For academic librarians throughout the UK and Ireland it's the start of another academic year. Over the next few weeks we'll see lots of eager new faces, often looking slightly scared along with worried looking final years. Some of the librarians are looking pretty worried too as they start library induction tours and talks; and plan user education. How can we make sure new readers appreciate the importance of our collections, and know what a library can do for them?
Then there are all the complexities of library life - self-issue desks, the essential do's and don't's, how do you find what you need? Most of all - DON'T BE SCARED OF THE LIBRARIAN! (We're nice honest! We hug trees, bake cakes, and get a kick out of helping our readers). I recently came across a wonderful video courtesy of Liverpool University Library, which got me thinking about novel ways to introduce readers to library life.
Here are just a few innovative videos - an inspiration for library user education everywhere... https://twitter.com/embed/LivUniLibrary/status/780693073286270976
Of course we all know that despite being tree huggers (books are made out of them, after all) a librarian is always ready to spring into action, as another take on self-issue borrowing from the University of Stirling demonstrates...
As far as library tours are concerned, there are several routes you can follow. Some libraries give in-depth online tours. These are great if you have time to watch them. Some, like the University of Bedford do "Just a minute" tours, which give a brief but thorough over-view. Others, like Anglia Ruskin in Cambridge, go for a slightly different, but memorable approach.
Western University has a great range of short films, many featuring animation, on all aspects of research life. We may not all be artists, but these certainly gave me some food for thought.
The University of Minnesota has put together a great short video, making the most of their students, and the questions that they've asked. Part tour, part library informational, it's simple but also memorable. (Also did you know that Minnesota has one of the largest Sherlock Holmes collections in the world?)
Many thanks to all the libraries who've produced some wonderful videos. They've certainly given this particular librarian lots of ideas. Happy academic year to all my fellow academic librarians.
Margaret Jones, Newsletter / blog editor IAML UK & IRL, Music Collections Supervisor, Cambridge University Library