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SWON Academics Meeting | March 15, 2016

Posted By Kari Siders, Monday, March 21, 2016

The SWON academic librarian special interest group met on March 15, 2016 at Panera Bread in Crestview Hills.  A total of seven librarians attended and engaged in a lively discussion of a variety of topics.


Budget Concerns

A short discussion ensued about how ever decreasing budgets can stifle library activities and resources.  Of course, this is nothing new, but something that each librarian keeps in mind throughout the year with those in charge of their budgets being especially mindful.


Embedded Librarians

With a huge focus on retention at every institution, it’s easy to see where help at the point of need for students can directly relate to retention efforts.  To assist in collaborations with faculty to make sure that a librarian is embedded into their courses it can be helpful to show how you can save the instructor time.  For example if they receive the same question 10 times over from students regarding how to do their citations, the librarian could help answer those questions for the instructor.  It can also be helpful to show what questions you can address before students ask.  If a librarian is present in the course it’s easy to send out information, create a short video, or do some other method of instruction to assist in countering questions. 


Library in the Syllabus

At Cedarville there is a blurb regarding help available in the writing center which is present in all syllabi.  The library decided to create their own for faculty to include if they wished.  This has appeared on syllabi from some courses. 


Menu of Library Instruction

Denise Fritch, from Gateway Community and Technical College, shared the recent addition of an instruction request form which features a short menu of instruction that faculty could request for their courses.  You can find this form at:   The form was created as a part of the website redesign of their library webpage, which is located here:


Reference Desks

The question came up as to whether libraries should continue to provide standard reference help through staffing a reference desk into the evening, or if this was a fading trend.  Only one library present actively has a desk that provides reference help in the evenings, although students seeking assistance during those evening hours is limited.  With other methods of meeting student needs such as one-on-one appointments, email, and the availability to easily meet online with a student the continuation of a desk may be irrelevant.  The large key for the removal of the desk is to help the librarian manage their time more wisely, as well as provide alternative solutions for students. Some libraries have found that one-on-one scheduling of appointments or having librarians be “on-call” during particular hours has been successful.


Innovators Group

Gateway has created a group to help with collaboration among various departments at their institution.  It has been successful in identifying and implementing ideas that help students navigate through college and allow better communication among departments.  In sum they’re implementing the things that just make sense.


Library Advisory Council

A collaborative group comprised of faculty, department heads, the library, and more all coming together to assist in making the library better.  The feedback from those in attendance assists the library in knowing what is going on with various departments and programs, and knowing the needs that the library may be able to fill.  This group has also been helpful in getting the word out about various library related activities and resources to all of the various departments. This group is meeting on a bi-monthly basis to begin and will eventually transition to once a semester or twice a year. 


Next Meeting

For our next meeting, prior to the SWON membership meeting on April 19, 2016 at Dayton Metro’s Miamisburg Township branch, Jack O’Gorman will be speaking.  This presentation will be all about data management and what this means for your library.  A further summary of this can be found on the event page:

Tags:  Academics  Meeting Notes  SIG 

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