Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL)

Library ‘Orientation’ services
(ANU 10/12/99)
Responses as of 7 March 00
Updated 17 April, 2000
A total of 24 Libraries responded to this survey. Many questions were answered in great detail. The responses in the attached table were severely abbreviated due to confining space. 1. What information sessions do you provide for new undergraduate students during orientation week (please list)?

Library tours are the main form of information sessions supplemented by electronic demonstrations and web based introductions to Library services. Other sessions of note include:

ADFA Library Awareness Week

Deakin – CD-Rom "Deakin Learning Toolkit

Lincoln – compulsory Library orientation tied to release of semester results

NTU – 8 week Information skills program

QUT – Learning support programs

UQ – new AskIT Program

UWSN – modular info skills program "getting to know your library"

University of Wollongong – Information Literacies Introductory Program – ILIP100

Swinburne – Lilydale – assessable Information Literacy program

University of Melbourne – class demonstrations including Buddy


2. Do you prepare and distribute specific information handouts for orientation week, and if so what are they? A combination is reported where some Library produces specific information for Orientation and others distribute information that is available at all other times throughout the year. Tours are usually advertised through a number of means including the web. 3. Do you give web-based demonstrations during orientation week? 4 Libraries report NO with the rest reporting to varying degrees some web demonstrations. General comments include that students have enough to absorb in Orientation week and web based demonstrations are better left until a later stage. University of Melbourne has a information kiosk in Baillieu and PowerPoint presentations in other libraries. 4. Does your Library have a post-graduate and new academic orientation program? Generally the answer is no (with the exception of ADFA, UQ, USA & UWS Macarthur). All others are incorporated into their respective University programs or schemes for new post-graduates and academics. This ranges from information sessions through to individual contact. University of Tasmania receives a monthly report on new academic appointments allowing individual contact to be made. University of Melbourne employs a consultant in the School of Graduate Studies. 5. How do you measure the effectiveness of your orientation program? Most evaluation is anecdotal or statistical, ie numbers attending sessions. Lincoln will trial evaluation forms in 2000, QUT uses questionnaires and web based online forms, Adelaide incorporates a skills tutorial test, USQ uses a print based form & UTS has evaluation forms and focus group feedback. However, overall little evaluation seems to be available.


6. Would you consider moving to a web based demonstration as the sole orientation week service? While a number of Libraries report that web based demonstrations will be considered, none are happy to move to web based demonstrations solely. Virtually all reported that face-to-face contact is considered most important during Orientation. VUT added that many students do not have adequate access to IT infrastructure, and UTS added that Orientation provides information to staff about the competencies of incoming students. 7. Any other comments? Generally, web based orientation tutorials are seen as a useful adjunct to face-to-face orientation services, but will not replace them.
Colin Steele

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