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Five Year Program Review 2010-2015

Using the ACRL Standards for Libraries in Higher Education as a framework, the Harvey A. Andruss Library performed a Five Year Academic Program Review for the Years 2010 to 2015.

Principle 9: External Relations

9. Libraries engage the campus and broader community through multiple strategies in order to advocate, educate, and promote their value.

9.1 The Library contributes to external relations through communications, publications, events, and donor cultivation and stewardship
9.2 The Library communicates with the campus community regularly
9.3 Library personnel convey a consistent message about the library and engage in their role as ambassadors in order to expand 
     user awareness of resources, services, and expertise

Discussion

Library personnel are engaged in multiple activities to engage members of the campus and broader community.  Relations are strong in some areas, and Library personnel are satisfied with those efforts while they also see other areas needing improvement. The Director has been active in building relationships across campus.  She has reached out to the deans, department chairs, and Student Affairs leadership, and online learning management specialists; formed relationships with student government leaders and with the Director of the Teaching and Learning Enhancement Center; and reinstated the Library Advisory Committee. The Library, in particular through the work of the Coordinator for Archives and Special Collections, has been strong in helping the University with its public relations and donor cultivation.  Areas in which Library personnel are looking to build a stronger presence are: social media, particularly through collaboration with the University’s social media manager, and further connections with the University Foundation.  

Library personnel are pleased with their communication efforts within the campus community and are continually looking for additional opportunities to disseminate relevant and essential information.  Library faculty and staff communicate with the campus as the need arises and as opportunities present themselves.  There is an interest in establishing routine meetings with campus constituencies; so far communication has often been reactive, and Library personnel would like time to plan and be proactive in meeting subject faculty in certain departments and campus offices/officials.

As ambassadors, the Library personnel take good advantage of opportunities as they are able; they would like to do more if more time were available.  They have been proactive in some areas such as Writing in the Disciplines and URSCA (Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity), maintained some longstanding relationships, and cultivated some new ones.  In the future, Library personnel are interested in working with the campus staff who coordinate internships and experiential learning, the new director at the public library, and colleagues at area high schools.  Their primary goal is to identify collaborative opportunities which may yield recruitment potential for the University as well as greater community use of Library resources.

9.1 Communications

9.1 The Library contributes to external relations through communications, publications, events, and donor cultivation and stewardship.

ACTIONS

The Library employs a variety of strategies to develop and strengthen relationships within the campus and broader community. As one of the 14 Universities within the State System of Higher Education, Bloomsburg University and its Library are open to and welcome Pennsylvania residents and other visitors.  Library faculty and staff also prepare publications and exhibits featuring local and University history that serve to educate the entire community; work with the Friends of the Bloomsburg University Library Association (FOBULA) group and the University’s Advancement office to stay in touch with current and potential donors of financial support; and acknowledge donors of books and other materials.

The University Archives and Special Collections plays an important role in the Library’s community relations and the promotion of the Library’s reputation among external groups. The University Archivist & Coordinator of Special Collections frequently exhibits themed displays featuring University artifacts, and he often composes articles that are published in Bloomsburg: The University Magazine. Recently, he worked to prepare the University for the University's 175th Anniversary in 2014, authoring a book, giving an accompanying lecture, and offering film screenings with commentary.

In addition to the historical materials of interest to the community, librarians create subject and topic research guides for contemporary community use, including ones on genealogy, recycling, water resources, and legal resources for non-lawyers. 

The Library cultivate potential donors in several ways. The Library works closely with the Friends’ group to conduct semiannual book sales, which for the review period raised more than $15,000 for special projects and student textbook scholarships; sponsored programs of interest to the community on such diverse subjects as art professor and wild animal trainer George Keller, the role of the local volunteer group AGAPE, the Amish and Mennonites of the Central Susquehanna Valley, and a farm commune in the 1970s; and hosted dinners recognizing local or noted authors publishing works on the Revolutionary War, roadside attractions, growing up in Korea, being a science writer, life as an actor, and Native Americans in the Susquehanna Valley.  Additionally, the Director of Library Services is committed to cultivating donors for the Library, and she has met with a donor who intends to make a bequest to the Library.  

The Library welcomes gifts in kind from donors. The Coordinator of Cataloging and Interim Coordinator of Collection Development serves as a point of contact for donors, who are primarily alumni and retired faculty and staff. She often facilitates deliveries of donations, and she arranges for review of the donations by Library faculty subject specialists or other non-Library subject faculty when appropriate. For those books added to the Library’s collection, the Cataloging Unit inserts bookplates with the donor’s name if the donor so requests; that name is also included in the bibliographic record and is thus searchable in the Library catalog. Letters of thanks from the Library are sent to donors of materials and financial support.

