Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The WOW Factor

When I received my MLS in 1989, computers were just beginning to creep into the library program. During my first year as a librarian we learned how to mail merge on the Apple IIE to help organize our overdues. We were in the process of weeding our collection and preparing the shelflist for retrospective conversion. Our students know little of a world without computers, cell phones, DVDs and other electronic devices. It’s been a daunting task to compete with the virtual world outside the library but I’ve found the WOW Factor.

I see my middle school students in English classes every-other-week for circulation. English teachers give me roughly 15-20 minutes a visit for a library related presentation and the remainder of the time is spent on checking out books. During their first visit I showed a prezi with some family pictures, a few library expectations and an embedded video. The students still talk about the video and have asked that I put a link on our Destiny homepage. This was the first prezi the students had ever seen and they were impressed with the new technology. On their 2nd visit I presented the students with another prezi of the top 10 all time favorite books. Again, they loved the anticipation for the next click.

I’ve tried to add something new to each and every visit and I began my presentation today with, “I want to teach you 3 things today.” After showing them how to log into Destiny, reserve a book, renew a book, write a book review and find book trailers in the book catalog I heard a young man say, “I learned something today,” after he renewed his own library books. The WOW Factor doesn’t have to be a full length DVD but can be as simple as showing them how to be a better student. Whether it's beginning the lesson with a voki, showing an animoto video from a school event or looping book trailers for viewing, take time out to demonstrate some of these new and exciting ideas and watch the effect it has on your students. They too like to learn.

Image from Creative Commons
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