The Instruction and Outreach Department manages and coordinates library research instruction for students, faculty and staff through course-related workshops, outreach activities, personal consultations, research guides and other instructional materials.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What are all those high schoolers doing in the library?

In preparation for Western Alamance media coordinator and Duke Libraries volunteer Tim Johnson's talk next week, What's happening in high school libraries?, I find my thoughts shifting to the work that we've done with pre-college students this summer.

The Duke Libraries have a long history of collaborating with the Duke University Talent Identification Program (TIP), housed close to East Campus and responsible for administering a number of Summer Studies Programs and Summer Institutes.  This year has been no different -- with over a week to go in TIP Summer Studies Term II, Duke librarians have lead a whopping 32 instruction sessions for eager and motivated TIP students.  Research sessions have been lead by science, social science and humanities librarians alike and have included topics ranging from vampires in contemporary culture to the energy of physics.  

And our work with TIP students doesn't end with research instruction sessions -- Duke Libraries staff make it their mission to welcome these hard-working students and their equally hard-working instructors.  They enjoy many of the same privileges that all Duke students and faculty benefit from, including the ability to check out books and DVDs, access to all of our online resources and access to group study rooms, computer clusters and reading rooms.  If you've been in the library at all this summer, there's a good chance you've run into boisterous (but always gracious and respectful) groups of young scholars with their neon yellow and orange lanyards on their way to research the cancer of biology or draft their social psychology research proposals.

We realize that the time that these students and instructors spend at Duke is short (just two weeks in some cases), but we hope that they leave campus with a favorable impression of the Perkins Library System and a better sense of the role that the research library can play in their high school work and in their future scholarship.

There is, after all, a good chance that we'll see some of these students back at Duke in a few short years...

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