BGSU students lend their education, skills to help local library boost online presence

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – Highlighting the many experiential learning opportunities offered at Bowling Green State University, students from the Schmidthorst College of Business recently partnered with the Wood County District Public Library to analyze its online presence and provide recommendations to improve accessibility and engagement.

BGSU students in a digital marketing class taught by Dr. Steve Koppitsch spent a portion of Fall 2023 semester learning about the many facets of digital marketing. Then, they put their skills to use to provide recommendations to the library.

“I learn better by doing, and I learned so much through this project,” said Jenna Hastings, a junior in business administration with specializations in marketing management and international business. “We had to work together as a group to research and develop the proposal with the extra pressure of knowing this is a real organization we’re presenting ideas to.”

Koppitsch, an associate professor, has partnered with local and regional nonprofit organizations every semester since he began teaching the introductory digital marketing class three years ago.

He said the goal is twofold: Students gain real-world experience in digital marketing and support the public good by working with community-based organizations.

“Typically, one person is doing all the marketing at these organizations,” Koppitsch said. “Our students provide valuable ideas that the organizations can use to further their missions. It’s a win-win for the students and the organizations.”

Kelsey Nevius is among those in the nonprofit sector wearing many hats. As the communications and marketing specialist at the Wood County District Public Library, Nevius is responsible for media relations, graphic design, event marketing, online marketing, social media and partnerships.

She said partnering with BGSU students and hearing their perspectives on improving website usability and increasing social media engagement has helped immensely.

Based on recommendations from students, Nevius said she’s adjusting the library’s website navigation to appeal to a broader audience. She’s also planning to create polls and post questions on social media to strengthen the library’s online community.

Nevius said she may implement more suggestions after reviewing the 21 project proposals from the fall semester in-depth. She’s partnering with Koppitsch’s class again this spring and is looking forward to having even more ideas to explore.

“I love working with BGSU students. It’s an amazing opportunity for me and the library,” Nevius said. “I’m the only person in my department, and time is my biggest constraint. Getting their feedback is integral in helping me better meet the needs of our community.”

Updated: 03/19/2024 09:39AM