August 21st, 2012
Before taking any notes, listening to any lectures, or sitting through any classes, freshman Jesse Bradt went to the Downtown Campus Library.
That’s where he and more than 2,000 other incoming freshmen spent part of their Saturday afternoon. Close to 1,800 students visited the Evansdale Library, and about 600 toured the Health Sciences Library.
The event, Discover! WVU Libraries, was part of the 2012 First Year Academy. Its goal was to introduce students to the particular library and the people who will help them with their academic endeavors. Depending on their major, students visited the Downtown Campus Library, the Evansdale Library, or the Health Sciences Library to learn about the services and resources they offer.
“I thought it was cool,” said Bradt, a business and economics major from Delaware. “I like how it got everyone involved. It was an interesting way to get you used to how the Library works.”
Libraries employees used games, tours, and brief presentations to make the experience fun, as well as instructive.
Students at the Downtown Campus Library learned about texting a librarian for help and got to try out the tool. They also had opportunities to win prizes for answering correctly about services and resources the various departments provide.
In the Atrium, the West Virginia and Regional History Collection assembled an exhibit on the history of the WVU Libraries. Upstairs on the sixth floor of the Charles C. Wise Library, students could visit the WVRHC to browse a Civil War exhibit.
At Evansdale, students learned how to use their smartphones to check for available computers and study rooms.
At Health Sciences, students got a preview to a new exhibit on William Shakespeare and The Four Humors.
Students also had the chance to meet and have pictures taken with Mountaineer Mascot Jonathan Kimble.
“It was hectic, but it was good to see the services the library offers,” said Allison Eckman, an English major from Lancaster, Pa.
She said she now feels more confident about coming back into the Library to work on assignments.
“When you’re actually on your own, you have to find your way around. You’re not following the crowd around,” Eckman said.
The visit paid a quick return for Jessica Hall, a pre-psychology major from Mingo County, who was back in the Library early Monday.
“This morning I had to put money on my card, and I would have had no idea where to go if it wasn’t for Saturday,” Hall said.
She also learned the layout of the Downtown Campus Library and knows where she can go when she needs assistance on a paper or project.
“Everyone was nice,” Hall said. “I feel more comfortable coming back.”
Along with becoming more astute about the Libraries, students had opportunities to register for prizes. Later this week, the Libraries will announce the winners of an iPad, a Kindle, an iPod, and gift cards.