In Dean of River Campus Libraries (RCL) Mary Ann Mavrinac’s mind, a lot of things are hidden in a digital environment.
That’s the rationale behind hosting “pop-up programs,” the new paradigm for Evans Lam Square, the library’s latest foray into all things high-tech-. At the RCL student forum on Tuesday afternoon, Head of Outreach, Learning, and Research Services Kimberly Hoffman explained how she envisions using the relatively new space to make students more aware of what resources the library has to offer
Pop-up programs are impromptu events, usually held in Lam Square or one of its antechambers. According to Hoffman, they might serve any number of purposes, such as showcasing student artwork, or highlighting the “hidden” digital services available in Rush Rhees.
Pop-ups from the fall semester included a dance performance by a senior student, a workshop on the library’s streaming video resources, a workshop on how to search databases, and an exhibit of AIDS education posters. This semester has seen several of pop-ups as well, including an exhibit of vintage Valentine’s Day cards from Rare Books and Special Collections.
Hoffman stressed the difference between pop-ups and more traditional library workshops, in which a single librarian would work with a single class or group to help them use the library’s resources. Pop-ups, she said, are intended to be more open to the campus community, and might be run by various librarians from different fields. They’re also meant to be more interactive, and to work around students’ schedules rather than take up large blocks of time.
The librarians make an effort to host pop-ups at times of the semester when they’re most relevant or useful to students, Hoffman said. Earlier this semester, the library hosted a pop-up on how to use the library to prepare for job interviews by reading up on potential employers—this pop-up was held in advance of the Career Center’s job fair, when students might need it the most.
Some of the students in attendance at Tuesday’s forum said they regretted not hearing about the job interview pop-up in time to attend.
Hoffman and Student Experience Liaison Sarah Thornton said that pop-ups are mostly advertised on the library’s Instagram and Twitter accounts, as well as traditional flyering, but that they would look into advertising on Facebook as well, in order to reach more students.
Two pop-ups are already planned for next month: a public meditation senior project, and a pop-up with the theme, “#ThankALibrarian” on April 12.