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Vairo Library surveys social media possibilities 


Vairo Library surveys social media possibilities

By: Sara Piatetsky, Lion’s Eye Staff Writer,

The spring semester has been a semester where students and faculty have watched the campus slowly being to transform into a bigger, better Brandywine.

The changes don’t just come in big forms such as buildings and new ways to schedule courses.  Behind the scenes, the Vairo Library has been working on ways to change and better its reach and interaction with students on campus. Besides being a faithful hide away for finals and having spacious areas for group work, the library offers a lot more than printers and emergency cell phone chargers.

With finals approaching, the library will offer extended hours (including free coffee after 7 p.m.), a safe zone better known as the quiet zone downstairs, plenty of tables for projects and final paper touches from the Writing Studio. The library is also home to the media commons lab, the one button studio, and the STEM lab. However, students may not be aware of what the library offers because of a gap in communication between the library and students.

In March, Vairo library intern and a friendly face around the library, Malaika Hamid, lead a survey. The survey was conducted to discover what library resources students enjoyed the most and what visual and social media the library should adopt to better communicate with the campus community. The survey had 131 student responses.

Head Librarian Susan Ware explained that a word cloud was created based off of the survey showing how students perceive the library’s atmosphere. An overview of the results showed that students relate word such as: study, chill, procrastination and helpful with the library. The word cloud displays how the library can offer many different environments from the students’ needs and assistance.

“The library is looking into expanding its options for students,” Ware said. “We’re currently working on adding individual study pods to the library for students to work alone but still be a part of the library environment, the pods are a lot like the singular work places in the quiet zone.”

The most popular areas of the library, according to the survey, for students were the study tables, the quiet zone, and the group study cells.

“I spend a lot of time in the library and the Lion’s Den,” Senior psychology student Alexis Cavalli said. “I always read the messages on the screens because they’re typically attention catching and brief but information. I think they’re good resources for students because they give you the information you need and might want quickly without drowning you in details. I get a lot of event news and even the library hours from there.”

Eighty-nine percent of the respondents from the survey agree with Cavalli that they learn news about the library from the digital screen behind the front desk.

If the visual aids in the library are enough to make a large impression on the students who come through the library daily, the question is how social media can help as well. The library’s presence on social media could give students better access to library, research presentations, and other resources that become available to students through library.

Based off of the survey results, Hamid will conduct a focus group of 12 students. The focus group will be used to gather more detailed information about the preferred media for communication with the library students on campus.

There is currently a minimum presence of the library online, only through the library’s official webpage. The reach of a Facebook and Twitter account would not only be a way to inform students, but also the network of alumni of the exiting resources, services and development of the Vairo Library.

This summer the library staff plans to further the research based off of Hamid’s survey and focus group to improve the library’s communication strategies. Depending on the results, a Facebook and Twitter account may start in time for the fall semester.

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