Z. Smith Reynolds Library Annual Report 2021-2022

From the Dean

In the academic year 2021-2022, we returned to in-person services and rebooted our outreach programs and student engagement. Faculty and students welcomed the return of in-person services but also liked the flexibility of continued online options. Students greatly appreciated the return of in-person events like Wake the Library. During finals this spring semester, we received this heart-warming note from an appreciative student:

Handwritten note in purple ink held in place by green thumbtack
“ZSR keeps me going through everything… I can’t thank you guys enough for working so hard to help us students work hard. ZSR is my most favorite place ever + I will miss it over the summer! THANK YOU #ZSRForever”

I continue to be impressed by the creativity and dedication of ZSR staff and faculty who carried on despite ice storms, fertilizer plant fires, and rabid raccoons. I am excited to see what we can accomplish in the new academic year!

Tim Pyatt, Dean


  • Study Sundays in ZSR

    Each Sunday last September, we featured a different space or service in ZSR and offered snacks and free giveaways of water bottles, cell phone wallets, and study aids. Over the five weeks, 187 students swiped into these events, and many more participated, grabbing a snack or a giveaway item.

  • Game Nights in ZSR

    We partnered with several student groups to offer after-hours game nights one Friday a month in August, September, and October. For the October game night, we teamed up with the eSport club, the Board Game club, and the ZSR Ambassadors to create a fun evening that included a tournament and a Halloween costume contest. Over 70 students attended the event.

  • Parents and Family Weekend

    We sponsored a program on Mis/Disinformation online in Pugh Auditorium with 42 attendees, an Open House in Special Collections and Archives with 90 attendees, and gave eleven tours for 76 students and families.

    Screenshot of The Perfect Storm: Mis/Disinformation and the Coronavirus online workshop

  • In-Person, Hybrid, and Online Programs

    We offered a mix of in-person, hybrid, and online programs. For Deacon Brews, Special Collections & Archives created a popup exhibit on WF Athletics, focusing on the 50th anniversary of women athletes at Wise Man Brewing on Oct. 21st. Other programs featured Wake Forest basketball legend Muggsy Bogues, Professor & Chair of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Dr. Julia S. Jordan-Zachery, and Mary Tribble, Senior Advisor for Engagement Strategies. These programs can be viewed on our YouTube channel.

  • Graduate Student Thesis Research Retreat

    We were able to return to an in-person retreat for our graduate students, providing concentrated time for writing and research during fall break.

  • Wake the Library

    We offered a variation of our popular final exam support for students with grab-and-go snacks and exam survival kits during finals in the fall and spring semesters.

  • Expanded 24/7 Seating and Services

    We now have 200 seats available 24/7. We have added a water bottle filling station and a “healthy snacks” vending machine to allow access to snacks and caffeinated drinks after Camino, the coffee and pastry shop in the library, closes. This library area also holds our popular touchless smart lockers for 24/7 access to retrieve requested items from library collections and two multifunction printers/scanners/copiers.

    Panoramic view of Room 330 study space

  • Integrating Information Literacy Skills in Introductory Courses

    We held two faculty workshops in August 2021 and May 2022, with a dozen faculty participating in each session. These three-day workshops helped faculty develop and include information literacy concepts and skills in their courses.

  • Launch of Yellow Leaf Publishing

    Yellow Leaf Publishing logo

    In Spring 2022, we launched Yellow Leaf Publishing. This digital publishing service aims to expand the possibilities for digital scholarship, digital pedagogy, and open education at Wake Forest for faculty and students. Yellow Leaf Publishing facilitates open-access digital publishing with iterative texts, powerful annotation tools, rich media support, and robust community dialogue. Yellow Leaf Publishing can transform ideas into living digital works.

  • DH@Wake Summer Institutes

    The 2021 theme, Community and Collections, highlighted collaborations by research teams at Wake Forest University, the University of Washington, and the University of Delaware, as well as innovative digital humanities classroom collaborations that have bridged divides between the university and community organizations. This event was open to participants beyond Wake Forest. The 2022 DH@Wake Summer Institute was held in person and returned to its workshop focus. The Institute focused on opportunities and resources for digital publishing in teaching and research activities.

  • ACCelerate Festival

    Several ZSR Library faculty, as well as students from their First Year Seminar class, represented Wake at the ACC Creativity and Innovation Festival at the Smithsonian Museum of American History. Their exhibit was Fake News, Fact-checking, and Facebook: Teaching misinformation and disinformation in the perfect storm. Roz Tedford and Hu Womack were the project co-leaders.

Library Instruction

As one of the few academic libraries that offer credit-bearing instruction without being associated with a School of Information and Library Sciences, our curriculum distinguishes ZSR from its peers. And based on a study conducted in 2019 with Institutional Research, we know that our courses contribute to student success. We learned that:

  • LIB100 students have higher GPAs than non-LIB100 students in the semester they take LIB100
  • LIB100 students earn and attempt more credit hours than non-LIB100 students
  • LIB100 students also tend to participate in other positive behaviors, like intramural sports and visiting the writing center

In AY 2022, the Library returned to in-person teaching with some classes taught online. We continue to see growth in demand for credit courses. We added six new LIB290 classes on topics ranging from Information Literacy for Engineering to Examining Common Challenges in eBusiness. Library faculty also developed and taught three First-Year Seminars on topics such as Misinformation and Disinformation and Digital Humanities.

  • AY20 (pre-COVID): 37 sections of LIB courses for 569 students
  • AY21: 32 sections of LIB courses for 460 students (all taught online due to COVID)
  • AY22: 43 sections of LIB courses for 607 students (12 online, 31 in-person)

Graph showing LIB sections and students

Supporting ZSR

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, several new funds were created:

  • The Inclusive Student Life Project fund was established to support the creation and collection of audio and video interviews and artifacts to document the Wake Forest experience, with particular attention to women’s voices that are rarely heard in official histories. This initiative will help the Library document different groups at Wake Forest and preserve their stories in the Archives. It will also allow us to create physical and virtual exhibits and events that share and celebrate women’s history in their own words and through their lived experiences.

    Camera screen showing two people seated in front of camera during interview
    Photo taken by WFU student Parker Beverly c’23 creator of “I’m a Woman, Phenomenally: A History of Wake Forest Women”
  • The Medford fund was established with a generous gift to support the Medford Collection, a collection of photographs, digital prints, and artists’ books held in Special Collections and Archives. The Medford collection documents the physical and cultural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Blue Ridge Parkway area.
Stylized music staff
Songs of Wake Forest Project
We also continue to receive gifts for the Edwin Wilson fund to support the Songs of Wake Forest project. This project supports the processing and preservation of the papers of Dr. Wilson and Wake Forest faculty memorialized by Dr. Wilson in his book, Songs of Wake Forest.