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Planning academic library orientations


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Case Studies From
Around the World

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List of Contributors

Part I:



1. Hole in One: Library Services on the Green


Vicki M. Palmer

2. Passing Go: Utilizing Gamification to Introduce New Students
to the Libraries


Charissa Powell, Daniel Ireton, Darchelle Martin, Ashley Stark and
Ellen R. Urton

3. Breakout the Library: Using Escape Room Concepts to Teach
and Assess the First-Year Library Orientation Experience


Ingrid Ruffin and Stephanie Miranda

4. New Tactics for Orientation: Using Gamification to Connect
and Engage Students


Fiona Salisbury, Ian Rossiter and Eng Ung

5. Play Day at UTS Library: Engaging Students With Fun
and Serious Play


Ashley England, Sophie Herbert and Jemima McDonald

6. Orientation as Exploration: Video Game Training Modules
as a Model for Learning by Discovery


Sarah Thorngate

7. Connecting New Freshmen With the Library: People, Places,
and Problem Solving


Veronica Bielat, George Zedan and Steven Remenapp




Part II:

Marketing & Promotion

8. Supporting Student Retention and Success: Personal Librarian
Program at the University of Victoria


David Boudinot, Bill Blair, Justin Harrison and Caron Rollins

9. Welcome to the Library: Building a Social Orientation Campaign


Jessica Hagman

10. Building Community Through Festival: Library Orientation on the
Jennifer L.A. Whelan and Laura L. Wilson

Part III:


11. Collaboration on a Grand Scale: Creating a High-Impact
Educational Orientation Experience Through Campus
and Library Partnerships


Anne C. Behler, Emily Rimland and Megan Gilpin

12. Building Partnerships for Better Library Orientations


Crystal Goldman, Dominique Turnbow and Amanda Roth

13. Teaching Library and Legal Research Skills to First-Year Law
Students: The Role of Library Tours and Exercises


Zita Szabo and Eleni Borompoka

14. The Big Red Ruckus @ Love: From Cooperation to Collaboration


Lorna M. Dawes

Part IV:

Targeting Specific Audiences

15. Library Orientations for Resident Assistants


Dawn (Nikki) Cannon-Rech

16. Marhaba, Welcome: Orienting International Students
to the Academic Library
Meggan Houlihan and Beth Daniel Lindsay



17. Passport to Discovery: A Library Adventure



Courtney Seymour, Lindsay Bush, Gail Golderman and Robyn Reed

18. Designing a Library Orientation for First-Year Students With
Disabilities Through the STEPS Program


Jamie L. Goodfellow and Janice Galloway

19. Creating a Targeted Orientation Program for International
Graduate Students


Rebecca L. Tolley, Wendy C. Doucette and Joanna M. Anderson

20. “The Library Is Very Huge and Beautiful”: A Library Orientation
for English Language Learners


Megan Hodge

21. Be All That You Can Be: Targeting Library Orientations
to Military Cadets


Sarah LeMire, Stephanie J. Graves and Zackary Chance Medlin

22. Introducing New International Students to Privilege in
Information Access


Kayla Flegal, Tiffany Hebb and Kathryn C. Millis

Part V:


23. Creating a Library Orientation Video for Distance, Regional,
and Online Students


Leah Townsend

24. Creating and Sustaining Library Video Tours


Ariana Baker

25. Coming to a Screen Near You: Broadcasting Library Orientations


Ashley T. Hoffman and Christina Holm

26. Interactive eLearning: Designing the Immersive
Course-Integrated Online Library Orientation
Matthew T. Regan, Matthew LaBrake and Amanda Piekart-Primiano




Part VI:


27. Adding ADDIE to the Library Orientation Program at Singapore
Management University Libraries


Rajen Munoo and Redzuan Abdullah

28. The Evolution of Eastern Kentucky University Libraries
Orientations: Giving Students a LibStart to Student Success
Through Library Engagement


