I’m helping out my colleagues at the University’s Riseholme Park Campus Library on Monday, with a library induction for new foundation degree (FdSc Agriculture and Environment / FdSc Equine Management and Training) students.
I used to do | loads of | these inductions | all the time (in the days when I was an ‘Academic Subject Librarian’, with responsibility for HE food and agriculture programmes, as well as for computer science)… these days, not so much.
This is my usual approach to induction slides: pretty pictures, not too much text. I worry that we bombard freshers with far too much information in induction week. I talk over these slides about what the Library does and how people can use our services. But I try not to ram loads of facts, links, and passwords down people’s throats too early on.
We’re making a few changes to the home page of our library catalogue in time for the new academic year. Changes include:
Reduced ‘tabset’ browsing to only the most important elements of the catalogue.
Use of the newest version of the University’s Minerva logo and colour scheme.
Home page used for ‘top 10′ (…ish) links to Library services elsewhere on the web – these are served up using an RSS feed via Feed2JS (so that we can display the same links in other environments such as Blackboard). All placed in one of HiP’s lovely XSL stylesheets.
This isn’t intended as a long-term solution for the question of the Library’s web presence. There’s a lot more we need to do to consolidate and simplify the information we present to users across different environments (open web, intranet/Portal, Blackboard VLE, etc.). But it’s a good short-to-medium-term fix which makes the most of the tools we have available at the moment, and recognises the value of establishing www.library.lincoln.ac.uk as the home of our ‘primary’ presence on the web. If nowt else, that’s the address we’re printing on our induction materials
We also had to work out a way of testing this on one of our public-access OPAC kiosks. I was particularly proud of this little MARC hack which allowed us to navigate to the test version of the home page without having to use the browser navigation bar (which is disabled on the kiosks).
Library induction presentation for new students beginning foundation degrees (FdSc Food Manufacture / FdSc Agriculture & Environment) at the University of Lincoln’s National Centre for Food Manufacturing, Holbeach Campus, south Lincolnshire: September 2010.