JFL offers interactive seminars

Library hosts events covering available resources, implements new technology

The Jerry Falwell Library offers a variety of resources to facilitate student learning from books and articles to group study and librarian assistants.

Research workshops in the Active Learning Classroom offer an interactive resource for students and faculty through screen hub technology. The interactive software system allows the speaker to view other screens in the room and even project them for the audience to see, according to Rory Patterson, coordinator of undergraduate and online research assistance.

research — Students adjust to new technology. Photo credit: Courtney Russo

research — Students adjust to new technology. Photo credit: Courtney Russo

According to Cynthia Schmidt, head of communication and customer services for the Jerry Falwell Library, research sessions are one of the ways the library supports Liberty’s information literacy core competency.

“Our goal is to help students and faculty be successful in meeting their information needs in the most efficient and effective way possible,” Schmidt said.

The research workshop schedule can be found on Liberty’s website. Some upcoming sessions are Use Summon to Find Just About Anything and Using LEXISNEXIS.

“People from the writing center come over and run research sessions to teach student and faculty about different writing styles,” Patterson said. “There are sessions on APA, Turabian and other. Most students like going to those sessions. They’re pretty popular.”

According to Schmidt, the most attended sessions so far this semester were the MLA, APA and Turabian research workshops. She said she predicts the general interest sessions, scheduled in April, will draw the largest crowd.

General interest sessions include CLEP, NCAT, GRE, Oh My: Preparing for Professional Testing, Helping You Get a Job: Company Research, Citing and Ebooks: Summer Reading.

Schmidt explained that students and faculty have an impact on which sessions will be held each semester. This year’s topics were created by the research assistance librarians based on categories of questions customers asked most over the previous year.

“As we develop future topics, we will also consider which were best attended as well as customer suggestions such as those provided on our library’s social media pages, customer comment cards and customer surveys,” Schmidt said.

According to Liberty’s website, research workshops are held in the Active Learning Classroom, room 171, and are entitled Bring Your Own Device.

“The Active Learning Classroom has been a great success with 38 sessions scheduled for the first four weeks it has been available,” Schmidt said. “We anticipate even higher usage as more professors become familiar with how the collaborative technologies available can improve student learning.”

Patterson explained the personal aspect of holding research workshops in the Active Learning Classroom thanks to the screen hub technology present in the room.

“The students seem to be appreciating all of the new technologies and are quickly mastering their use. The library technologies have a large ‘wow’ factor, but they are also providing multiple ways to help students learn,” Schmidt said.

According to Patterson, students who want to learn more about the screen hub software featured in the Active Learning Classroom can do so outside of research workshops. Six group study rooms in the library are equipped with the software, allowing students to work collectively on one screen from their own personal laptops.

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