Friday, January 25, 2013

Freshmen Ethnographers in the Library

Earlier this semester Leah Fountain's English 102 students were greeted with a surprise when they came in for library instruction: they were going to be ethnographers for an hour!  Groups of students were sent to roam the library "habitat," observing and interacting with patrons, staff, and spaces.

As students explored, they took fieldnotes about their observations and drew maps of the library.  Some of their discoveries:
  • The Welcome Desk on the Ground Floor, staffed with a helpful-looking stick figure
  • Rolling white boards and dividers
  • The new and improved Reference Desk (aka the "Ask Here" desk), often labeled "Help" (which is exactly what it's there for!)
  • A "Cool New Room Thing" (an accurate description of the JA Brown Room on the Main Floor)
  • The brave, lone plant amongst the books in the Circulating Collection on the Second Floor
  • An intriguing "secret" door on the Ground Floor (actually just a sad room where office supplies go to die)
Take a look at some of the maps here:

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