Trenia Napier, Ashley J. Cole and Leah C. Banks

29. #FreshStart: Library Orientation @A Caribbean Academic Library


Jessica C. Lewis, Genevieve A. Jones-Edman and Quemar Rhoden

30. Hunger to Change the Game: Using Assessment to Continually
Evolve a Library Orientation


Kylie Bailin, Benjamin Jahre and Sarah Morris

31. 200 Students in 20 Minutes: Freshman Orientation Tours


Catherine Silvers

32. Passport to Academic Success: An Engaging, Active-Learning
Library Orientation for New Students


Cynthia H. Comer

33. Library Boot Camp: Scalable Basic Training for New Library Users


Rebecca Starkey, Julie Piacentine and Kaitlin Springmier

34. Pecha Kucha It: Everything You Need to Know About the
Library in Six Minutes and Forty Seconds


Nicole Eva
Thematic Index
Subject Index


Redzuan Abdullah
Singapore Management University Libraries, Singapore
Joanna M. Anderson
East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN, United States
Kylie Bailin
Lafayette College, Easton, PA, United States
Ariana Baker
Coastal Carolina University, Conway, SC, United States
Leah C. Banks
Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY, United States
Anne C. Behler
Penn State University, University Park, PA, United States
Veronica Bielat
Wayne State University Library System, Detroit, MI, United States
Bill Blair
University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada
Eleni Borompoka
University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Great Britain
David Boudinot
University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada
Lindsay Bush
Union College, Schenectady, NY, United States
Dawn (Nikki) Cannon-Rech
Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA, United States
Ashley J. Cole
Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY, United States
Cynthia H. Comer
Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH, United States
Lorna M. Dawes
First-Year Experience Librarian, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE, United States
Wendy C. Doucette
East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN, United States
Ashley England
University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia



List of Contributors

Nicole Eva
University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, AB, Canada
Kayla Flegal
DePauw University, Greencastle, IN, United States
Janice Galloway
Sheridan College, Oakville, ON, Canada
Megan Gilpin
Penn State University, University Park, PA, United States
Gail Golderman
Union College, Schenectady, NY, United States
Crystal Goldman
UC San Diego Library, La Jolla, CA, United States
Jamie L. Goodfellow
Sheridan College, Oakville, ON, Canada
Stephanie J. Graves
Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, United States
Jessica Hagman
Ohio University, Athens, OH, United States
Justin Harrison
University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada
Tiffany Hebb
DePauw University, Greencastle, IN, United States
Sophie Herbert
University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Megan Hodge
Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, United States
Ashley T. Hoffman
Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA, United States
Christina Holm
Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA, United States
Meggan Houlihan
New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Daniel Ireton
Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, United States
Benjamin Jahre
Lafayette College, Easton, PA, United States
Genevieve A. Jones-Edman
The University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica

List of Contributors

Matthew LaBrake
Berkeley College, Paramus, NJ, United States
Sarah LeMire
Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, United States
Jessica C. Lewis
The University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica
Beth Daniel Lindsay
New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Darchelle Martin
Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, United States
Jemima McDonald
University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Zackary Chance Medlin
Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, United States
Kathryn C. Millis
DePauw University, Greencastle, IN, United States
Stephanie Miranda
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Knoxville, TN, United States
Sarah Morris
The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, United States
Rajen Munoo
Singapore Management University Libraries, Singapore
Trenia Napier
Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY, United States
Vicki M. Palmer
Longwood University, Farmville, VA, United States
Julie Piacentine
University of Chicago Library, Chicago, IL, United States
Amanda Piekart-Primiano
Berkeley College, Woodland Park, NJ, United States
Charissa Powell
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Knoxville, TN, United States
Robyn Reed
Union College, Schenectady, NY, United States
Matthew T. Regan
Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, United States
Steven Remenapp
Wayne State University Library System, Detroit, MI, United States



List of Contributors

Quemar Rhoden
The University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica
Emily Rimland
Penn State University, University Park, PA, United States
Caron Rollins
University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada
Ian Rossiter
La Trobe University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Amanda Roth
UC San Diego Library, La Jolla, CA, United States
Ingrid Ruffin
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Knoxville, TN, United States
Fiona Salisbury
La Trobe University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Courtney Seymour
Union College, Schenectady, NY, United States
Catherine Silvers
University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL, United States
Kaitlin Springmier
Sonoma State University Library, Rohnert Park, CA, United States
Ashley Stark
Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, United States
Rebecca Starkey
University of Chicago Library, Chicago, IL, United States
Zita Szabo
University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Great Britain
Sarah Thorngate
North Park University, Chicago, IL, United States
Rebecca L. Tolley
East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN, United States
Leah Townsend
NorQuest College, Edmonton, AB, Canada
Dominique Turnbow
UC San Diego Library, La Jolla, CA, United States
Eng Ung
La Trobe University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Ellen R. Urton
Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, United States

List of Contributors

Jennifer L.A. Whelan
College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA, United States
Laura L. Wilson
College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA, United States
George Zedan
Wayne State University Library System, Detroit, MI, United States


