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Tuesday, May 17 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Poster Session 3: Poster Board Number 131

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Poster Board Number: 131
Title: Low Cost and Low Effort Events for Effective In-person User Engagement
Objectives: To increase patron awareness of the library’s role as a place to learn about new technology that supports the work of health professionals and students, and to learn more about our patron's use of technology by providing easy to organize and support in-person events.
Methods: In 2010, our library recognized that we were doing a good job of engaging our patrons online via social networking tools. We also wanted to continue to develop relationships with direct personal contact. In the past, the library’s organized events had been time intensive and therefore costly. We developed two ideas that provide high user engagement at a low cost: a technology “petting zoo” and a monthly talk series called “First Thursdays at the Library.” The two-day “Petting Zoo” was a library-staffed table located in high-traffic areas of our academic health sciences center that exhibited different technology, such as smart phones and an iPad. “First Thursdays in the Library” is a centrally located, monthly event where participants view a talk on a specific topic, and an outside expert facilitates discussion. The library’s emerging technologies librarian often displays topic-appropriate resources at this event.
Main Results: Over 340 people attended the 2-day technology “Petting Zoo.” Documented feedback from attendees and library staff was very positive, and results of an informal poll about technology use obtained. “First Thursdays in the Library” has consistently attracted approximately 45 attendees each month. Comments have been favorable.
Conclusion: High patron engagement has occurred, and minimal effort is required to organize and staff both events. One immediate innovation made after the “Petting Zoo” is that the library now has iPads available for patron checkout. We expect that connections made with patrons during these events will result in ongoing conversations about technology use in the curriculum and clinical areas, and a greater awareness of the technology expertise and resources available from the health sciences library.
Authors: Elaine M. Attridge, Marketing Librarian/Physician Librarian; Ellen Ramsey, Manager, Technology in Education; Daniel Wilson, Associate Director, Collection Management and Access Services; Information Services; University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA


Tuesday May 17, 2011 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Exhibit Hall A - Minneapolis Convention Center

Attendees (16)




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