Libraries? Is that a discipline my daughter can major in?”, a pleasant but sweaty looking lady inquired at the library booth, last week at the FASS Open House. I regretfully disabused her of that notion and handed her a flyer which highlighted our rich library resources. I also told her that whichever discipline her child ended up studying, we have more than enough academic resources to support her. I want to believe she went on her way, a happier and more relieved mother, even as her child stands at an academic crossroads.
The FASS Open House started slowly for us. The first hour saw staff (both at the booth and in Central Library) standing around holding brochures, with few new students to give them to. Just as we were beginning to wonder whatever happened to these elusive FASS students, they came with a vengeance which took us quite by surprise.
Between the period of 12pm to 3pm, huge crowds of students walked around, asking questions, talking animatedly, milling around, and looking at exhibits. Though they were predominantly interested in finding out more about what each discipline offered, many were pleased to know about the library resources and services available to them as FASS students. Yet others joined us for our guided tours to Central Library- peppering the sessions with questions about the location of certain books, the availability of computers and wireless Internet connections, resource librarians they can approach for help, etc.
As we packed up at the end of a long day, we did so with a sense of satisfaction. Though tired from having interacted so much with new students, we knew the difference we had made in their lives. The notion of a whole network of libraries existing to support and serve them seemed initially, a mind-boggling one to many of them. However, as we shared our mission with them, they left knowing that academic help is never far away; they only have to ask.
We spoke to 292 new students at the booth on that day and Central Library saw approximately 152 visitors.
To view pictures, click on: http://www.flickr.com/photos/26715601@N07/