June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.116.1 - 15.116.10
Academic Librarians' Roles in Attracting & Recruiting Students to Their University By Bob Kackley, Jim Miller, and Nevenka Zdravkovska
This paper reviews the literature on academic libraries’ active efforts to help their institutions recruit students. It concludes that very few libraries have focused on recruitment as such, but that more explicit attention needs to be paid to this function in order to keep the libraries’ mission relevant to an increasingly competitive academic environment. The experience of University of Maryland librarians is described, and typical classes given from 2001-2009 for K-12 students are discussed. Out of 9224 total instruction sessions, 151 were for K-12 students. Thirty one of those were devoted strictly to Engineering and science; the others were general library orientations that often included some science and technology resources.
What do the nicknames His Airness, Tinchie, Kitchen, Skeets, and Babsie all have in common? These five individuals were recruited by at least one of the twelve Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) schools. So what do libraries such as the University of Maryland Libraries have in common with recruitment efforts similar to these? Maybe more than those affiliated with the information services field realize (in the Conclusion the identities for those nicknames will be revealed).
In the summer of 2008, librarians Jim Miller, Bob Kackley, and Nevenka Zdravkovska of the Engineering & Physical Sciences Library (EPSL) at the University of Maryland gave two bibliographic instruction sessions to Summer Program students on campus. Students were from two local magnet schools, Oxon Hill High School and Charles H. Flowers High School for an Inventor’s Camp for the program, Project Lead the Way. After talking to Alex Prasertchoung, the coordinator for the two classes, we realized that these ninth to twelfth grade students were being heavily recruited to attend the University of Maryland upon matriculation from their respective high schools.
Upon later reflection we realized how many opportunities the Maryland Libraries, including EPSL Librarians, have taken advantage of to enhance the University of Maryland in the eyes of newcomers. For example, every year on the last Saturday in April, Maryland Day occurs on campus with as many as 75,000 visitors, many below the age of 18. For several years for Maryland Day, the UM Libraries have sponsored a well-known children’s TV celebrity, Bob the Vid Tech, from Maryland Public Television fame in a tent crammed full of youngsters. The other initiatives include "History Day", put on by the UM Libraries Archives as well as EPSL, and Michele Smith Performing Arts Center librarians assisting home-schooled students during daytime events. These are part of a long term general recruitment effort to pull in future Terps (nickname for the University of Maryland mascot, the Terrapins).
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