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What our Users are Saying About: Personal Research Sessions

Thursday, May 7, 2015 10:37 am

The ZSR Research and Instruction Team is embarking on some regular assessments of our services in and we have just gotten back results from a survey we did of the students who requested one-on-one meetings with librarians through our Personal Research Session request form during the spring 2015 semester. This is one of the primary services we provide to our students and we are constantly on the lookout for how to make them better. We are really pleased with the responses we got.

65% of the respondents met with a librarian one time during the semester while 35% met more than once. Most had heard about the service from their instructor or from a librarian visiting their class, but 16% had been referred by a friend. 23% had met with a librarian before this semester.

As for what the students worked on with the librarians, there was a wide variety:

100% of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement “The help I received in this session made or will make my research paper or project better.” They cited a variety of ways their session helped them including:

  • Finding more sources for my work
  • The librarian I worked with was extremely helpful and directed me toward invaluable resources.
  • Helped me understand how to navigate the ZSR website better
  • Before this I had no idea how to even start research.
  • More statistics that I could not find
  • I have better and more credible sources.
  • I had no idea where to look to find the transcripts for a trial that I wanted to cite. The librarian not only helped me locate this exact source, but she showed me how to access different primary source databases that I had never heard of before.
  • I am more confident of the sources i found

Perhaps the most gratifying statistic was that the students who participated in these sessions would come back and would recommend the service to a friend!

We will leave you with some of the great comments students had about the service! The full report will be up on the ZSR Library Assessment web page soon.

  • The most useful thing was how the librarian made me feel during our meeting. Not only did she help put me on the right research track, she also instilled a great amount of confidence in me by listening to my ideas and helping me shape them. Her enthusiasm for my project made me even more enthusiastic!
  • I was unsure and not confident about my topic, and the meeting helped me find sources and feel more sure about the paper.
  • I not only received the sources I needed, but I also received directions on how to access databases on my own.

Read with ZSR on Goodreads!

Monday, December 9, 2013 2:22 pm

ZSR is a building full of avid readers and you can often catch ZSR library faculty and staff chatting about books before meetings, at parties, during lunch, in our sleep :)

In an effort to extend those conversations to the wider world, ZSR has launched our own account on Goodreads, the social reading site, where we hope to share what we are reading with others. You do not have to be a member of Goodreads to follow our lists of books – just visit our profile page. If you are on Goodreads, we’d love to have you as a friend.

So far we have the following reading lists up and going with more to come! If you have suggestions for any of these lists, leave them in the comments or send us a message on Goodreads. Happy Reading!!

New ZSR Programs for WFU Alumni

Monday, December 2, 2013 11:21 am

The Z. Smith Reynolds Library understands that the need for good information does not stop when you leave college. In fact, sometimes it increases. That is why ZSR has provided library borrower cards to alumni free of charge for years. But we are always looking for ways we can assist our alumni who do not live close enough to take advantage of our print resources. We are now pleased to announce that we can provide access to three EBSCO databases (Academic Search Alumni Edition, Business Source Alumni Edition and Business Book Summaries) for use by WFU alumni from any computer anywhere in the world. For more information or to log in, visit the ZSR Alumni Portal.

Save the dates of April 4-5, 2014, for a weekend of intellectual engagement for alumni, co-sponsored by the Z. Smith Reynolds Library and the Alumni Office. Familiar faculty and campus leaders will discuss the theme of well-being from all sides, including; emotional, intellectual, physical, financial, occupational, environmental, spiritual and social. There will even be an opportunity for alumni to give their own lightning-round talks around these themes. If you are interested you can get on our mailing list by contacting Lauren Suffoletto, our ZSR Fellow!

Finally, ZSR is continuing its popular series of online courses, ZSRx, this spring. ZSRx is an effort to bring lifelong learning opportunities to the greater Wake Forest community. Offered by ZSR, these free online courses are designed to be informal ways to connect alumni, parents and families to new skills and ideas in an interactive online learning environment. The successful initial course, “The Cure for the Common Web,” was followed this fall by a course designed for Wake Forest parents: Deacon Development 101. Upcoming offerings include: Digital Publishing, Winter 2014 and Social Media, Spring 2014. Sign up to be updated about future offerings on our ZSRx page.

In these new programs and in all we do, ZSR strives to live up to its mission of helping our students (past and present), faculty and staff succeed.