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It is no secret that the transition to college is often difficult for first-year
students. This challenge can be the result of a combination of any of a
great number of factors, including (but by no means limited to) the
following: navigating a new environment; fending for oneself; making new
friends; managing demanding classes and assignments; and feeling homesick
(Clark, 2005; Millett-Thompson, 2017; Upcraft & Farnsworth, 1984).
It is also generally accepted that the first few weeks of a student’s time
on campus can be critical in laying a strong foundation for his/her time at
college (Noel, Levitz, & Saluri, 1987). Educators and administrators have
thus focused immense energy and resources on creating positive experiences for students during their first few weeks at college, frequently
referred to as orientation (Barefoot, 2005; Mayhew, Vanderlinden, & Kim,
2010; Robinson, Burns, & Gaw, 1996; Upcraft & Gardner, 1989). These
efforts may include activities such as games and concerts to encourage
relationship building or shared community readings and discussion groups
to prepare students for classes.
Not least among the challenges new students face is learning how to
perform research at a college level (Collins & Dodsworth, 2011). Perhaps
the most basic step in acquiring this skill is becoming comfortable with the
library building, its services, and asking librarians for help. However, students can often feel apprehensive and unsure, or even fearful, of navigating
this new environment (Gross & Latham, 2007; Jiao & Onwuegbuzie,
1999). Libraries have long sought to allay these fears by offering an
orientation activity to first year students or specific targeted audiences, such
as transfer or international students (Brown, Weingart, Johnson, & Dance,
2004; Hartz, 1965). However, owing to the wide spectrum of sizes,
missions, and budgets of libraries and their parent institutions around the
world, library orientations can take on many different forms.
As such, a major tenet of this book is that there is no right or wrong
type of library orientation. Instead, we accept that what might be successful
at one institution might not work, or simply may be impractical, for
another. As an example, throughout the literature, there are articles in
support of (Mosley, 1997) and also maligning library tours (Lynch, 1974;
Marcus & Beck, 2003; Phipps, 1968), even though tours are one of the
most prevalent forms of orientation (Shirato & Badics, 1997). Scavenger




hunts or other self-guided tours have also come under fire from some
(McCain, 2007; Rugan & Nero, 2013) and yet have been found by others
to be an effective means of introducing the library in a low-pressure
environment (Goldman, Turnbow, Roth, Friedman, & Heskett, 2016;
Ly & Carr, 2010; McCain, 2007).
Reviewing the literature on library orientations can be difficult, as
they are not all defined the same (Oling & Mach, 2002). Back in 1981,
James Rice introduced three different levels of library education: library
orientation, library instruction, and bibliographic instruction. According to
Rice (1981), library orientation aims to give students an overview of the
library building, introduces staff members and library services, and library
procedures. Orientation also should motivate students to return to the library and hopefully reduce library anxiety. Library instruction and formal
bibliographic instruction seek to provide higher levels of training in research
skills. We have used a similar definition for this book as we define a library
orientation as any attempt to reduce library anxiety by introducing students
to what a college/university library is, what it contains, and where to find
information while also showing how helpful librarians can be. This book is
focused on these types of orientations, which do not necessarily stretch to
the higher levels of library education outlined by Rice (1981). Information
literacy (IL) is essential in the landscape of library work, but orientations
may or may not reach that ground, so we have chosen a selection of
chapters based on their strategies for introducing students to the library
instead of their comprehensive IL education.
This book gathers case studies from around the world to create a
guide for planning academic library orientations in various forms. It is
meant to be a field guide of sorts; a practical collection that can be read
altogether or used as a reference book. We attempt to highlight many
different kinds of orientationsdfrom the basic to the more elaboratedto
show what is possible and also why each of these can work for a particular
institution depending on variables such as an institution’s resources, time,
and size. Each chapter contains institutional information to help readers
decide which type of orientation would be most relevant to their own
needs and see what resources are required.
The book is divided into six sections: Games; Marketing and Promotion; Partnerships; Targeting Specific Audiences; Technology; and
Tours. Each chapter in these sections will be focused primarily on the
selected theme. However, as most orientations use multiple strategies in
their program, you will find chapter themes concepts at the beginning of



