creative ways to capture the students’ time and their attention. Open houses allow us to get in front of the students as they walk in the door—answer questions and help them feel at home in the Libraries in a matter of minutes.”

Students who visited the W. W. Hagerty Library during Welcome Week also had the opportunity to participate in a library scavenger hunt, which functioned as both a self-guided tour of the Library and an information-seeking challenge.

Students had to find everything from the 24/7 space in Hagerty Library (The Dragons’ Learning Den) to a copy of Jurassic World by Michael Crichton in the 2nd floor stacks. Students also had to explore the Libraries’ website to find and identify an online tool used to organize citations–certainly important to know when it comes time to write a research paper!

The scavenger hunt also led students to find the group study rooms in Hagerty Library, where they had to draw and photograph a dragon on a dry erase board. This clue challenged freshmen to explore the Library’s physical environment and to discover where dry erase markers are stored in the libraries. (They’re behind the circulation desk – all you have to do is ask, and you can check them out for up to 3 hours!)

drawing of a dragon breathing fire on a dry erase boardLibraries staff also hosted stands at the campus resource fair, held in the rec center during move-in days, and at the mini resource fairs held in the residence halls throughout the week.

“Based on our counts, we spoke to at least 1,200 students and parents during the campus resource fair alone,” Ferer said. “Students and their families took full advantage of the different resource fairs, and we answered a lot of great questions, like “How late is the library open?” and “Can I get my textbooks at the library?”’

More formal sessions, like Ferer’s workshop, Ready, Set, College! Tools from the Drexel Libraries, gave freshmen a detailed look at the Libraries’ resources and how the Libraries can help them succeed right from week 1.

Although not part of Welcome Week, the Libraries is also ramping up for its fourth annual “Wooder Ice” Social (that’s water ice for anyone outside the Philadelphia area) on Thursday, September 27. The event is another way to welcome all students to campus and to connect them with the Libraries staff.