Saturday with prospective students
One of the best parts of my job as Outreach Librarian is when I actually go out and do outreach. In other words, it's great when I get the chance to go out and spread the good word about the library. This past Saturday (Dec. 1), the University of Texas at Tyler held its Patriot Preview Day for prospective students and their parents to "visit our campus; meet our faculty, staff and students; and ask the college-related questions you need answered!" (from the website). The library, along with other campus groups and organizations, hosted a table during the University Showcase at the Herrington Patriot Center. This gave me a great opportunity to meet with prospective students and their parents. I greeted people: I had a chance to just chat and talk to kids and their parents about the university as well as the library. I told them about some of the services we offer, and I did emphasize that our students can access our catalog as well as our databases from home (of course, for databases, this does require a log-in, which I mentioned as well). I also answered a few questions. For instance, someone was asking about tutoring on campus, and I was able to refer them to services such as those offered by the Office of Student Success. In another example, a young lady was asking about library school, so that gave me a chance to talk a bit about what it is I do and how to get the education to become a librarian. For me, this is my first year at UT Tyler, so the event was a learning experience for me as well. I took a bit of time to walk around as well and get some information from the other groups. I also introduced myself to other campus people. Part of the reason I did that was to get a sense of just how many and what kind of services are available on the campus. Also, it is a way for me to make some contacts for library outreach as well. In addition, I also collect some of the literature the organizations and campus offices offer. I keep a small folder in my files labeled "campus information." This is something that helps me learn more about my campus, which in turn allows me to better serve my students and patrons. The library gets a lot of questions about other campus services, so the librarians are expected to know the answers. Attending events like this is one way for me to learn those answers. Plus I get to spend time with kids and parents. I would like to thank the Office of Admissions for inviting the library to take part in Patriot Preview Day. I am looking forward to participating again in the Spring (March 29, mark your calendars, folks). To our visitors, thank you for stopping by and spending part of your Saturday with us here at UT Tyler.