poster competition, COVID-19, pandemic, virtual, online, information literacy, scholarly communication


Science librarians at Brigham Young University have hosted a student poster competition for the past several years to showcase student research on campus and to promote science information literacy and scholarly communication skills. As part of this competition, students receive constructive feedback on both their poster design and their oral presentation skills during an in-person open house. In 2020, COVID-19 threw a curveball as the campus shut down just two weeks before the scheduled competition open house. Rather than throwing in the towel, the librarians scrambled to turn this previously in-person competition into a completely virtual event. Despite the substantial last-minute changes, the virtual event was a success, though not without some hiccups along the way. This experience highlighted how unforeseen circumstances can ultimately lead to greater creativity by turning challenges into assets. In fact, the librarians plan to retain some of these implemented changes for future competitions, even in a post-COVID world.

Original Publication Citation

Frost, M. E., Goates, M. C., & Nelson, G. M. (2021, January). Poster competitions in a pandemic: The value of going virtual. Presented at Boston Library Consortium: Science Librarianship in the Time of COVID-19 (online).

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Harold B. Lee Library

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor