Step Right Up!: Planning, Pitfalls, and Performance of an E-Resources FairNoelle Egan & Nancy Eagan, Drexel University Libraries
Explanation of Drexel’s community – FTE: 18000; largely Engineering and SciTech. Growing Business community, new Law school. Large commuter population and distance learning population.Elsevier visit mentioned support for internal events – free cookies and coffee provided for events.
We started thinking about an event as an opportunity to publicize our new library site to library traffic – especially undergrad students who use the library as a study space, but may have little knowledge of our offerings.
We decided to have up to 10 vendors and services represented at the fair, Elsevier, the sponsor, had 2 tables, and we otherwise decided to highlight e-resources librarians love but which are not used very heavily currently.
Hagerty Library’s entrance opens into a large atrium area perfect for the fair. Anyone entering the library will see the tables as they enter
Drexel’s Arts & Sciences programs run on a Quarter system (not semesters), so we decided to have the fair in the 2nd week of the Fall quarter, where we could catch new students and faculty before they are totally bogged down in the quarter.
We held a raffle as part of the fair, asking passersby to give us their name, email, and status to enter, with the chance of winning $10 worth of free printing at the libraries. Some did not enter the raffle, but the information we collected found that 96 people came through over the 4 hours of the fair. Library staff and the vendors were pleasantly surprised as the level of engagement the students possessed as they passed through. Most had a genuine interest in learning what the library had to offer, and seemed excited at the prospect of using our resources.
As a potential metric for success at the fair, we compared our usage data from fair participants from October 2008 and 2009. The results are rather inconclusive.
There were several ‘lessons learned’ to take away for the next time we have this event. The biggest challenge was getting everything set up well on the day of the fair, as our Atrium is not well-wired, and the university wireless system is unreliable. Another challenge was late-arriving vendors, and keeping enough library staff around to direct people. Overall, however, we consider the event a success, and will definitely be holding another like it next year.
Step Right Up! Planning, Pitfalls, Performance of an E-Resources Fair
OCTOBER OCTOBER % ChangeSESSIONS 2008 2009 CSA 2,449 2,269 -7.35%Elsevier ScienceDirect 14,257 15,126 6.10% Eng. Information Inc. 913 1,189 30.23% Knovel 429 435 1.40%Oxford University Press 347 185 -46.69% Mergent 164 597 264.02% Proquest 16,083 17,734 10.27% Simply Map 9 41 355.56%
OCTOBER OCTOBER % ChangeSEARCHES 2008 2009 CSA 16,173 21,858 35.15%Elsevier ScienceDirect 6,131 5,375 -12.33% Eng. Information Inc. 3,294 3,930 19.31%Oxford University Press 1,007 830 -17.58% Proquest 49,232 49,984 1.53%