Reinventing Library Services for Undergraduates: Strategies for Reaching Millennial Students (Panel Session)

Susan Avery, Meg Burger, and Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign comprised the panel for this session. They shared what they are doing to make the Undergraduate Library at UIUC more relevant to the lives of Millennials. Lisa played a new video that showcases what students can do at the Undergraduate Library. The postings by Shana Fair, Laurie Bridges, Amanda Izenstark, and Amy Harris on the conference blog provide a comprehensive picture of the session's content.

I had higher expectations for this session and was a bit disappointed by the lack of implementable ideas for my own library. I think my disappointment may be related to scalability. Or, maybe my Gen X cynicism is kicking in on what is and is not possible on an anemic materials budget.

Don't get me wrong, they did share great ideas.

"Restructure your space to reflect how millennials use space. Provide more room for collaboration, consolidate service points, provide as much public space as possible, provide for media viewing needs, develop virtual library spaces using blogs, wikis, Second Life, Facebook, or MySpace where they can interact with you. Inbed access to your resources in places they actually use. Look at your collections—don’t just limit yourself to purchasing text. Add e-books, graphic novels, gaming, increase your media collection" (from Shana's post)

Our blog is read, but doesn't receive many comments. Our Library had a Facebook profile, before the purge. A Facebook group for the Library was recently created, we'll see how that goes. We don't have a MySpace profile. We already buy a lot of media (DVDs and CDs) and have access to a lot of electronic content (including streaming+downloadable digital videos) through OhioLINK. We don't collect many graphic novels, but there is potential for use by the undergraduate and graduate education programs.

I'm not sure about buying games, due to previously mentioned anemic materials budget.  Not much can be done about the physical space of our building, other than weed, weed, weed, and weed some more to create more usable space.  I still think a lot of my disappointment goes back to scalability. I can't off-load low use books to another building on campus. I can weed it and rely on OhioLINK, which I already do to some extent. I think I still need to chew on the ideas discussed during this session.

The one idea that I believe is actionable locally is consolidating service points. Our reference desk is maybe 15 feet from our circulation/reserve desk. I started socializing the idea of merging the two over the summer at a staff meeting last week. Have any other small liberal arts college implemented a single service point? Is it working for your students?  Is it working for you?

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Podcasting: What, How, and Why?

Kate Wenger and I presented on podcasting at the Ohio Library Council's Children's and Young Adult Services Conference held on August 16-17 in Columbus. Our write up for the conference materials:

Many new and innovative technologies have been rapidly embraced by young patrons. One of these new tools that you can use to reach young adults and children is podcasting. Podcasting is the creation and publication of audio to the Web for automatic download via a subscription. You don't need an iPod or a lot of Web development skills to get started. Come to this interactive presentation to learn how you can use podcasting to meet your young patrons where they are! Find out how to create your own podcasts and discover some of the many different ways you can use podcasts to engage young patrons at your library.

We had a full room (forgot to take a picture).  Our hour and fifteen minute presentation covered:

  • an overview of podcasting and web feeds,
  • why podcast,  
  • brainstorming session (where the participants came up with ideas of what they could podcast),
  • how to create a podcast,
  • what we do at Muskingum,
  • listening to and finding podcasts,
  • marketing and evaluating your podcast,
  • challenges,
  • and beyond podcasting.

We created a short podcast during the presentation. A nice young woman volunteered to read a book review for a YA novel and be recorded. We edited the file and uploaded it to the Liberated Syndication account created for the presentation.

We also demonstrated how you don't need to have a computer to record a podcast. Odeo Studio (plus others) allow you to call a number and record your podcast on a voicemail like system. For that demo we had another young woman read a brief piece on the Ohio Web Library.

Once again, there doesn't seem to be a lot of academic libraries podcasting. I recorded the Author Talks held in the library last academic year. That's been the basis for our podcasts. Both Kate and I agree that we don't have the time to create content on a regular basis. We're hoping to leverage additional content opportunities this coming year. One idea is to work with the children's lit class to see if we can do something.

I created a companion wiki for the participants. The seemed to be very appreciative of the wiki when we showed it at the end of the session. A copy of the presentation (both PowerPoint and a PDF version) are available on the wiki. The password to make changes is also listed on the wiki if you are so inclined to add your knowledge.

August 8 Radio Show

Here is a list of the songs I played for my last radio show of the summer. 

  1. Hide and Seek / Imogen Heap
  2. Free (Jason Nevins Mix) / Ultra Nate
  3. Streets of Tomorrow / Carla Vallet
  4. Sanctuary / Origene
  5. Traffic / DJ Tiesto
  6. Foolish Mind Games / Jason Walker
  7. Dragostea Din Tei / O-Zone 
  8. We Share Our Mother's Health / The Knife 
  9. Everybody Everybody/ Black Box
  10. Dance till the Morning Sun / Brazillian Girls
  11. Tribal Dance (Radio Edit) /  2Unlimited
  12. I Cross the Rubicon / Army of Lovers
  13. Forbidden Love / Madonna
  14. Deep Forest / Deep Forest
  15. 24 / Jem
  16. Better Off Along / Alice Dee Jay
  17. Ya Shosla S Uma / t.A.T.u.
  18. Rapture / iiO
  19. 3 A.M. Eternal ( Live at the S.S.L.) / The KLF
  20. Love U More / Sunscreem
  21. Holding OUt for a Hero / Frou Frou
  22. Silent Shout / The Knife

I read the Ohio Web Library PSA again during the second hour of the show.