RS 100 Class Completes Poker Run in the Library

Information services librarian Celeste Evans and Information resources technician Latisha Taylor explain to cadets the help they can obtain at the information desk.

Celeste Evans, information services librarian, and Latisha Taylor, information resources technician, explain to cadets the assistance they can obtain at the information desk.

On 23 and 24 August, cadets enrolled in the Center for Enhanced Performance’s RS 100 course spent some very active time in the Jefferson Hall, finding their way from one service point to another and learning about Library resources, services, and staff along the way. The Library Poker Runs are designed to get cadets familiar with the people here at the Library who can help them in their studies, and with the resources they can use to complete the assignments they’ll have throughout their time at West Point.

Information services technician Sharon Gillespie speaks with cadets about how they can be helped at the welcome/circulation desk.

Sharon Gillespie, information services technician, speaks with cadets about how they can be helped at the welcome/circulation desk.

Cadets are given a checklist of locations (the Welcome/Circulation Desk, Info Desk/Reference Librarian/Print Stations, and the home of ourUnique Resources collection and staff – newly relocated to the West Point Room in Bartlett Hall North) and are directed to complete a task at each checkpoint.


Karen Shea, plebe experience librarian, shows cadets how to utilize Scout!

The tasks help the plebes learn a multitude of research-related skills, such as how to search within our collections using Scout! – the Library’s discovery tool; how to renew books online; what to do when the Library doesn’t have an article or book they need (hint: Inter-Library Loan!); and the difference between primary and secondary sources. A highlight of the Poker Run is a visit to the Unique Collections and USMA Archives in the West Point Room, where this semester they saw Custer’s demerits (all six pages of them!), the West Point Post Order book that included an account of Edgar Allan Poe’s court-martial, and Civil War-era maps by Jeremy Gilmer (USMA 1939).

Rare book curator, Elaine McConnell, share with cadets one of Jeremy Gilmer's Civil War era maps.

Elaine McConnell, rare book curator, shares with cadets one of Jeremy Gilmer’s Civil War era maps.


Rik Miller, systems technician, explains using the print stations located in the Library.

After completing each task, the cadets draw a card, and the cadet team with the best poker hand at the end of class wins a prize from their instructor. Over 100 cadets participated in these Poker Runs, and judging from discussions with them at the end of class, everyone learned something new that they felt would help them throughout their academic career at West Point.

Narrative by Laura Mosher, Cadet Engagement Librarian; photos by Barbara Maroney, Facilities Support Technician.