CLARKS SUMMIT — King’s College mass communications students are teaming up with the Abington Community Library to get the word out about all the library has to offer.
Last fall, students produced corporate videos for the library. The videos introduce people to the library and its services, volunteer opportunities, impact on the community and more. Last spring, the students produced short web videos which highlight elements of the library’s website and are useful for sharing on social media.
Scott J. Weiland, associate professor and department chair of mass communications at King’s, also serves on the Abington Community Library’s board of trustees.
“In this capacity, I have a great desire to see this organization, which is so important to the community, continue to thrive and grow,” Weiland said. “I pitched the idea of doing the corporate videos to the chair of the board, Carol Rubel and the executive director of the Abington Community Library, Sandy Longo, and we worked together to arrive at concepts for the shows.”
He added the partnership, which began last fall, was so successful, they decided to bring it back for this fall’s semester. The project is a graded assignment and a significant portion of the students’ overall grade.
William Bolan is director of King’s College’s Shoval Center for Community Engagement and Learning, which coordinates volunteer opportunities such as this. He said it allows the students to “enhance and expand their academic studies by doing relevant hands-on work that benefits the community.”
“Students can choose from 55 service-learning courses through their four years at King’s,” Bolan said. “Students can work in a soup kitchen or homeless shelter, help children with homework, volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, create a website for a nonprofit or help residents at a nursing home. First-year students are required to do five hours of community service their first semester.”
Weiland stressed the importance of the project for King’s College mass communications majors.
“Their job is to understand their client’s needs and meet those needs through video production,” he said. “Students research this project by watching corporate videos and informercials. What makes them effective? How are visuals used and audio used? ... Students reflect on course concepts that they used in the service-learning project and reflect upon their personal growth as a result of the service-learning project by writing entries in a reflection journal.”
Renee Roberts, project manager at the library, explained she and some of the other library staff members met with the students at King’s. Some of the videos they created promoted online services such as Anctery.com and Libby, where a person can listen to books through their electronic tablets.
“Community members tell us they did not know we offered these programs and they want to learn how to use these resources,” Roberts said.
The videos can be found on the library’s Facebook page and Twitter account.
“It is important for the community to know we have these resources available to them,” Roberts said.
Service learning is an important part of King’s College’s mission, according to Weiland.
“Our students obtain critical experience for their careers while proving a meaningful service to a great organization,” he said. “The Abington Community Library receives a product that they would not have the budget for and has the experience of working with our students and sharing the trials and tribulations that are native to a non-profit.
“It is an eye-opening experience for all.”