In 2012 – 2013, the library reflected on its mission and university needs and created the Polk Promise: Polk Library will provide research and educational materials, customer services, information instruction and learning spaces to students, faculty and staff in a modern, responsive and professional manner. The library staff committed itself to ten important strategies to keep its promise to campus. Three highlights of the year were:
- Enhance the discovery of library resources and services. In collaboration with our UW System partner libraries, Polk introduced Search@UW. It is a modern internet search engine that not only searches the library catalog. It searches from a simple search box, with one request, ALL the library resources available for university students, faculty and staff. The “everything” search includes full-text journal articles, books and media at all UW libraries, UW Digital Collections and more. It searches more than 75 million items! The results of the search can be easily narrowed to find the specific items that a user needs.
- Implement flexible information instruction programs that improve student information literacy and critical thinking skills. In addition to its successful library instruction courses and individual research appointments for students, the library in 2012-2013 worked with the University Studies Program (USP) to make students aware of the library as an important academic resource on campus and integrate basic information literacy instruction into Quest I courses starting in fall 2013. The library planned traditional face-to-face instruction and also developed a sophisticated online platform for training students on the discovery and use of information. ANVIL (Active iNstructional Videos on Information Literacy) pairs short videos with a timed and scored quiz designed in the style of popular restaurant computerized video contests. Instructors can add this to Quest I and other courses as they wish.
- Engage with campus priorities to help UW Oshkosh innovate in its mission to provide “quality educational opportunities to the people of northeastern Wisconsin and beyond.” The College of Business planned to offer its Masters in Business Administration degree with a second path in addition to its traditional method. The new path was called the Executive MBA, and its audience was mid- to senior-level executives whose time was in demand. COB contacted to library to help design a way that the readings for the course could be delivered to students via a simple e-book reader (Kindle) and/or its app. A team from the library worked with COB to make this type of information delivery possible. Also, through the collaboration between COB and Polk Library, a course librarian was assigned to EMBA so busy students could get research instruction and help as need in this innovative COB initiative.