If You Knew Google Like They Know Google
Some librarians go to great lengths to connect with their customers. They add coffee bars and phone charging stations to their libraries to attract users, develop a “brand” for their library and reinforce it with marketing campaigns, attend departmental meetings and deliver presentations about their services, and create newsletters and other informational materials to help share library success stories.
At Yale University, the librarians go where their users are—on Google.
“In 2012, we began teaching students about Google search products,” write Kayleigh Bohemier and Melanie Maksin in the September-October issue of Information Outlook. “We decided to offer Google workshops after many of us participated in the ‘Power Searching with Google’ MOOC [massive open online course], which gave us an inside look at how engineers at Google intended to have their search engine used . . . We hoped to teach attendees how to successfully use Google products as a complement to library resources.”
Over the four years that the workshops have been offered, the courses have been tailored to better meet the needs and interests of students. Courses have also been added for staff and for the librarians themselves; the latter include a “meta-layer” in which the librarians learn how to teach the course contents to students.
All of the courses provide opportunities for the librarians to engage their users. In the faculty courses, for example, the librarians frequently initiate conversations about article access. The student courses, meanwhile, can lead to discussions about any number of topics, including copyright, free versus licensed content, and search strategies.
Kayleigh and Melanie used the workshops as the basis for a poster presentation at the SLA 2016 Annual Conference in Philadelphia. The article summarizes their experience in designing the workshops and gathering feedback from attendees to enrich the course content.