Presenter Information

Annah Hackett, Grand View University

Location

Grand View University, Des Moines, Iowa

Start Date

5-19-2017 3:00 PM

End Date

5-19-2017 4:00 PM

Description

Librarians in the twenty-first century face significant challenges in finding the best way to communicate with the millennial generation—which is ironic, given that in the internet age we have more methods of communicating than ever. For example, many universities have list-servs that can reach large numbers of students at once; however, given that every other campus entity can utilize this service (and that millennials are shifting away from email as a primary mode of communication) these emails often fall on deaf ears. Likewise librarians at institutions with e-learning software like Blackboard can embed links to the library website in course materials, but still there are students who ignore the convenient link in favor of researching via Google. How can we show them all of the wonderful resources waiting for them when they don’t come through our doors or visit our website? At my institution, we are experimenting with different ways to reach out to students and invite them in to meet us and discover the library. Over the last year, we used social media (Facebook), a graffiti-style message board and short, treat-based engagement events to reach out to students. The results have been mixed, but each attempt taught the institution’s librarians something important about the communication styles of traditional-age college students. This presentation will address the advantages and disadvantages of each communication attempt as well as the library’s plans for the future. It will cover the need to keep communication short and sweet, why encouraging student workers to appear in “candid” Facebook posts will boost social media traffic, and how popcorn can be a secret weapon in forging a connection with college students of the millennial generation.

Keywords

information literacy, academic libraries

Rights

Copyright © 2017 Annah Hackett

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May 19th, 3:00 PM May 19th, 4:00 PM

Facebook, Popcorn and Graffiti: Trying to Find New Ways to Communicate with Students

Grand View University, Des Moines, Iowa

Librarians in the twenty-first century face significant challenges in finding the best way to communicate with the millennial generation—which is ironic, given that in the internet age we have more methods of communicating than ever. For example, many universities have list-servs that can reach large numbers of students at once; however, given that every other campus entity can utilize this service (and that millennials are shifting away from email as a primary mode of communication) these emails often fall on deaf ears. Likewise librarians at institutions with e-learning software like Blackboard can embed links to the library website in course materials, but still there are students who ignore the convenient link in favor of researching via Google. How can we show them all of the wonderful resources waiting for them when they don’t come through our doors or visit our website? At my institution, we are experimenting with different ways to reach out to students and invite them in to meet us and discover the library. Over the last year, we used social media (Facebook), a graffiti-style message board and short, treat-based engagement events to reach out to students. The results have been mixed, but each attempt taught the institution’s librarians something important about the communication styles of traditional-age college students. This presentation will address the advantages and disadvantages of each communication attempt as well as the library’s plans for the future. It will cover the need to keep communication short and sweet, why encouraging student workers to appear in “candid” Facebook posts will boost social media traffic, and how popcorn can be a secret weapon in forging a connection with college students of the millennial generation.