Strengthening Ties on Campus: Events in the Chang Science Library – Spring 2019

  • Students perform at the open mic night.

The Chang Science Library hosted exciting events in the Spring ’19 semester. Partnering with University Career Services (UCS) for the current academic year, the library replaced Martin Hall as a location for the popular Career Meet-Ups and weekly Drop-in Resume Critique Hours on the Cook campus in both semesters. Students were lining up in front of the newly minted Chang Consultation Room Tuesday afternoons to benefit from experienced career development specialist Larry Jacobs, who represents the UCS Food & Agriculture and Environmental & Natural Resources Career Cluster.

A remarkable poster exhibit evolved from a new partnership between the NBL SEBS Team and the SEBS Office of Academic Programs, which had started with an experiment to include a library component in the course Academic Mentoring in the fall semester. In April, undergraduate students of another course, Portals to Academic Success, visited the library to take pride in their work submitted during the library session of their class. Dubbed Books We Read, the assignment called for finding their favorite book in QuickSearch and, based on templates provided by the librarian-instructor, creating a poster with basic bibliographic information and availability at the Libraries. Complemented with images and quotes from the book or by other authors (and proper credits), over 100 small posters are now on display in the Chang Science Library.

Striving to balance schoolwork and pleasure, the library also hosted fun events. Indicating another strong partnership on campus started in 2018, Chang was chosen as one of the locations (with RUL goodies) for the Cook Campus Easter Egg Hunt hosted by the SEBS International Office, which added some diversion from the special SEBS international orientations and workshops held earlier.

A new partner in the spring semester, the SEBS Governing Council brought new excitement to the library. As only a few people signed up in advance, the Open Mic and Rutgers Roast event seemed to get a bumpy start, but turned out to be a huge success. A talented student opened it with his hilarious stand-up comedy routine, roasting Rutgers only mildly. It was followed by a poem recital and some personal stories from the audience, which put everyone at ease. Two undergrads ran Vine prompts, which encouraged participation from everyone, even if some, admittedly, felt suddenly old! Photos can attest that the 25+ attendees had a fantastic time and the idea may have some followers in other libraries in the future.

These events are examples of an attempt at Chang to meet students’ needs and wishes discovered by undergraduates of the course Social and Cultural Aspects of Design in Spring ’18. Taught by Laura Lawson, professor and dean, and Holly Nelson, associate professor of practice, the semester-long class assignment assessed and redesigned the Chang Science Library. Students’ data collection and analyses suggest that students would like libraries to become a place that provides educational, entertaining, and competitive events and opportunities for them during their studies.

Judit Hajnal Ward