Monthly Archives: October 2012

A Little Friendly Competition to Start Things Off Right

Lately we’ve been feeling like library instruction in Freshman Seminar classes hasn’t been much fun. We like fun. So we decided to steal an idea from a couple of librarians in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh to kick off our Fall Freshman Seminar library instruction.

What’s the Idea?

Everyone loves a little competition, right? We thought it would be fun to have our 4 Freshman Seminar classes vie for a tasty meal served up by the library in Week 11. So every week, we’re sending a library challenge out to all Freshman Seminar students. The challenges are based on the library instruction the classes receive, and they get progressively more difficult. The class with the highest score in Week 10 wins breakfast or lunch, depending on the time of day the winning class is held.

The winning team–and its professor–also gets bragging rights. And that’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it?

In addition to having a little fun, we hope that the competition will help students learn to use the library more effectively, and in ways that will benefit them at Central Penn, in their personal lives, and in the workplace, where the ability to find quality information gives employees a real edge.

If the competition goes well and we feel it’s been a success, we hope to expand it into other courses. We have an eye on IDS 105, College Success Seminar, in particular!

Giving Credit Where It’s Due.

We’re always telling students that they have to cite their sources, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the sources behind the idea for this competition.

The credit for this idea goes to Sarah Beasley, Coordinator of e-Resources at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and Jamie Wilson, Electronic Resources Coordinator at the Free Library of Philadelphia, whose PA Library Association presentation title “Practice Makes Proficient: Learn About (and Steal) Our Electronic Resources Challenge” we took quite literally!