UoL Library Blog

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Library Inductions

Posted by sarahw9 on 13 August, 2008

Yes its the time of year when all librarians think to themselves, this year lets make the library induction much more interesting, vibrant, exciting, memorable, engaging than ever before. Then you go back to what you did and think ‘eeer well I’ve just got to include those bits, I know I’ll update a few of the pictures’.
… To explain here at the Clinical Library we’ve been doing Cephalonian style inductions for a few years. We have 45 mins to talk to 300 approx 1st year medical students in a lecture theatre. So we hand out questions that some of them have to ask about library facitilies and resources etc and we answer them using some slides and demo a few things live like the library catalogue and finding a electronic journal reference. Its at least better than just talking at them for 45 mins, and as they are new and are being asked to participate, it must keep them slightly more awake.
Somehow it still feels far from ideal. I’m sure if you are a new student already taking in alot of new information, you just are not going to remember most of it. We thought we’d cut down the detail this year when on closer insepction I think its already cut down enough. Any ideas?

5 Responses to “Library Inductions”

  1. ajcann said

    Teach a student to use the Library and they’ll use it for a day. Teach them how to use the Library, and they’ll use it for life.

    Well, you know what I mean (Teach a man to fish)… what I’m getting at is establishing a pattern of behavior rather than passivity.

  2. sarahw9 said

    Yes we used to do a ‘library trail’ which meant they had to complete some simple (or at least to us simple) tasks of finding things in the library. Now the medical students have an assignment in the first week part of which involves finding some local healthcare information – and we give them pointers about where to find it. Not quite the same thing.

    Perhaps there should be some kind of reinstated new version of library trail – which includes finding electronic resources.

  3. gazjjohnson said

    We used to send the students on a paper trail type hunt around the library at York in my early days there. It always caused unmittigated chaos, since half the exercises were “Find X in book Y”; whihc of coure students F and Q had hidden after they got the answer.

    For some reason long after we stopped it PhD students in CompSci who’d been given students to seminar kept using it, with mind numingly ancient (and long wrong) answers – considering they never darkened our doorsteps after week 1, I never understood why the dept set such store over the students knowing our physical collections.

  4. sarahw9 said

    Yep, I was thinking along the lines of e-resources. It happens I’ve been told we are not doing any such library trail this year.. Perhaps it all comes under the following training sessions anyway? Depends on the timings during the course.

  5. gazjjohnson said

    I think a library trail has it’s place all the same – it can be a brilliant thing for open days (self guided tours etc); e.g. “Can you find the Badger in floor 3’s quiet area?” – so long as it points to immovable objects!

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