Summer at Swem: Media Center Enhances Services

W&M Libraries staff have been hard work over the summer months. A few of them were excited to share their favorite project with the W&M community. Drea George, a multimedia specialist, shares on implementing a student training program that improves the Reeder Media Center’s service to the W&M community.

Share about your favorite summer project:
This summer, Stephen Locklin (RMC multimedia specialist) and I have been working hard on a student training program in Google Classroom which goes over the basic foundations of every piece of old and new equipment that we have. We have created individual modules for each category of equipment, space,  operational system, software, and a miscellaneous "Things To Know" category. Each module is complete with instructional Google Slides presentations with clear visuals, external materials like webpages and video tutorials, and quiz assessments to evaluate their knowledge.

What led to the initiation of the project?
During one-on-one consultations with us about their training, our students have generally expressed a desire for greater structure in their learning initiatives. We hope that this format will give them that structure; each module is designed consistently, and each quiz is designed to put a stamp on their understanding of the topic. We still offer and encourage opportunities to expand knowledge beyond the basics if they have the initiative to do so, but we are prioritizing operations and basics first. These are the key elements that help the RMC be its best.

What will be the impact of the project?
In prioritizing operational and basic training becoming second nature for our students, the whole campus community benefits. Our students feel comfortable and confident handling equipment and engaging with patrons: asking anticipatory questions, showing them how to use something, troubleshooting, and problem-solving. This practice is what elevates our service model. Patrons benefit from receiving informed advice from our students; they leave with not only a better grasp on their project, but also leave empowered with the confidence that they can accomplish their goals - with the reassurance that we are only a phone call, chat, or email away.

Mastership of this model will also simplify staff's administrative work - we anticipate less complication in our inboxes, and a reinforcement of trust among our student employees.