More than 500 students from the Allentown School District got a taste of how Lehigh students use libraries when they toured and talked with LTS staff at Linderman and Fairchild-Martindale Libraries during a recent visit. The students from Cleveland Elementary and Raub Middle School were on campus March 7 to see The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation Live at Zoellner Arts Center.
The middle school students toured the study spaces, art exhibitions, and media resources in Fairchild-Martindale Library, before meeting with staff from the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning to experience virtual reality and the Visualization Lab. The students also talked with library staff about how university libraries help students and faculty, then shared their own views of libraries and the subjects of the Innovation Nation performance, responding to prompts like “How do you think innovators and activists use libraries?” and “What question would you ask the Wright brothers, Rosa Parks, or another innovator?” The Raub students, who mostly used words like “books,” “reading” and “quiet,” to describe libraries, were surprised by the computers, whiteboards, and technology in Fairchild-Martindale Library.
At Linderman Library, the elementary students were awed by the library and by the books on exhibition celebrating the 300th anniversary of Robinson Crusoe and the massive Audubon illustrated volume, Birds of America. As the students listened to library staff explaining the stained glass academic emblems in the Linderman reading room windows, nearby Lehigh students took a break from studying to hear the discussion and enjoyed the young students’ questions and comments about the library.
Students in both groups enthusiastically responded to the librarians’ questions, and, from the questions they asked, were already thinking about how they could one day become Lehigh students themselves. Lenore Pitsilos, Education & Community Engagement Coordinator for Zoellner Arts Center, offered her thanks to the outstanding Library and Technology Services staff, adding “It was such an invaluable opportunity to the school children from Cleveland Elementary and Raub Middle School.”
Boaz Nadav-Manes, Executive Director of Libraries, said “I was moved to witness on my first week of work at the beautiful Lehigh Libraries, LTS staff being deeply engaged with kids and educators from the area. I want to thank all LTS staff who led and supported these sessions for their commitment to make a difference in the lives of others. Such partnerships makes our university and community stronger.”