September 21, 2011
Nine years ago, the faculty and staff at the Cunningham Memorial Library faced an issue. The library was not used as much as they expected so they decided to plan an event with a goal of getting students to the library and exposing them to the variety of resources available to them.
Now the Library Extravaganza, celebrated for the ninth year at Indiana State University, has accomplished that goal with more than 5,000 students in attendance according to Alberta Comer, dean of library services.
"The library seems overwhelming for many students," Comer said. "We try to break down the barriers and help students make sure they have all of the research materials they need."
At the Extravaganza, students explored programs and software that the library offers such as Fusion, Academic Search Complete and EndNote. Library staff also informed students about lamination services, interlibrary loan services, the archives and the writing center.
At the writing center booth, the staff announced that they will begin hosting workshops this fall for students to focus on specific areas of writing such as pre-planning and formatting.
Also featured for the first time at the Library Extravaganza was the Center for Student Research and Creativity. This center was established to help support students with experiential learning opportunities. The Career Center, Commuter Student Services and the African American Cultural Center also set up booths.
"We wanted to partner with other entities on campus," Comer said. "It is a great chance for them to showcase what they have to offer."
Although there was a lot to learn at the event, there were plenty of fun things to do as well as pizza to eat.
Cassandra Guarino, a sophomore elementary education major from Terre Haute, enjoyed the live band.
"You can hear it from literally anywhere on campus," Guarino said.
Guarino was also excited to learn about programs she never knew she could access.
"I basically lived in the library my freshman year writing papers," Guarino said. "But I didn't know we had ProQuest or EndNote. They will make writing papers much easier."
Khajah Johnson, a junior psychology and criminology major from Indianapolis, was also pleased with the event. As a resident assistant for Cromwell, she walked her residents over to explore.
"The Extravaganza gives freshman and returning students a chance to learn things about the library they didn't know," Johnson said. "It's a good educational program."
Over the years, the library has improved in multiple ways to be more student-friendly.
"We added a café and soft furniture and the numbers of students coming through the doors are going up," Comer said. "We truly try to be the campus living room. The library is here for the students and that is the main message we want to get out."
To access more information about the Cunningham Memorial Library and the services it offers, please visit http://lib.indstate.edu/.
Visitors stream into the Cunningham Memorial Library for the ninth annual Extravaganza, which introduces students to what the library offers.
Contact: Alberta Comer, dean of library services, Cunningham Memorial Library, Indiana State University, at Alberta.Comer@indstate.edu
Writer: Britany Dean, media relations assistant, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, at firstname.lastname@example.org
More than 5,000 students attended the annual event.