The Education Subject Specialist librarian collaborates with the Bloomsburg School District to periodically obtain K-12 textbook materials, which have been reviewed by the district for adoption, for the Andruss Library Curriculum Collection.

The University Archivist works with the BU History department and a locally prominent family to facilitate digitization of historical documents.  

OUTCOMES

The community demonstrates its appreciation of the Library’s contributions to external relations in a variety of ways.  Community members from campus and the broader community donate money and materials.  They also express their thanks and make active use of the Library.

The President of the University has publicly acknowledged and praised the work of the University Archivist & Coordinator of Special Collections in supporting the University’s public relations and advancement work. The Assistant Vice President for Marketing and Communications has also expressed her appreciation. Several University entities consistently use the University Archives & Special Collections and the Archivist’s expertise as a source of information, images, and objects; they include University Advancement, the Office of Marketing and Communications, Sports Information, the University Foundation, and the Alumni Association. On occasion the Library’s displays have been recognized by a third party, such as the local newspaper, the Press Enterprise; this recognition, in turn, enhances the image of the University.

University efforts to recruit students and stay connected to alumni are greatly enhanced by the archival images supplied by the Library for the Athletics Department, the Alumni Association, and University Advancement.

Students, faculty, and other members of the community benefit from the Library’s well-established relationships with donors through the Library’s ability to provide access to valuable, and often unique, one-of-a-kind local historical materials, for example, digitized University yearbooks, which have high usage via the Internet Archive.  

Students, faculty and other members of the BU community benefit from the community’s willingness to share books and other materials with the Library. Community members regularly donate books and other materials to the Library’s collections or for sale at the FOBULA book sales.  

Students, faculty, and other members of the BU community benefit from the community’s willingness to give financial support to the Library. Over 15 years, FOBULA has raised about $32,000 from its book sales. The profits of the sale are given as scholarships to Library student workers and to support Library digitization projects and promotional items such as incentives to complete surveys.

The Library, future teachers, student teachers, and members of the broader community benefit from the Library’s collaboration with the Bloomsburg School District. This collaboration not only provides BU future teachers with valuable, up-to-date K-12 textbook materials, it also strengthens the existing relationship between the university and the Bloomsburg School District, which regularly facilitates internships and provides student-teaching opportunities for BU education students.

The broader Bloomsburg community demonstrates a need for the Library through its active use of the Library. In Fall 2014, there were 464 community residents with borrowing cards. These community members are able to enrich their learning by using the Library’s resources and services, including for genealogical research.

9.2 Campus Community

9.2 The Library communicates with the campus community regularly.

ACTIONS

Library faculty communicate developments in resources, services, and research-related issues to subject faculty as part of their liaison responsibilities.  Every academic department on campus has a Library faculty liaison.  Library faculty often attend academic department meetings to discuss Library concerns and share information on resources and services.  When the Library subscribes to a new interdisciplinary database, acquires a new digital collection, etc., the Library’s Database Coordinator will send email announcements to the ‘Everyone’ list, which is a faculty-staff email list for the whole University. If a new database is subject-specific, then the librarian with liaison responsibilities for interested departments will send emails to those departments.  Often times, liaison librarians will email wording to departments so that subject faculty may paste this wording into BOLT as announcements for their students.  In some instances, subject faculty have assigned librarians as ‘course builders’ in BOLT, and the librarian may insert content to facilitate students’ library research.

The University Archivist sends out periodic notices to campus of significant events in the University’s history, with information and images taken from the Archives’ collections.  The Government Documents Librarian sends out occasional news items related to significant government documents.

The Library held a special outdoor event to celebrate the Library building’s 15th anniversary in 2013.  It was well-attended by members of the BU community. Similarly, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Library’s Government Depository status in 2015, the Coordinator of Government Documents created an exhibit on the third floor of the Library to educate students, faculty, and others.

Andruss Library uses its web site blog, Facebook, and Twitter to announce significant events and developments in the Library, and the Library’s blog is now linked to its social media accounts.  

OUTCOMES

The Subject faculty look to the Library faculty for updates on resources and services and incorporate these into their course assignments and webpages. 

During the Library building’s 15th anniversary event students and other patrons connected informally with Library personnel.

The President has expressed an interest in the periodic messages about the University’s history.  The University’s social media coordinator has appreciated the contemporary and historical information the Library shares.