Sources, Citations and Cocoa!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 12:39 pm

If you are working on a research paper or project this semester and would like a bit of help from one of the research experts at the ZSR Library, here’s your chance. We are holding two drop-in research help sessions during the end of the semester paper-writing season in ZSR Library classroom 476:

  • Monday, November 18 from 4PM – 8PM and
  • Tuesday, December 3 from 5PM – 9PM

We will have librarians available to help with any aspect of your research project from selecting a topic to citing tricky sources. Cookies and hot cocoa will also be available to help get you through the stress!

There is no need to sign up for a time, but if you would like to, you can use this link to our Google Calendar appointment scheduler to book a time and add it to your calendar.

If these times don’t work, you can always use our Personal Research Session request form to schedule an appointment with a research librarian at a day and time that is convenient for you.

We look forward to seeing you!

The Research and Instruction Team, ZSR Library

New Popular Magazines In Mandlebaum Room

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 10:51 am

Over the course of the last few years, several publications that had lived in the Mandlebaum Room on the popular magazine shelves either ceased publication or were cancelled. That left us ten slots to fill with new titles. The Research and Instruction team looked at usage data for our current popular titles and print periodicals that were not in Mandlebaum as well as considering gaps in subject coverage. This let us pretty easily identify ten titles to move out into the popular periodicals shelves. Thanks to Bradley Podair in Resource Services, the locations were changed in the catalog. Thanks to a great RIS student, Rachel Glascock, new tags were made for the shelves and the titles were brought out and added. The titles we moved are below – come visit!

  • Advocate
  • Art in America
  • Cheng Ming
  • Christian century
  • Film Comment
  • Golf Digest
  • Gramophone
  • Harvard Business Review
  • National Geographic Traveler
  • Publishers Weekly

RIS on Retreat!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012 9:18 am

Monday, August 6th the Research and Instruction Team took a day out of ZSR for a team retreat.We had the full twelve (!) person team in attendance (not an easy feat to accomplish) including Bob Hebert (who is transitioning to RIS over the next year), Charles Hildebrandt and our newest RIS member, Kyle Denlinger who was a trooper to go through this on his fourth full day on the job. Hu was very happy to have three other males on the team and it was a great chance for us to get to know our newer members better.

We met at the START Gallery in Reynolda Village where Marcus Keeley, who many of us know, was a wonderful host. After breakfast goodies and conversation we started with a discussion of our Strengthfinders results. Some may remember that The Clifton Strengthsfinders is an assessment tool you take that returns to you a list of your top five strengths out of a list of thirty-four. The idea behind the assessment is that organizations and individuals perform best when building on their strengths rather than focusing on their weaknesses. The ZSR leadership team and the Special Collections and Archives teams have all done the Strengthsfinders assessment and RIS had a very interesting and lively discussion as we looked at our strengths. I think it really helped us learn more about each other and where the natural tendencies are in our team. We have (to no one’s surprise) lots of thinkers in the group, but also several people strong on the interpersonal traits. We even have one futuristic person and two with WOO!

After a brief discussion of notes from the last Admin Council, I broke the team up into three groups and prepared them for the lunch discussion. I gave them the prompt that the new Provost announced he was going to build us a brand new library (wouldn’t that be nice!) and their job was to come up with ideas of how the public services on the main floor might be configured. I told them to think big and they did not disappoint.

There were some great new ideas but some common themes emerged. First, all three groups designed new space that was round and full of light. Second, all had the public services desks separate but in close proximity to each other and a general information or concierge desk that would triage patrons and get them where they needed to be. There seemed to be agreement that having all the help students would need located centrally within sight of each other was much to be desired but that a central welcome desk that could point them to the correct expert desk would alleviate any anxiety people might have about who to approach first. Third, there was a lot of new classroom, collaboration, quiet and student-friendly spaces that served the many different types of users we have. Finally, all groups looked to other WFU services that might be brought into the library. These included the Interdisciplinary Centers and Institutes, Student tutoring services, The Math Center, and The University Information Desk (currently in Benson). I think this shows a real recognition of ZSR as the heart of the university and our willingness to collaborate with other units on campus to make sure the services our students need are as convenient for them as possible. If you want to see a bit more of what we came up with here are files from Group 1 (Lauren, Ellen, Kaeley and note the placement of my office in this one – VERY NICE), Group 2 (Hu, Charles, Sarah and Joy) and Group 3 (Kyle, Bobbie, Mary and Bob).

We wrapped up the day with a discussion of our Team Goals for next year and some general RIS business as we look forward to back to school. All in all I think it was a good day, and I hope my team does too! I apologize for not getting a picture of us.

