For any one of the 5,000 new students starting at UCD this year, there is the mix of excitement and also a bit of natural anxiety as you enter into a new environment, new buildings, systems and procedures to get to grips with. Our focus was to make a good first impression and to engage new students in a “fun” environment that also managed to impart key information about the Library.
Once again a number of library staff formed a group in the late Spring to coordinate the welcome efforts. Having the experience and first-hand knowledge from working on previous Orientation events was a significant help in generating new ideas and also fine tuning from past experience. Also this year the Library worked closely with UCD International in helping to make the overall UCD welcome for new international students a positive one. We hope that we achieved what we set out to do and there is of course more to the story beyond the official events, the always welcoming and helpful information desks, the presentations made by our College Liaison Librarian team and numerous additional tours provided by library staff.
We participated in the following events:
- UCD Registry’s Get Ready for Registration event (with 200 registered students and their parents in attendance).
- An information stand in the UCD International Global Lounge during the “meet and greet” and a stand at the UCD International Fair; our prize wheel proved to be a huge hit at this event.
- A pop up stand at various locations, including the O’Brien Centre for Science, Veterinary Medicine, Newman Building, Health Sciences and the Student Centre. Along with targeting key events in these locations during Orientation Week (4-8th September), we distributed information about the Library and answered student questions.
- Created an indoor “Welcome Garden” as a space for students to engage with Library staff in an inviting and neutral environment. We included the prize wheel where we were able to impart information in a “fun” manner that helped put new students at ease. We had a great array of prizes on offer, all adding to the initial welcome from the Library.
- A stand at the GradsCONNECT Fair in O’Reilly Hall; once again our stand was very busy, with over 800 students in attendance.
- A stand at the “How’s It Going” coffee morning in the School of Agriculture.
In addition we were very visible with our eye-catching posters, fliers, banners and notice boards, which all helped to set a very professional image of the Library. We were also very involved in social media, using the library social media sites and also being part of the campus social media with the #HelloUCD and our own #WelcomeGarden hashtag.
Library Orientation in numbers:
- 2,819 students attended scheduled tours
- 472 students attended unscheduled tours
- 1,325 new students entered our prize competition
- Over 600 students visited the Welcome Garden
For a selection of photos from Orientation 2017 please see this album on our Flickr site.