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‘Like’ing’ library instruction: reaching students using the libraryFacebook challengeJill Barr-Walker, NYU Abu Dhabi, jill...
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Barr-Walker & Russell - ‘Like’ing’ library instruction: reaching students using the library Facebook challenge

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Barr-Walker & Russell - ‘Like’ing’ library instruction: reaching students using the library Facebook challenge

  1. 1. ‘Like’ing’ library instruction: reaching students using the libraryFacebook challengeJill Barr-Walker, NYU Abu Dhabi, jill.barrwalker@nyu.eduBeth Russell, NYU Abu Dhabi, beth.russell@nyu.eduThe NYUAD Library’s new instruction program experiments with alternative ideasfor instruction and outreach, among them, social media applications. According to asurvey of college students in the United States, 91% use Facebook (Wiley & Sisson2006). Because of the popularity of this site, we chose to use Facebook to reachstudents in a space they use. This presentation describes a new initiative at theNYUAD Library, the Library Facebook Challenge, and reports on whether it wassuccessful as a form of library instruction.The Library Facebook Challenge provides library instruction to students on their ownturf in a fun and rewarding way. Every month, a new Challenge question is posted onthe Library’s Facebook page. An example of one Challenge question is: “Name alibrary database that contains international newspapers and give an example of a non-English language newspaper it provides.” In order to correctly answer the question,students must use the library’s website to locate the correct database, successfullynavigate the database, conduct a search for a non-English language newspaper, andnote the database name and newspaper title. Students have one week to answer thequestion. All correct entries are entered into a raffle for a prize and one winner ischosen.While many libraries have utilized Facebook as a marketing tool, few haverecognized it as a medium to provide bibliographic instruction. This program issuccessful on two fronts: students who ‘like’ our page automatically receive updatesabout new programs and services, while also receiving instruction from investigatingthe challenge questions. Since implementing the Library Facebook Challenge, ourpage ‘likes’ have increased 589% and student feedback has been positive. Based onthe success of this program we have shown that Facebook is a unique alternative to amore traditional pedagogical approach.ReferencesWiley, C. & Sisson, S. (2006) Ethics, accuracy and assumption: The use of Facebookby students and employers. Paper presented at the Southwestern Ohio Council forHigher Education Special Topics Forum, Dayton, OH.http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0193397308001408#bbib18(Retrieved 3 November 2011).

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