by Susan Lieberthal
The Library Staff at the Melville Library has been participating all summer in the numerous orientation days organized for new incoming students at Stony Brook. Orientation begins in the lobby of the SAC. Several vendors and university departments take tables to show the services they offer students. The library staff started off using the counter at the north side of the lobby. This seemed to marginalize us and lately we have taken one of the tables in order to be closer to the flow of students and their parents.
We have distributed some leaflets about the library and the campus in general. We have also given out many “freebies” consisting of refrigerator magnets with the library’s URL printed on it, and post-its with the library’s URL printed on them. The library is in possession of a large green table covering with our logo and this is laid out on the table before each orientation. We also have a screen shot of our home page which has been made into a laminated board and sits nicely on the table.
The magnets have proven very popular with parents. However, pointing out the URL on the magnet has been a useful way to talk to students about our rich database collection that is available to them once they have their student ID.
The library staff began by staffing every orientation. It soon became clear that our time was not spent in a constructive way on the days when there were the very small orientations for specialized groups. We therefore decided to participate only when the large groups had their orientation. I for one was very busy welcoming students, their parents, handing out freebies and bragging about how many databases we had.
Being part of the orientation has been very important for our image. Also the friendly welcome, and help directing people to the orientation tables, Seawolves café and restrooms has gone a long way towards welcoming everyone to Stony Brook and all that it has to offer them.