The July/ August 2011 issue of C&RL News is now freely available online. In today’s fast paced world, academic libraries must constantly innovate to stay relevant to their constituencies. What made the library a central part of the student’s world in the past may not draw them in today. At McPherson College in Kansas, the usual orientations and instruction sessions weren’t doing the job of getting students excited about the library. The solution? Take advantage of the current zombie craze and create a comic book that places library skills instruction in a more contemporary context. The comic’s creators, Matt Upson and C. Michael Hall, reflect on the project and its benefits to the library in their article “Zombie attacks.”
Of course you don’t have to create a graphic novel to make your services more student-friendly. At Brigham Young University, librarians took the traditional volunteer student advisory group a step further by creating and organizing a team of library student workers around the IDEO model to drive innovation. Sara D. Smith and Quinn Galbraith describe the results in “Shopping carts and student employees.”
The Carnegie Mellon University Hunt Library took several different tracks for input, including advisory groups and class projects, resulting in a variety of projects aimed at “Increasing student satisfaction.” Librarians at Duke University surveyed honors undergraduates, asking the question “Is the library part of the picture?” Emily Daly discusses what the survey discovered about student impressions of the library.
New ideas can extend outside the physical library to impact research and publishing, as well. In this month’s Scholarly Communication column, Gail P. Clement describes several projects in which librarians and library groups are joining the “Copyright self-help movement.”
Make sure to check out the other features and columns this month, including Internet Resources on Islamic manuscripts, information on using Selective Tweets and Twitter Feed in library marketing, and new Information Literacy Standards for Teacher Education.