Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Outreach and Beyond: New Roles/Relationships for Librarians

Summer Engineering Experience for Girls (SEE): An Evolving Hands-On Role for the Engineering Librarian - Donna Beck, G. Berard, Bo Baker, and Nancy George

Lesley Farmer, a librarian, wrote Teen Girls and Technology: What’s the Problem and Where’s the Solution, a book highly recommended by Donna Beck. All parents, teachers, librarians have a role in changing the stereotypes that are created about engineers and scientists. Gender Inclusive Engineering Education is another recently published book that is recommended.

Beck shared her experiences and involvement with SEE (Summer Engineering Experience) a 2-week program provided for ~22 middle school girls at Carnegie Mellon University each year. A research component is provided by CMU librarians. Topics cover a broad range of energy research. Librarians used AccessScience and their energy quiz. Compared a library research databases to FBI fingerprint database and steps to library research, but their teaching with the young woman has evolved over the past few years. The following year they worked more on defining a lesson plan and hands-on activities. Third year librarians were included in planning activities for SEE and librarians were participating in 3 sessions and helped to mentor the students. They provided citation help (bibme/knightcite), creating their PowerPoint slides, and it was an enhanced experience for all.


• Purchase women and engineering books

• Express willingness to contribute to outreach programs

• Be compatible with program and its evolution

• Help inspire middle schools to consider engineering as a career choice

Academic Librarians' Roles in Attracting & Recruiting Students to Their University - Nevenka Zdravkovska, Jim Miller, and Bob Kackley

Jim Miller, from University of Maryland Libraries described how librarians work with K-12 students and the potential for librarian involvement in university recruitment efforts. Over the past year ~22 sessions were offered to area high school and home schooled students, so they have a lot of interaction with HS students. He found there is not much research on libraries playing role on recruitment. UM recruitment efforts include:

• Maryland day

• Special collections state-wide history day

• Performing Arts Library assists home schooled students and music lessons

• Academic Achievement (TRIO) involvement – UM Librarians assist provisionally accepted minorities

• Various summer activities with special groups

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Library partners with many of UM outreach programs such as ESTEEM, Project Lead the Way, among others. They instruct PLTW Inventor’s campers on patent searching. Student teams find hovercraft patents (good example for getting students to use classification searches). See ASEE First Bell for daily examples on how universities are doing K-12 outreach.

Creating an Outreach Event with e-Resource Providers - Pauline Melgoza

Science/Engineering Library held an event in fall 2009. They held an outreach fair in their engineering building lobby. Over 500 researchers and students attended.

Melgoza suggested we partner with database vendors to market the event, train and also provide financial support. Texas A&M requested items from vendors posters, training guides, giveaways for students and raffle prizes to draw people in and ask vendors to come and staff a table. Some vendors sponsored competition or drawing (Knovel Challenge & IEEE regional student paper contest are two examples). Some vendors will help fund food or provide financial support. Melgoza selected top use database vendors as well as some that have low use but should have higher use. This fall they are considering doing web-conferencing. With curtains around the IEEE section, Melgoza felt this created a mystique that enticed students to check the area out (they could also smell food).

Planning Tips

• contact vendors a couple months in advance

• talk with peers for ideas

• consider location, location, location (captive audience in engineering building but took more coordination)

• check university policies and keep administration in the loop (some university’s cannot do vendors fairs due to conflict of interest)

• If you get materials from vendor, but no vendor, train library assistants to staff tables

• prizes are a big draw for students, also food; incorporate survey with raffle entry

• if you cannot plan a larger event, one librarian mentioned success with inviting one vendor and setting up demo’s in different locations on campus

• Count attendees & take photos to share

• Tie in with faculty: one librarian mentioned that a faculty member asked students to attend with specific questions
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