A welcoming environment for young visitors

Community and campus partnerships help in bringing children of all ages to visit East Carolina University libraries.

This year has seen young students capture iPad photos while touring the main campus library, during a scavenger hunt-style activity with university librarian technician Walter Lanham, and a donation of a 53-year-old ECU yearbook by middle school students from Elizabeth City.

Campers work on website development in the ECU main campus library during a STEM camp.

ECU libraries recently assisted with the Boys & Girls Club and the College of Business in a unique experience for girls attending the ECU department of management information systems Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) summer camp. A library session in the research and instructional services area focused on website development and entrepreneurship.

A day inside the main campus library for Grifton School students included an informal meeting with ECU student employees Jaylyn Johnson and Allison Davis. Johnson and Davis not only talked to the teenagers about academics, but they also fielded questions about dining halls, time management, living in a dorm and other aspects of campus life.

“My favorite part of the trip was the (ECU) student Q&A,” said Grant Madigan from Grifton School. “I was enraptured that the students were able to answer my questions to the best of their ability. That trip was a blast.”

ECU students Allison Davis, left, and Jaylyn Johnson chat with visitors from Grifton School.

Some local teachers who have taken advantage of this on-campus opportunity are ECU alumni. As former students, they were able to assist ECU staff in providing their own insight about being a Pirate, which made their visit to the library even more meaningful.

The tour by Elizabeth City Middle School children during the spring semester focused on North Carolina and special collections. They donated a copy of a 1969 ECU yearbook that was found in their school.

“We were able to show them where the yearbook would be preserved and explain how important it is to keep materials from the past,” said Jennifer Daugherty, head of the North Carolina Collection. “We also showed them a historic map with Elizabeth City on it and several books about their town. The students were very excited to learn all about special collections. We loved having them.”

Laupus Library on ECU’s Health Sciences Campus was part of the July STEM-focused tour by high school students from North Carolina’s largest state-recognized Indian tribe, the Lumbee Tribe. The event was organized by Project 3C, a collaboration including Public Schools of Robeson County and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

Tours and informational sessions led by ECU library employees often contain an aspect of togetherness and are aimed at making a lasting impression on young minds.

“We are so excited to have students across our region visit the library,” said Charlotte Fitz Daniels, Academic Library Services events and program coordinator. “The library is passionate about the success of all students and we want to expose them to what ECU offers. These young people are tomorrow’s leaders. Our libraries can assist them obtain tools that can transform their lives and enhance eastern North Carolina.”

A Project 3C tour with high school students from the Lumbee Tribe included a virtual reality session at Laupus Library. (Contributed photo)

Entrepreneurship and website development merge inside the main campus library during the ECU department of management information systems STEM camp.