Skip to main content

University Libraries

Library Spring Events: Connected Online

By Katy Kelly

This spring, University Libraries faculty and staff were actively engaged with designing and hosting events for a variety of audiences. Not surprisingly, the virtual format of our programs allowed us to engage more people than ever.

Between Jan. 18 and Feb. 21, we offered five asynchronous programs in partnership with Housing and Residence Life’s AVIATE program, reaching 6,831 students. Combined with fall semester events, our 12 programs overall reached 12,112 students, helping them learn about a variety of topics while working toward their housing goals. Take a look at the results of our spring semester programming lineup.

Lessons From Martin Luther King Jr. for Today

In January, Diane Osman, Amanda Black, Zachary Lewis and Ryan O'Grady — members of the University Libraries diversity and inclusion team — partnered with the Multi-Ethnic Education and Engagement Center to develop an interactive, self-guided opportunity to learn more about Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and legacy. Students were able to reflect on connections between his message and today's struggles for social justice in the United States. The program drew 1,321 participants and is available online.

Information Neighborhoods: Interacting with Online News Like a Good Neighbor

After taking an online class about news media literacy, I created a self-guided activity to help participants better understand the types and purposes of online content by employing a simple sorting method called information neighborhoods. Students also learned how to locate premium online news sources without paywalls — a service of the University Libraries — to become direct consumers of reliable information. The module teaches the underlying appeal of information online and is now accessible to all. The activity drew 1,534 students. An example reflection from a student says, “I definitely see myself being more acutely aware of the different ways that information and news is presented and what their goals might be. I also frequently have found myself wanting to read various publications, but due to paywalls, I usually just give up. I'll definitely be using UD's resources in regards to that.”

The Impact of the Harlem Renaissance

The Harlem Renaissance — a golden age for African American artists, writers and musicians — challenged and changed a history of oppression. To celebrate Black History Month, Amanda Black, Shari Neilson, Diane Osman and Jason Wardell — members of the University Libraries diversity and inclusion team — created a self-guided opportunity to learn how this period’s influence on the arts and on modern Black culture makes it one of America's most important cultural movements. The activity helped 1,027 students learn how the Harlem Renaissance gave artists pride in and control over the representation of the Black experience in American culture and set the stage for the civil rights movement. The interactive module is available online.

Discover the Marian Library

Have you heard about the Marian Library and wanted to learn more? Ann Zlotnik and Kayla Harris introduced this world-renowned resource by developing an online scavenger hunt through the Marian Library’s website and digital resources, teaching 1,626 students how to use this special collections library. A student comment reads, “This program has deeply increased my understanding of the Marian Library's resources. I had no idea that one library could be so dedicated to religion as well as knowledge on all other subjects. They even hold comic books! There's a whole community surrounding this beautiful and historic library. I can't wait to go and check it out!”

The Student Neighborhood: Then and Now

Heidi Gauder and Bridget Retzloff combined local and University history by teaching students how to search the 1920 U.S. Census and the 1919 Dayton city directory to research who lived in the neighborhoods surrounding UD 100 years ago. These individuals and families came from all around the world and worked in many different industries, and many of the houses where they lived are still standing today. After completing a self-paced activity, 27 students looked up the neighborhoods’ previous residents and then shared what they learned with others using Google’s MyMaps tool (in addition to the 37 students who participated in the fall). Using the student work as inspiration, Bridget and Heidi took a deeper dive into the history of Rogge Street and researched Brown Street businesses to help complete the picture.

Good Citations: The Value of Notes and Citing Sources

In this era of misinformation, it can be hard to know how to separate facts from opinions, mischaracterizations and fiction. Amy Rohmiller, Maureen Schlangen and Heidi Gauder developed a self-guided activity to show how citations, footnotes and endnotes are important for reasons beyond avoiding plagiarism. The activity attracted 1,284 students to learn how reading citations can make them better researchers and more critical consumers of information.

Mary Gardens for Mother’s Day: A DIY Windowsill Display

In May, in partnership with University Advancement and Alumni Relations, we hosted our first UDigital event for 40 participants. Blending the past with the present, Melanie Fields (Zebrowski) and Kayla Harris produced a webinar to present the history of the Mary’s Gardens movement through the collection of the founder, John S. Stokes Jr., while inspiring participants to create their own Marian plant displays or present them as gifts to loved ones. Participants received a list of 45 plants to choose from — flowers, herbs and houseplants compiled from Stokes’ original resources — and learned the four main aspects of creating and maintaining a successful miniature Mary garden display. The webinar recording and supplies lists for building a Marian terrarium are available online.

Sharing with the Profession

Libraries faculty and staff recognize the importance of sharing our successes and things we’ve learned with library and higher education colleagues. Kayla Harris, Stephanie Shreffler and Tina Beis presented at the Association for College and Research Libraries (ACRL) conference about their fall semester Citizen Web Archiving program, which showed students the importance of a do-it-yourself process to preserve content on the Internet. Heidi Gauder, Kayla Harris, Bridget Retzloff and Kristina Schulz presented at the 2021 annual meeting of the Society of Ohio Archivists about teaching with archival and primary sources for these programs and beyond. At the same conference, Amy Rohmiller presented on designing engaging event activities such as a fantasy baseball team draft, scavenger hunts and a sorting game. Jason Wardell and Hector Escobar presented at the ACRL Distance & Online Learning Section Virtual Poster Session on using the Google tool Jamboard to promote student engagement. Kayla Harris wrote a review of LibWizard for the American Archivist Reviews Portal. LibWizard is the online tool many of us use to build our interactive modules. 

Watch for More Great Programs

This programming lineup connected faculty and staff interests, creativity and expertise to the community we serve and the mission of the University. We anticipate a return to in-person opportunities in the fall, but most likely we will not pivot completely away from online events that have proven to be engaging and accommodating to thousands.  

Keep up to date on the variety of upcoming programming on the University Libraries and Marian Library blogs, which also include articles by faculty and staff about their daily work and research interests. 

— Katy Kelly is an associate professor and the University Libraries’ coordinator of marketing and engagement.

Previous Post

Club Roesch, Reunion ’21

Celebrate Roesch Library's 50 years on campus with a limited-edition Club Roesch T-shirt. Adult, youth and toddler sizes are on sale through Sunday, June 13.
Read More
Next Post

Summer Reading Suggestions from the University Libraries

Library staff share some of the titles they plan to take in for the summer season. Which ones do you like?

Read More