By Allison Campbell-Jensen
The conversations about taking a fresh look at the business resources page had been going on for quite a while among Business Reference staff Mary Schoenborn, Caroline Lilyard, and Maggie Parra. The need was apparent to them. “It had been a long time since we updated it and refreshed it,” Lilyard says.
They looked at the work of other schools and decided what they wanted. Then, this summer, Parra made it happen.
“It was the perfect time to also incorporate some of the remote learning and online accessible features that would help an online student find this content and navigate this content more easily,” she says.
Now featuring . . .
The redesigned business resources page has some new features, including one that Schoenborn is particularly excited about: the Library News, where the staff can highlight new resources recently licensed to meet emerging research priorities.
One of the outstanding new resources is HS Talks, which has funding support from across the Libraries. “It’s a really unique and timely collection for us to have,” Schoenborn says, “because it is case studies in various management and leadership topics, as well as other kinds of video content.”
Parra also praises this HS Talks. “I think it is a really amazing resource going into a really heavy remote learning semester,” she says, “because all the talks are given by experts in the industry and the field.” She notes that it correlates well to the online learning environment because instructors can imbed those videos in their coursework.
Also new is an events feature that pulls in items from such partners as the Toaster, the collaborative entrepreneurial center in Walter Library. In addition, a couple of previous features have been updated, Lilyard says, including “a refreshed Twitter feed [@UMNBusLibrary] to reach students with more timely updates.” And the promotion of individual subscriptions to the Wall Street Journal, The Economist and other publications has been made more visible, brighter and more attractive.
The staff also is changing the way they do virtual consultations. Parra will have regular office hours promoted in the Toaster, and Schoenborn, Parra, and Lilyard also have scheduled office hours during the week.
“We’re going to try that this semester because we do an extraordinary amount of individual and team consultations,” Lilyard says. “Many of those are in conjunction the experiential learning programs, such as the Enterprise Programs at the Carlson School. We’ll see how that works. We’re hoping that between the three of us, that helps us control our hours better.”
Still, they want the campus community to know that they are ready to help all users, even those who are not business students. They have served students from engineering, the Technology Leadership Institute, environmental sciences, the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, biomedical engineering, and more.
Easing the way
Important for users as well, Parra says, is the new guide Videos and Tutorials for Business Resources. This collection of user guides and how-to videos connects to publishers’ walk-throughs and tutorials on how to use their databases. “I do a lot of LibAnswers work,” she says. “I can see myself referring to this page for some of our more complex databases that we get a lot of questions about.”
The resources page has been improved with better description as well, and quick links have been added to frequently used databases. All in all, Parra says, “These changes will really benefit the navigational experience.”