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“Immersive virtual reality programming allows for stronger conversations,” says Sharon Whitfield, electronic resources & user access librarian at Rider University’s (N.J.) Franklin F. Moore Library. “These types of programs build empathy and can be used as mechanisms for meaningful dialogue and connection.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many academic libraries were faced with the challenge of supporting academic success while most students were off-campus and taking online classes. Many outreach librarians turned to virtual programming.
Pet Grams were developed as a way to reach out and connect virtually with patrons, no matter their location. The main outcome for Pet Grams is to share kindness and motivation during a stressful time in the semester, especially for students but also for other community members who may also need support.
UNF's Thomas G. Carpenter Library’s Literary Contests invite students, faculty and staff to virtually participate and share their creativity for a chance to win a prize. Contests include a Haiku Contest in April, a 2-Sentence Horror Story Contest in October, and a First Line Literary Contest in June.
For National Bookmobile Day 2017, my coworkers and I borrowed a cargo-bed golf cart from the university’s facilities department and converted it into a bookmobile. We decorated it with Hawaiian luau-themed party decorations and loaded the cargo bed with new books and DVDs.
We partnered with the university’s marketing department to announce the bookmobile’s campus route via Twitter. Over six hours, we made 12 stops on campus, rotating shifts with 11 library employees.
We have been hosting Fridays before Finals since October 2014. This program is held twice a semester: the Friday before midterms and the Friday before finals.
Normally our library closes at 5 p.m. on Fridays. On these occasions, we stay open until midnight and the library hosts quiet study upstairs and pizza and games downstairs.
ALA's Public Programs Office, the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) and the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) invite academic library professionals to attend a free learning series that teaches several dialogue facilitation approaches and helps librarians position themselves to foster conversation and lead change on their campuses and beyond.
A common perception on campuses is that students will attend programs if free food is part of the deal. Well, that may be true. Instead of an afterthought, food can be the main focus and still not cost a fortune. Two recent food-focused events helped us invite students to come see Storytime Censored, a fall exhibition of challenged or banned children’s books.
The University of Dayton Libraries’ exploration of program models continued during the fall 2016 semester with a trio of new history-focused workshops. In support of University of Dayton’s Housing and Residence Life curriculum (see The Swipe is Right for more details), these workshops identified and addressed connecting students to personal and local histories as an important learning outcome.
East Lansing Welcomes the World is an annual program in which the city of East Lansing welcomes international students from Michigan State University (MSU), and their families, to the city. The program is held on a Sunday in September or October from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. It is a partnership between the library, the city of East Lansing and Michigan State University.
It’s been a hard week for many Americans, as Tuesday’s election amplified divisions within communities and flamed feelings of isolation, anger and fear among much of the population. As the dust settles, libraries across the country are coming up with ways, large and small, to make all people feel safe and welcome, regardless of who they are or which candidates they supported. Here are some of those ways.