Library Bootcamp helps grad students get comfortable
The Main Library is one of the largest buildings on MSU’s campus, but on Friday afternoon, librarians Ben Oberdick and Rachel Minkin tried to make it feel a little smaller.
The inaugural Library Bootcamp aimed to showcase resources for graduate students and highlight interesting parts of MSU’s library system.
Oberdick and Minkin spent an hour giving a tutorial-style lecture focusing on search engines, the library call system and other unique aspects of the library. The class started with a look at the physical layout of the library, and transitioned to instructions on how to use different resources like ProQuest and uBorrow.
Oberdick said 17 graduate students from 14 different departments attended the session.
“There isn’t really a time when we sit down and have a general session for (graduate students),” Oberdick said. “One of our main goals for this is to answer questions that new graduate students might have.”
Minkin, the information literacy librarian, said it will be hard to assess how well these goals were executed until they can observe feedback from the first group of students.
“Because it’s the pilot (program), we aren’t sure what information the students actually want yet,” she said.
Minkin said she was impressed with how quickly the word got out about the program.
“We did this with a relatively quick turnaround,” she said, “about a month or so from the point of conception to when we started working on it.”
Emily Blankenship is pursuing a master’s degree in social work and said she found the program helpful.
“If (anyone had) any other specific questions, (the program) was a very good lead-in workshop to being able to ask those,” she said. “I hope it becomes an annual workshop.”
Angie Belin, a master’s student in the Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education program, also was satisfied not only with the program, but with the MSU library system in general. Belin went to UCLA and said she is “far more impressed” with MSU’s libraries than the one at UCLA.
“I’m a loyal Bruin,” she said. “But these online resources are amazing.”
Belin did say, however, that she would like to see the program be more interactive than it was on Friday.
“It would be interesting if the students were behind a computer screen at the same time (as the instructors)” she said. “It would be nice to have that muscle memory.”