Last year, 722 high school students from Waco and the surrounding area came to Baylor's central libraries to work on term papers, history fair projects and other types of research, said Janice O'Bryant, library reference assistant. "The libraries welcome the opportunity to initiate young scholars into the world of academic research," she said.
Before beginning their research, the student groups meet with O'Bryant and Ethel Walton, coordinators for the visits, who present instruction in the use of the libraries' online catalog and many of the electronic databases. They are allowed to use the library computers and printers during their stay.
The first school group to visit the libraries during this academic year included 32 students from University High School and their teacher, Katie Butts. They came on Sept. 26 to work on their varied topics for the history fair. The students were required to find 15 sources, a combination of books and periodicals, and document their findings. They plan a return trip later in the year.
Teachers at area schools should make prior arrangements by completing an online request form available from the libraries' web page, http://www.baylor.edu/library/. Choose "About Us," then "Visitor Info," and scroll down to the heading, "Information for Teachers & School Groups," at the bottom of the page.
Teachers may also call Walton, 254-710-2349, or O'Bryant, 254-710-2319, to make their arrangements. Groups are encouraged to participate in the library instruction session and a brief tour before beginning their work.