University Libraries Open House to take place virtually Sept. 7-18

August 12, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., — The start of fall semester is right around the corner and, though it might look a bit different this year, Penn State University Libraries is busy gearing up for its annual Open House.

The 2020 fall Open House will follow an online format that features a digital badge — a visual representation of a skill of competency that has been learned — for all participants who finish the virtual event. Students will be asked to perform a series of tasks (read a page, perform a search, watch a video) and provide a response or answer to questions that will be evaluated by Libraries staff and faculty. Students can watch this video to learn more about digital badges.

The Open House digital badge will be open to students for completion between Monday, Sept. 7, and Friday, Sept. 18, with evaluations completed by the Libraries before the end of October.

The Virtual Open House digital badge should take approximately one hour to complete and can be completed at the student’s own pace between Sept. 7-18. Once participants have submitted all their work and all steps have been verified, they earn the badge that can be shared with instructors by a link to the earned badge, a screenshot of the completed badge or a screenshot to the student’s profile. 

“What’s different about badge system — compared to a certificate — is that a human has to review each student’s submission to complete the evaluation portion of the badge,” said Megan Gilpin, outreach coordinator, Library Learning Services and organizer of the Libraries Open House. “Multiplied by approximately 3,000 students, and you can see that this will take some time!”

Students must complete five steps that reflect the University Libraries current event learning outcomes, minus the location aspects such as a stacks tour. They include:

  • How do I read a call number? 
  • What are library guides?
  • What is LionSearch and how do I use it?
  • What are course reserves?
  • How can I get help?

Faculty is encouraged to consider including student participation in the online Open House, either as a homework assignment or extra credit. By doing so, students gain an overview of the library that helps support their confidence in conducting research.

Questions about the Open House should be directed to

Last Updated August 26, 2020