Posted by: Emily | May 5, 2008

Citation Station!

Today begins week one of our Spring semester Citation Station, something we’ve been experimenting with for the past two years. A cheerful librarian makes herself available for assistance with un-confuddling citation stumpers like “How do I cite an image in APA?” and “What about DVD special features?” Our first year, we took ourselves over to the student cafe at lunchtime, parking a laptop and a Chicago Manual right by the door. It was a little uncomfortable–students didn’t exactly seem pumped to see librarians and reminders of paper deadlines with their chicken fingers and fries. Since then, we’ve tried just sitting in our office, hanging out at the reference desk, being available at lunch time, morning time, and late afternoons. This semester, we’re setting up every day from 10am to noon at the reference desk. We have sign. It has a clip art train on it.
I wonder at what point we’ll call the whole thing off. We never get any traction–I haven’t seen a student all morning. Still, part of me thinks that if we just keep sitting here, eventually they will come. Citation Station (and the foolish ‘choo-choo’-ing it engenders from otherwise staid librarian staff) could be every bit a part of the end-of-term ritual as donuts out on the lawn or naked beer pong in the periodicals section (don’t ask).  How much time do we give projects to succeed before we pull the plug?



  1. Citation Station is such a great idea that it seems like a shame to give it up. I think there are all sorts of variables that influence the success of something like this, but ultimately, if students don’t think they need it–even if we think they do!–then they won’t come. Maybe they’re finding RefWorks so helpful that they think they don’t need Citation Station?

  2. […] DVD special features in APA style.  Emily refers to this citation question in her earlier post on Citation Station, which is why our blog is coming up in the search results, but unfortunately, the searchers must […]

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