Library Safari and iPads: Technology to Enhance Student Learning
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The Library Safari program, at the University of Maryland, aims at reducing freshmen anxiety about using a large academic library through structured exercises and teamwork. Students enrolled in UNIV 100 – The Students in the University come to a library workshop, are divided into small teams and assigned a set of unique exercises that introduce them to a variety of service sites, print and online resources, all designed to provide a greater understanding of how the main campus library is organized. Printed team exercises and hardwired computers have traditionally been used to conduct this workshop. In fall 2011, librarians plan to experiment by incorporating emerging technologies like the iPad into the way students interface with the physical library and its resources. Using an iPad, each Library Safari team will explore the library using the catalog, other online resources and to virtually complete a set of exercises. By semester’s end, analysis will be conducted to evaluate the users experience and the efficacy of the technology by comparing the results of students using iPads in 2011 to those who used traditional means in fall 2010. Results could determine what changes should be made to improve the Library Safari program.