The number of ‘friends’ and ‘followers’ on the Library’s social media has increased in the last year as a result of a reinvigorated social media presence.

9.3 Convey a Consistent Message

9.3 Library personnel convey a consistent message about the library and engage in their role as ambassadors in order to expand user awareness of resources, services, and expertise.

ACTIONS

The Director of Library Services made immediate associations with campus constituents upon arrival, and she periodically attends College Faculty meetings and Department Chairs’ meetings to keep open lines of communication between the Library and the rest of the University. The Director of Library Services has regular consultations with the Community Government Association and Library Advisory Committee (LAC). She became a member of the Writing in the Disciplines advisory committee, and she took additional steps to integrate the Library into the importance of writing on campus, including working with the director of the Writing Center and contributing to the development of a new interdisciplinary course focused on research writing.  Following a discussion of student needs for additional study space during finals week, the Director and the Assistant Vice President in Student Affairs collaborated to secure the additional space, and together the Library and Student Affairs advertised the new options through posters and social media. 

Library faculty work intensively with the Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Creative Activities (URSCA) program and with area high school students.  Two projects that have allowed a substantive and successful partnership between Library Faculty and the local school districts are the Model United Nations project and the Allentown School District Summer Program. The Allentown annual summer program offers promising high school students the chance to spend three weeks taking classes, pursuing research, and sharing their findings.  

The Director of Library Services serves on the Bloomsburg Public Library Board of Directors.  In addition, the Andruss Library and the Bloomsburg Public Library have teamed up on a pilot project to allow Bloomsburg community members’ greater access to official government information, especially concerning health education, citizenship, and the national parks.  The Education Librarian has met with the Children’s Librarian of the local public library to strengthen communication about children’s literature, especially in meeting the needs of future teachers.

The Coordinator of Cataloging/Interim Coordinator of Collection Development serves on the board of the Luzerne County Library System (LCLS).  She has served as an advisor on cataloging issues for the Wilkes-Barre Osterhout Library’s cataloger and works with the LCLS system’s administrator to transfer to the Osterhout Library book sale those items not suited for the FOBULA book sale.

The Library maintains a strong relationship with the Columbia County Historical and Genealogical Society, as the Library is the exclusive holder of microfilm of volumes of local newspapers, critical to historical research of the community.

Library personnel maintain their roles as Library ambassadors as they participate on a variety of campus-wide committees; these committee meetings provide a platform for sharing information about Library-related issues with diverse members of the BU community.

Librarians contact and/or meet with new faculty in their liaison departments to provide information on resources and services.  Librarians notify their liaison departments of new databases and other major new resources and of new or expanded services.

OUTCOMES

The Director was invited to participate in the campus visits of the Writing in the Disciplines (WID) Coordinator candidates and to serve ex officio on the WID Advisory Committee as a direct result of her committed support of writing efforts on campus.  Director and library faculty advocacy significantly influenced the passage of the new interdisciplinary research writing course with a General Education Point for information literacy.  For the last two years students used and expressed appreciation for the additional study space made available to them by Student Affairs staff in activity and meeting rooms; as a result of this collaboration the Library and Student Affairs were able to double the amount of open study space available to students during finals week.

The University has benefitted from the significant contributions made by the Library faculty to the intellectual community of the University and to good relations with surrounding communities. For example, the University’s coordinator of the special program of undergraduate research expressed great appreciation for the help from one of the library faculty members in establishing and maintaining the program since its inception four years ago.  In addition, the Model United Nations has been a strong program for several years and regularly asks the library faculty to participate.  The Allentown School District Summer Program completed a successful first outing to the Library in 2014 and returned for the summer of 2015 due to their positive first experience; the University at large has benefitted through a doubling in the admissions of students from 2014 to 2015 from the Allentown School District.

Because of the relationships cultivated with the local public library, there are now stronger ties with the University Library.  The Director was included on the public library’s committee to choose a new director; selected government documents from the Andruss Library are now housed at the Bloomsburg Public Library to be accessed by a wider audience; and each of the Libraries affirmed that their children’s literature collections are open to the patrons of both libraries.

Because of the relationship with the Columbia County Historical and Genealogical Society, members of the Society are able to provide a research service to the community at large because they know to come to the Andruss Library to use local newspaper collections and specialized indexes.

Appearances of the Library’s Archives and Special Collections items in the local newspaper heighten awareness of the uniqueness of the University, promote the positive image of the University, and prompt donations or tips for new additions to the Archives and Special collections.  

Members of the BU community benefit from information gained and professional relationships established with Library personnel during University-wide committee meetings.  

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