Information Update - Spring 1998

Library Participates in Freshman Seminar

During the fall 1997 semester the Bibliographic Instruction Team embarked on a new venture - participating in the Freshman Seminar course. Thirty-two one-hour sessions were conducted as part of the one-credit seminar course, introduced for the first time this fall. Since most seminars were oriented to a particular area or major, reference librarians, who teach the BI sessions, focused their presentations on electronic sources relevant to the students` major.
Each session was conducted in room 306 of the Weinberg Library, which is fully equipped with 16 workstations and an overhead projection system that allows the instructor to design a hands-on session, in which a demonstration is followed by actual practice. The seminars presented the perfect opportunity to introduce the Library's vast electronic collections to new students in a classroom setting with subject focus. Although the sessions varied by instructor and content, each session covered an introduction and follow-up exercise to three difference products. The librarian demonstrated FirstSearch, a recently added online collection of over 62 databases indexing journals, books, and documents. InfoTrac databases, including Expanded Academic Index ASAP (for full-text articles), and the CD-ROM databases especially helpful in the students' area of study. Faculty and staff who taught the seminar courses would often have a relevant assignment for their students to complete during the session. This made the presentations especially effective. If time allowed, a short introduction to the World Wide Web, via the University of Scranton's Homepage was also included. Since not all freshmen were enrolled in the seminar this fall, next year's effort to coordinate the sessions will be more involved. The need to avoid duplication with course-oriented BI and the Computer Literacy course will also be considered in planning for the fall of 1998.
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