Thursday, May 04, 2006

Library Instruction as Outreach

Bright and early this morning, I was treated to a presentation by UM librarians Sue Samson, Samarantha Hines, and Jennie Burroughs. The Mansfield Librarians offer library instruction effectively by dividing their users into unique user groups and tailoring their instruction programs to the special needs of each group. Targeted user groups include: first-year students, second-year students, upper-division students, grad students, faculty, adjuncts, TAs, campus administration, distance students, the community in general, teachers, businesses, health professionals, seniors, and government agencies. Whew! This library instruction program is really NOT one-size-fits-all!
Interestingly, Sue noted that, although undergrads are the most visible library users and the instructors don't frequent the library as often, the faculty are treated as the primary users. After all, they are the folks requiring all of the students to use the library.
This presentation went far beyond a show-and-tell presentation about what the Mansfield library is doing. It was an interactive multimedia presentation designed to help attendees develop library instruction programs for their own libraries. Each attendee received a take-home folder complete with a power point and a workbook with activities that enhanced the presentation. For more information about the UM library instruction programs, contact any of the 3 gracious presenters.
--Anne Kish

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