The last time the Library participated in an in-person Highlander Orientation event was back in 2019.
The summer of 2022 saw the return of in-person Highlander Orientation sessions. The two-day orientation, mandatory for all incoming first-year students, has 11 sessions throughout July and August and is an opportunity for incoming Highlanders to familiarize themselves with campus technology tools, register for classes, and discover campus services and resources.
The UCR Library participates on the first day of the orientation, during the Involvement Fair on Pierce Lawn. The fair offers incoming Highlanders and their parents a relaxed environment where they can learn about UCR departments and clubs on campus.
Early Experience Teaching Librarian Michael Yonezawa was thrilled to have the opportunity to connect with incoming Highlanders once again.
“Words cannot express how meaningful it has been to welcome our newest Highlanders to UCR in-person,” Michael said. “Seeing their smiling faces and sharing with them the many services and resources waiting for them when they return to campus in the fall is special and should never be taken for granted.”
Students coming to UCR from high school or a community college may not know all that a university academic library at a tier 1 research institution like UCR offers.
“The closest comparison would be going from a pond or lake in the case of a high school library, to perhaps the rivers and seas at a community college, to the vastness of the oceans at a university academic library — such as the one at UCR. In addition, UCR students have access to information available across the entire UC System and beyond through services such as Interlibrary Loans,” Michael explained.
Special Collections Public Services Outreach & Community Engagement Librarian Sandy Enriquez also participated in the Involvement Fairs. Sandy sees the value in connecting with students early in their college careers.
“I think it's important to plant a seed early on about what the Library offers. The longer you’re in your academic program, the more central the Library and its resources become. If you know from the get-go that there are experts here, ready to help you and connect you to different resources, it saves you time and energy later on,” Sandy said.
Highlander Orientation is also an opportunity to let incoming students know that the UCR Library is a welcoming space and it’s here for all Highlanders to use.
“Students will often experience library anxiety which can include a sense of not knowing how to use the Library to feelings of not belonging,” Michael explained. “The sooner we can reach out to new students, the sooner we can let them know that the UCR Library is our Library and that it is a welcoming space for everyone to come learn, explore, and discover.”