Type

Presentation

Description

In 2012 we transformed our obsolete periodicals desk into The Info Cafe, and planned a series of information skills workshops for that meeting space. In an effort to encourage attendance at those drop-in sessions, we partnered with the our institution’s merit point program to offer points to each student who attended a twenty-minute workshop on topics ranging from searching a specific database to using a particular citation style. The merit point system, which was discontinued in 2015, provided a range of opportunities for students to amass points that contributed to their odds of getting their preferred choice in the institution's housing lottery. We were confident the prospect of earning merit points would be enough incentive to bring students to the library. We were very wrong.

You could say The Info Café program was a dismal failure. A great deal of staff time was spent developing the content for the workshops, scheduling the sessions, and creating surveys to assess their effectiveness. Over the course of the Fall 2012 semester and Spring 2013 semesters, we scheduled 48 Info Cafe sessions. Some attracted one or two participants. Most failed to attract anyone. In total, only 26 students attended.

We, however, like to think of The Info Café debacle as the catalyst for some of our greatest successes. The InfoCafe’s failure made us realize that we needed to provide the students with the information and support they required at their point of need. We decided one of the easiest ways to meet them at that point of need was through the college’s Learning Management System. Through the creation of a variety of video tutorials, research modules, and librarian-facilitated research discussion forums, we have reached far more students remotely than we ever did at The Information Café.

In the Fall 2017 semester, for example, librarians created learning management system information skills modules for 35 different classes and produced 52 information skills videos. While the Info Café workshops we created reached fewer than the 30 students , our LMS participation in Fall 2017 reached approximately 700 students.

More Information

In the past, when seeking to broaden our information skills outreach, we tried to devise ways we could get more face-to-face time with students. One of our initiatives, offering students incentives to attend library workshops, failed miserably. That failure ultimately caused us to focus many of our outreach efforts on reaching students virtually. The creation of information skills modules and video tutorials in the Learning Management System has allowed us to reach significantly more students than our workshops ever did. This growing virtual program has potential to expand further as existing research modules are adapted for additional courses and librarians look for new ways – such as synchronous meetings via the LMS – to bring help to students where and when they need it.

Type of Library

College Library

Keywords

LMS, library instruction, Learning Management System

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May 4th, 1:30 PM May 4th, 2:20 PM

When your Info Café Fails, Think of your LMS as Take-Out: Learning from the Services Students Won’t Use to Create the Services They Will

Plymptom Room

In 2012 we transformed our obsolete periodicals desk into The Info Cafe, and planned a series of information skills workshops for that meeting space. In an effort to encourage attendance at those drop-in sessions, we partnered with the our institution’s merit point program to offer points to each student who attended a twenty-minute workshop on topics ranging from searching a specific database to using a particular citation style. The merit point system, which was discontinued in 2015, provided a range of opportunities for students to amass points that contributed to their odds of getting their preferred choice in the institution's housing lottery. We were confident the prospect of earning merit points would be enough incentive to bring students to the library. We were very wrong.

You could say The Info Café program was a dismal failure. A great deal of staff time was spent developing the content for the workshops, scheduling the sessions, and creating surveys to assess their effectiveness. Over the course of the Fall 2012 semester and Spring 2013 semesters, we scheduled 48 Info Cafe sessions. Some attracted one or two participants. Most failed to attract anyone. In total, only 26 students attended.

We, however, like to think of The Info Café debacle as the catalyst for some of our greatest successes. The InfoCafe’s failure made us realize that we needed to provide the students with the information and support they required at their point of need. We decided one of the easiest ways to meet them at that point of need was through the college’s Learning Management System. Through the creation of a variety of video tutorials, research modules, and librarian-facilitated research discussion forums, we have reached far more students remotely than we ever did at The Information Café.

In the Fall 2017 semester, for example, librarians created learning management system information skills modules for 35 different classes and produced 52 information skills videos. While the Info Café workshops we created reached fewer than the 30 students , our LMS participation in Fall 2017 reached approximately 700 students.

 

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