Monday, November 19, 2007

University Libraries’ Outreach to Students in Residence Halls a Success

After students settled into their residence halls at the beginning of fall semester 2007, Ball State University residence hall directors met to consider a series of information literacy workshops, which would be developed by librarians at the Ball State University Libraries.

Based on standards developed by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), workshop topics were identified to include where to find reliable information and how to use information ethically. As part of the proposal, librarians worked with residence hall personnel to adapt workshops according to the needs of student residents.

The first workshop, held in late September 2007, covered the research process and provided information on developing skills for success in college. A reference librarian presented it in a floor lounge of a large residence hall.

Attendees were given handouts outlining steps in the research process, along with a listing of resources about student success in the collections of the University Libraries. The handout and resource list are available at this URL:

The second workshop, held in mid-October 2007, covered advanced searching techniques in popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and Students learned about basic search logic using Boolean operators and were provided with a list of common advanced search options, such as limiting searches to file type or internet domain. The 12-slide PowerPoint presentation is currently available at this URL:

Recently, the administrators of Ball State’s Honors College residence halls agreed to host a program regarding thesis research. A version of the University Libraries’ popular Thesis Research in a Nutshell workshop, which is regularly offered to graduate students by the Libraries’ Instructional Services unit, will be revised to meet the needs of undergraduates in the Honors College.

The presentation is set to take place in early November, 2007. Other workshops for Honors College students living in residence halls are currently under consideration and these may take place by December 2007 with sessions extending into spring semester.

For more information, or to share ideas regarding these or other types of residence hall outreach programs offered by University Libraries, contact Jason A. Fields, Information Services Librarian (Distance Education),, 765-285-3326.

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