Pitt Students Promote Libraries Around the World to Celebrate National Library Week

Morgan Kelly, University of Pittsburgh writes "Projects by students in Pitt's School of Information Sciences work to present libraries as free resources of education and entertainment PITTSBURGH-Students in the University of Pittsburgh's School of Information Sciences (SIS) fanned out across the country and the world to help promote National Library Week, which was held from April 15 to 22. By working with libraries in Pennsylvania, other states, and other countries, students sought to showcase the resources available in a community's respective library and present the library as an entertaining and educational destination. Each year, SIS students in the Marketing and Public Relations for Libraries graduate course plan and implement a promotional campaign to celebrate National Library Week.The week is an annual recognition of the contributions of our nation's libraries, librarians, and library workers. The week also encourages libraries and institutions of higher education to promote library use and support. In the past, students have created a promotional video, a speed networking event, and a book sale. This year, the 60 students came together to plan and promote 20 events that encourage people to visit their local libraries.   The marketing theme for 2007 was Come Together @ Your Library, and the projects included students who live on campus along with students from other states and countries enrolled via an online degree program. The students produced 20 marketing and promotion projects that highlighted the libraries' educational and entertainment value. These marketing campaigns showed that libraries not only allow access to information and free instructional courses, but also screen films, host gaming sessions, and house DVDs, videogames, and other free entertainment. The National Library Week projects relate to earlier efforts by the SIS students to provide marketing support during the March 4-10 Teen Tech Week, which worked to get teens to use the library.   Some of the projects from the National Library and Teen Tech weeks-both sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA)-included the following.   * On April 21, students hosted Get Connected @ Your Library Day at the Northland Public Library in Pittsburgh. The students hosted one-on-one sessions with library patrons to help them use the library's online catalog, find quality Internet resources, and provide assistance with a new item, electronic audio books.   * SIS students created a choose-your-own-ending adventure mystery powered by YouTube to celebrate National Library Week. They created the video mystery for Flennikan Public Library, in Carmichaels, Pa., which allowed users to find out who stole the library's card catalog.   * In celebration of the ALA's Teen Tech Week, SIS students worked to design the template for a Teen Tech Fair. Colored power cords snaking through the library lead young adults to sessions on searching online databases, creating electronic scrapbooks, Internet safety, and downloading e-books to an mp3 player. The showpiece session, a Nintendo Wii videogame system tournament, was suggested as an ongoing event during the Tech Fair. The SIS students also created a template for organizing future Teen Tech Week events.   * As part of their "E-mail Extravaganza," Seeley Memorial Library in Seeley, Pa., hosted two informative e-mail signups and sessions for its traditional and returning library clients. Several sessions covered the basics of e-mail use while other sessions provided information about e-mail etiquette. Handouts and assistance from library staff were available for patrons with specific questions and concerns.   * To celebrate National Library Week, students created the Teacher's Happy Hour hosted by Enoch Pratt Free Library in Enoch, Pa., to facilitate educators' use of library materials. The Happy Hour also offered teachers a chance to share ideas and resources with other educators.   * An SIS graduate student designed a conceptual Stay Connected @ Your Library program, the first annual Technology Fair at the University of the Virgin Islands. The program would be held during National Library Week at the university's Ralph M. Paiewonsky Library. It would include demonstration sites intended to educate users on how to use laptops, graphing calculators, multimedia projectors, camcorders, digital cameras, and other equipment available at libraries.   * SIS students joined their peers from throughout the east coast to help students at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pa., get acquainted with the college's Musselman Library. Five SIS graduate students created a week-long promotional campaign for the event, which included: a music trivia contest; a concert featuring faculty, students, and a music librarian; an article in the student newspaper highlighting the library's e-resources; a guide to summer reading and the library's browsing room; and collectible trading cards for each of the reference librarians.   * Graduate students at SIS redesigned the Information Literacy Web page for the University of Pittsburgh Library System. They also created a Library of Congress tutorial for students using the University of Pittsburgh Library System. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to visit the revamped Information Literacy Web page. A series of events were hosted to "unveil" and promote the new Web page.   * Graduate students assisted the Greene County Library System in Waynesburg, Pa., with the debut of its bookmobile at the 13th annual ChildFest April 21 at the Greene County Fairgrounds. There was a walk-through of the bookmobile, which begins service in the fall.   For more information about these and other projects, visit SIS' National Library Week Web site at www.sis.pitt.edu/~nlw.   ###"

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