Residential Services kicks off program to offer finals help during Reading Period

Edward Cox, Reporter

Northwestern Residential Services partnered with librarians and University writing tutors to offer help for finals assignments during Reading Period.

Throughout the week, librarians and writing consultants from The Writing Place staked out dining halls and residential halls in hopes of providing students with time-saving tools to complete essays or projects.

The program began Monday, when librarians occupied the Foster-Walker Complex lobby with computers to offer students help finding sources for research papers. Librarians were scheduled to be in the lounge from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.,  but only one or two students showed up for research help, Chris Davidson, the outreach and community services librarian, said.

Director of Residential Academic Initiatives Bradley Zakarin, who was involved in the program, said he believes it will make researching papers and writing essays more efficient for students.

A focus group organized before Thanksgiving made up of students and librarians laid the foundation for the new initiatives. Event organizers stationed librarians for and writing tutors at three campus locations.

Despite the tepid response to the program as of Wednesday, Zakarin said Residential Services is planning to continue the program during Winter Quarter.

“We decided to go for it even though the concept and the schedule was at the last minute, we thought it was worth a try,” Zakarin said. “(We) generally have a lot of ideas of how to do it bigger and better Winter Quarter.”

The program brings the library and its resources to students who don’t use the library often, Davidson said. Finding an outlet to better reach students is a goal for the library’s User Experience Department which was created two years ago, he said.

“By giving them the tools, we can make their research easier and robust,” Davidson said. “If we could push that out to a place they are not expecting, maybe we could help break down those barriers.”

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @EdwardCox16