Light @ the End of the Gov Docs Tunnel (almost)

Friday, July 29, 2011 12:00 pm

Those of you with really great hearing might have heard me breathe a heavy sigh of relief this past Thursday when we dropped off the 23 boxes of Gov Docs at the UNC library. The delivery represented the end (more or less) of the VERY long Gov Doc weeding process that began back in 2004. During the process we weeded, listed, waited and weeded some more. All in all I think we got rid of 65% of our print Gov Doc collection maybe more. What remains is a much leaner and more useful collection focused on our own curriculum and documents of historical significance. As I type students are shifting the collection and once that is done we will have a better idea of how much space we cleared out for use by Patrick to give breathing room elsewhere in the stacks.

Although this part of the process has come to a close, there are still some loose ends to tie up. First of all, our bound Gov Doc periodicals that we are keeping need to be sent to off-site (Patty, come back soon!!) We also need to weed our map collection where we will focus on keeping North Carolina maps and not much else. This will free up several map cases for Special Collections to use. Our print Serial Set collection, which turns out to be one of the most complete in the state, will most likely get moved offsite. I also have a dream of doing an inventory of our Gov Doc collection so we can clean up our stray records in Voyager for docs we do not have on our shelves. The microfiche Gov Doc collection also needs to be weeded. I had better stop thinking of things or this could go on forever.

Much thanks goes to all of those who have helped this process along the way. Lauren Pressley did some of the earliest weeding, an army of students pulled, scanned, boxed, reboxed and shifted the documents, Erik and Tim created and helped pull data from our weeding database, JP helped delete literally tens of thousands of records from Voyager. Steve and Patty took over the processing of incoming documents and Patty did an amazing job cataloging items that were not in Voyager. Mary Scanlon helped make some tough decisions on what to keep and not keep and everyone in RIS tolerated book trucks, dusty documents and my intensity to see the project through. Thanks to everyone I think we have made a collection better and more useful and freed up much needed space for other purposes.

Embedded in Art Seminar

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 4:23 pm

As many of you know, I am a HUGE fan of the American Architect Frank Lloyd Wright. HUGE. So when I noticed that Peggy Smith in the Art Department was teaching a seminar on him this semester I asked her if I could sit in on the class in return for being the ‘embedded’ librarian and helping her students with research. She agreed and over the break she shared her syllabus with me and I, in turn created a research guide for the class. yesterday was the first day of class. I had expected mostly Seniors, but the makeup of the class ranges from Sophomores to Seniors with various experience with and knowledge of Wright. The assignment for the first day had them interview two people about what they knew about Wright and to Google him and find out an interesting fact. It turned out to be a great way to get the class talking and as various issues were brought up in the discussion I was able to find more information online and I posted links on the ‘Class Notes’ tabs for students to refer to later. I will also be helping students research for various class presentations and their final paper. I am REALLY looking forward to the class and will post updates during the semester. I leave you with a great Wright quote: “A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.”

ZSR in Five Words

Tuesday, October 26, 2010 10:51 am

Earlier this fall the ZSR Marketing Committee solicited Wake Forest students, faculty, staff and friends to tell us the five words they think of when they think of ZSR. We received over 100 entries and 500+ words. We took the words that were submitted and created a word cloud from the most popular words that shows just how people think about us. We were so thrilled with the results, that we now have the word cloud hanging in our light box by the front door! Thanks to all who submitted words! ZSR in Five Words Word Cloud

ZSR Welcomes New Students

Thursday, August 19, 2010 7:24 am

This Fall the ZSR Library is excited to welcome the WFU class of 2014. Our mission is simple: To Help Our Students, Faculty and Staff Succeed. Over the next few weeks we look forward to meeting you in our classes, as our student workers and as you come to the building to study or to grab a cup of coffee at Starbucks. We think you will discover that ZSR is the heart of campus and you will very likely spend a lot of time here over the next few years! Welcome to WFU, and we hope you know that if you ever have any questions – just ASK!

Here are some of the things we have planned over the next few weeks! We hope to see you here!

  • Monday, August 16th at 9am: Introduction to ZSR for the new class of Magnolia Scholars.
  • Thursday, August 19th from 8am – 4pm: ZSR will be at the Campus Services and Information Day in Benson. Visit our table where you can find out about our services, or classes or jobs in the library or visit the Lenovo Friends and Family table where you and your family can order computer equipment with a portion of the proceeds helping out ZSR.
  • Friday, August 20th at 10:30am: ZSR staff will be meeting with the international graduate students for an overview of our services.
  • Tuesday, August 24th at 2pm: staff from ZSR will be leading the computer training for new Graduate Students.
  • Friday, August 27th from 9pm – 11pm: Come to ZSR after hours to play Capture the Flag!!

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