each chapter denoting which other strategies are used in that orientation.
We have included assessment among these themes, as many orientations
gather feedback about their orientation. At the end of the book, you will
find an index of all of these themes and the chapters that discuss them.
The Games section demonstrates many creative ways in which
librarians have used active play to instill a sense of fun, competition, or
accomplishment into their orientations. One main takeaway from this
section is how many forms an orientation game can take, from sports and
video games to role-playing and board games. Chapter 1 features Palmer’s
account of a mini-golf-based orientation in which the course winds
through the building to physically orient students, with each hole stopping
at a major service point in the library. In Chapter 2, Powell et al. describe
an iterative process of creating an orientation in which the library becomes
a game board where students progress through the game by completing a
hands-on activity at each “stop” on the board.
Chapters 3 and 4 both discuss the recent trend of using escape room
games as orientation activities. In Chapter 3, Ruffin and Miranda give a
detailed account of how they planned, executed, and assessed a zombie
apocalypse-themed escape room orientation. In Chapter 4, Salisbury,
Rossiter, and Ung discuss how they partnered with a local escape room
company to come up with a concept and then created a mobile escape
room orientation that could be played on a phone or tablet. This chapter
also describes a second game with a spy theme which introduces students to
library resources, as a complement to the escape room game which
introduces students to physical spaces.
In Chapter 5, McDonald, England, and Herbert present an entire
Play Day that not only centers around library trivia and a scavenger hunt to
provide traditional orientation information but also features some games
just for fun, such as a paper plane throwing competition, ping-pong, and a
computer game intriguingly entitled “Keep Talking and Nobody
Explodes”. Continuing the video game theme, Chapter 6 details the
technological aspects Thorngate considered to build a video game from
scratch in which the players research Chicago landmarks. Particular attention in this chapter is given to the game-based learning strategies used in
crafting various components of the game. Bielat, Zedan, and Remenapp
outline the development of a chooseable path adventure game in which
participants role-play a “typical undergraduate student’s day at the library”
in Chapter 7.



An orientation can only be successful if students are actually aware of
its existence. The Marketing and Promotion section gathers orientations
that included unique efforts to make their event known and well attended
and to increase participation from staff. Chapter 8 details the difficulties of
marketing a new program at a large institution, The University of Victoria,
and Boudinot, Blair, Harrison, and Rollins unpack the creation and implications of an automated email system in the formation of their Personal
Librarian Program. Chapter 9 moves orientation entirely online, as Hagman
discusses how Ohio University chooses to replace a traditional orientation
with a proactive social media campaign to raise awareness of the services the
library provides. Whelan and Wilson at the College of the Holy Cross detail
how focusing on substantial prize incentives for a library festival orientation
can improve attendance, satisfaction, and the budget in Chapter 10.
In the Partnerships section, we wanted to highlight institutions that
have gone out of their way to develop and cultivate partnerships with other
organizations on campus and internally within the library. In Chapter 11,
Behler, Rimland, and Gilpin showcase many collaborations both internal
and external with the development office, the public relations and marketing
departments, the IT office, and curriculum committees. In Chapter 12,
Goldman, Turnbow, and Roth talk about how the University of California,
San Diego Library was invited to partner with the University’s first year and
transfer experience program and contributed to the IL portion of the program. In Chapter 13, Szabo and Borompoka discuss the Taylor Law Library
at the University of Aberdeen’s long-standing relationship with the School
of Law and how they have worked together to create a meaningful orientation for law students. Dawes demonstrates in Chapter 14 how the
University of Nebraska Libraries worked with the First Year Experience and
Transition Programs, which brought all the academic support services
together in an annual campuswide orientation for first year and transfer
Although many library orientations are designed for incoming first
year students, there are plenty of other populations using the library with
particular demographics and needs. The Targeting Specific Audiences
section compiles case studies of colleges and universities that attempt to
reach out to expanded audiences, such as international students, cadets, or
English language learners. In Chapter 15, Cannon-Rech writes about
creating an interactive orientation for Resident Assistants. Houlihan and
Lindsay discuss efforts at orienting international students to New York
University Abu Dhabi in Chapter 16 by reworking the orientation to



