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Zoom connects librarians with off-campus community at WSU
23 July, 2018

Zoom connects librarians with off-campus community at WSU

Western Sydney University (WSU) is using their AARNet Zoom service in many innovative ways to support teaching and learning.

A great example of this is how students, staff and alumni who are too busy to travel to campus can now use the Zoom videoconferencing service to discuss in-depth library queries with a librarian.

A recently launched Zoom with a Librarian trial offers 30-minute videoconference sessions to WSU library’s increasingly diverse on- and off- campus community.

“With the increase in online resources and teaching, as well as additional demands on students’ time, the library has responded by offering a more personalised virtual service to support its face-to-face offerings,” explains Cheryl Harris, Client Services Manager.

Cheryl says the Zoom with a Librarian trial provides students, staff and alumni with support for in-depth information, research and referencing queries. It augments the library’s existing Online Librarian service, which helps resolve simpler queries using live chat, phone and email.

“The questions so far via Zoom have been specialised research queries that benefit from screen or document sharing. Because we can ask questions throughout the Zoom appointment, we can check our clients’ understanding and make sure they get the information they need.”

Zoom, which is provided by AARNet to Australia’s research and education community, was selected for the trial because of the way it supports communication and learning.

“Zoom enables video, audio and screen sharing using personal computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones. Offering a non-device specific option like Zoom was a must for us, as our students, staff and alumni use a variety of devices and applications.”

Cheryl says the trial is proving successful, and the feedback they get is around whether clients get the services, information or resources they need, rather than the technology used.

“I think this speaks for itself. Zoom becomes the enabler rather than focus; the focus is on our clients and their information needs.”

In addition to the Zoom with a Librarian trial, WSU Library also uses Zoom for information literacy webinars, recording sessions for those who didn’t attend online and placing the link in the student learning management system for easy access and referral.

Beyond this, Cheryl explains that the Library has begun considering more ways it can use Zoom to support the needs of its user base.

“We’ll see how the Zoom with a Librarian trial goes, but we have a few ideas for the future as we have an increasingly diverse on and off campus student, staff and alumni community – so watch this space!”

Find out more about WSU Zoom with a Librarian trial.

Find out more about the AARNet Zoom videoconferencing service.