No more tours: How library tours of the past become today's celebrations

Linda Walton*, Teresa Westphal, Brian Lauer, Kurt Munson, James Shedlock

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In 1999, Northwestern University's Gaiter Health Sciences Library redesigned the library orientation program for first-year medical students. Surveys indicated tours were ineffective and students retained little of the information presented. Furthermore, the tour was not related to the student's curriculum and did not reinforce their learning objectives. As a replacement, the library staff developed a self-directed two-hour library open house. Stations throughout the library showcased the library staff, services, and resources, focusing on the first-year student curriculum. A follow-up survey found this redesign more useful and relevant to the students' course work, indicating libraries should be creating more interactive tours for students allowing them to learn actively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-48
Number of pages10
JournalMedical Reference Services Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001


  • Library user education
  • Medical school libraries
  • Medical student library orientation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Library and Information Sciences


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