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Popcorn and a Movie: Popular Science Collections as an Opening Act Public Deposited

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  • As a research-intensive institution with an emphasis on STEM fields, our collections and instruction reflect the scholarly communication of these fields. Typically, we highlight our collection’s academic resources such as journals and discipline-specific reference sources. While these sources provide a research-focused foundation for our students, they might not always spark curiosity or encourage multidisciplinary exploration. Popular science sources like books or movies are much more likely to fill that niche. Based on the STS Program “Librarians as a Force for Science” at ALA Annual 2018, we asked if featuring popular science sources from our collection could encourage students to engage in new ways with our collection. Because we do not have a separate science library, our first step was to survey what popular sources were already distributed throughout our collection. Next, we scanned reading and award lists to see what popular sources might be missing from our collection. Then we sought targeted audiences to whom we could promote popular science sources. From past projects we knew not to rely solely on self-directed student engagement. We reached out to science-themed student clubs and asked whether they would be interested in using popular science sources to develop their events. Several clubs agreed and were especially interested in using movies. We have now held successful movie screenings with these clubs. In our poster we will discuss the process of promoting our popular science collection, as well as what we have learned from this form of student outreach.
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  • Damschen, K. and H.G. Rempel. Popcorn and a Movie: Popular Science Collections as an Opening Act. 23 June 2019. ACRL Science & Technology Section. Washington, D.C.
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  • Washington D.C., USA
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