include more culturally relevant examples and situations. Chapter 17
showcases a partnership between the library at Union College and an
Academic Opportunity Program for students from underserved communities. Librarians at Union met with those students at multiple stages in their
college orientation to increase comfort and engagement with the resources
at the library. In Chapter 18, Goodfellow and Galloway of Sheridan
College address the critical issue of accessibility, as they design a library
orientation for students with disabilities.
Both Chapters 19 and 20 focus on serving non-native English
speakers: in Chapter 19, Tolley, Doucette, and Anderson create an
extended, flexible orientation for international graduate students at East
Tennessee State University that allowed feedback throughout; in Chapter
20, Hodge writes about a scaffolded and differentiated scavenger hunt
for English language learners at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Chapter 21 pivots to a unique campus community as LeMire, Graves, and
Medlin adapt their instruction to the cadet population at Texas A&M.
Flegal, Hebb, and Courtland Millis round out our Targeting Specific
Audiences section in Chapter 22 by infusing the concepts of power,
privilege, and diversity into their orientation to the DePauw University
Library for international students, linking libraries and information to their
economic and social value in society.
Although many of the orientations described in other chapters rely
on technology to varying degrees, the four chapters in the Technology
section are the most directly focused on the technological aspects of making
their orientations work. In Chapter 23, Townsend lays out the process of
targeting a video orientation to distance learners, with special emphasis on
simplifying the process to reach the broadest possible section of students.
Chapter 24 also covers video orientation, but in this chapter, Baker goes
into extensive detail about storyboarding and producing the video content,
particularly with an eye toward ensuring the video is sustainable and can be
easily updated as needed.
Chapter 25 moves the conversation from prerecorded to live video
orientations. In this chapter, Hoffman and Holm present their novel
concept of using Blackboard Ultra to broadcast orientations into multiple
classrooms at a time, which greatly increased their reach across campus. This
chapter also demonstrates how the authors used Qualtrics and Socrative to
assess the success of their sessions in real time. In Chapter 26, Regan,
LaBrake, and Piekart highlight their use of Articulate Storyline to design,
develop, and implement an environment in which students could explore a



virtual library and discuss the process of integrating this learning object into
the curriculum at their institution.
The Tours section highlights a variety of methods for running library tours or presentations as well as providing self-guided tours as part of
an orientation. Many of these chapters show how their tours have evolved
over time through assessment. In Chapter 27, Munoo and bin Abdullah
illustrate how the analysis, design, development, implementation, and
evaluation (ADDIE) model can be used to plan, design, and assess their
tour-based orientation, which includes an online course and a problembased learning experience, integrating technology and games to engage
students. In Chapter 28, Cole, Napier, and Tent discuss the evolution of
their orientation through assessment ending with an orientation situated in
a class period where students are handed iPads connected to the Library’s
Instagram account and complete a scavenger hunt composed of photo
prompts such as “find the best study spot”.
In Chapter 29, Lewis, Jones-Edman, and Rhoden lay out how the
University of the West Indies in Jamaica took a multifaceted approach
aligned with the University’s orientation including scheduled tours, a booth
at the orientation village, library catalog training sessions, and a treasure
hunt to engage first-year students. In Chapter 30, Bailin, Jahre, and Morris
demonstrate how orientations can evolve over time as the Lafayette College
Library moved from a more elaborate game to a tour, while still including
interactive and competitive game elements, such as a quiz and prizes.
Libraries are sometimes not given much time, if at all, in broader
campuswide orientations as Silvers in Chapter 31 highlights the process of
creating an orientation for 200 students in just 20 minutes.
In Chapter 32, Comer describes how they created a self-guided
travel-themed tour, which puts the students in control of their own
journey around the library. Chapter 33 moved away from an activelearning program that became unsustainable, but instead of going back to
a standard library tour, Starkey, Piacentine, and Springmier implemented
Library Boot Camp, inspired by speed dating, moving students from various
short task-based instruction sessions. Another example of an innovative way
to compete for students’ attention is described in Chapter 34 where Eva
details a Pecha Kuchaestyle session where students watched a presentation
of 20 visual-only slides of 20 seconds each.
Surveying these chapters and the wide array of approaches discussed,
it can be tempting to conclude that there are no generalizations to be made
about the state of academic library orientations. While it’s true that each of



these chapters takes a slightly different approach, all share the aim of making
the library accessible and familiar to the populations it serves. Another
common theme across most of the chapters is the need to assess, revise, and
change the orientation as needed in response to feedback, staff demands,
and evolving trends in libraries, technology, and the world at large.
Although we are hesitant to attempt to predict what these trends may
bedand even if we could, any projections we could make would not be
applicable to all libraries given the variations in size, mission, and budgets
discussed previouslydwe do feel comfortable saying that orientations will
continue to be a major point of outreach for most academic libraries well
into the foreseeable future.

We would like to thank the staff of the Lafayette College Libraries for their camaraderie and willingness
to make orientation a team effort; the students of Lafayette College for always making orientation fun
and exciting; and our families for their support.

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