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VCU Libraries welcomes students with virtual Library Fest

July 23, 2020

Every fall, VCU Libraries welcomes students to a new academic year in a variety of ways, including a large event called Library Fest.

In years past, Library Fest has been an in-person function at James Branch Cabell Library, featuring tables highlighting important resources, from the Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences to the Innovative Media Workshop, as well as key campus partners. The event attracts thousands of incoming and returning students, as well as faculty and staff, and is a highlight of VCU's Weeks of Welcome.

Library Fest will still take place this fall, despite the pandemic. Because there is no way to gather large groups of students safely, the event forgoes the in-person experience in favor of a virtual one.

"Whether students are taking classes in person or studying from home in Richmond or hundreds of miles away, they still need access to the libraries," says organizer Donna E. Coghill, community engagement librarian and coordinator of campus partnerships. "Given how isolating the pandemic can be, it's more important than ever that we make sure students know the libraries are open and we’re ready to help in person and online."

Virtual Library Fest will consist of a series of brief, informal videos featuring many library departments and services. The videos will be rolled out over the course of the Weeks of Welcome (Aug. 16–Sept. 12) on social media and will also be shared directly with faculty and staff so that they can tell their classes.

Videos will feature spaces and services and include:

  • A welcome to VCU Libraries by Teresa L. Knott, interim dean of libraries and university librarian
  • Tour of James Branch Cabell Library
  • An overview of Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences spaces and services
  • Information Services and Learning Spaces
  • Academic Outreach
  • Special Collections and Archives on both campuses
  • Digital Engagement
  • Innovative Media
  • The Tompkins McCaw Library Makerspace
  • Research and Education at Tompkins-McCaw Library
  • Collection Analysis and Investment
  • Open Educational Resources
  • The Health & Wellness Library
  • Resource Sharing and Delivery Services

"We're looking forward to enhancing the student experience by meeting and engaging with students virtually,” says Emily Hurst, interim director and associate dean of Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences. “Using virtual platforms, we hope to build connections with all library users, whether they choose to come to our physical buildings or continue interacting with us online. VCU Libraries is here to help them succeed."

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