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
Library personnel actively 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, 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; maintained positive relations with the Library’s Friends group; and led an engaged Library Advisory Committee. A highlight of this review period are the partnerships the Library has pursued on campus to foster affordable course materials for students. Through the efforts of the Director and the OER Campus Partner, the University Store share information on OER course selections, the President’s Office supported professional development for faculty learning about OER, and faculty members and administrators are more aware of OER options. In addition, the Library, 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 issue relevant and essential information. Library faculty and staff communicate with the campus as the need arises and as opportunities present themselves. The recent addition of the Director to the Academic Affairs Leadership Team provides new opportunities for communicating directly with academic leadership. 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 to 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 URSCA (Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity) and OER (Open Educational Resources), maintained some longstanding relationships, and cultivated some new ones. In the future, Library personnel are interested in working with the new director of student success and first-year experience, 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 The Library contributes to external relations through communications, publications, events, and donor cultivation and stewardship.
9.2 The Library communicates with the campus community in a timely way using a variety of methods and evaluates the communication for effectiveness.
During the onset of COVID, the Library director and personnel provided the campus with updates and reminders on how to receive research guidance, instruction, and resources, regardless of medium or the researcher’s physical location. As the campus approached Fall 2020, the Library provided a thorough plan for practices and signage during COVID. These updates and plans were made available through official University communications as well as the Library’s website, social media, targeted emails, and physical signage.
On a routine basis the Library personnel use a variety of communication tools. They share information in a timely way and, if a particular tool does not seem effective, try another. Beyond the unusual circumstances of COVID-related updates, Library personnel use email, website, social media, physical signage, and influencers such as the Library Advisory Committee, library faculty, and subject faculty to have effective two-way communication.
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, liaison librarians will email wording to departments so that subject faculty may paste this wording into the course management software as announcements for their students. In some instances, subject faculty have assigned librarians as ‘course builders’ in online course platform, and the librarian may insert content to facilitate students’ library research. Most recently the Database Coordinator collaborated with an instructional designer to make it easier to embed into BOLT entire library research guides and tools, all customized for each discipline and course. This new feature will ease communication with individual students and whole classes.
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 event to celebrate the Library building’s 20th anniversary in 2018. It was open to members of the BU community and featured musical performances, a speech, and a visit from Roongo. A time capsule, exhibit, and eye-catching “book clock” were created.
Andruss Library uses its web site blog, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to announce significant events and developments in the Library. Beyond the Library’s own social media, the University’s social media manager has “liked” the Library’s outlets, and, when appropriate, items are also sent out via the University’s social media platforms.
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 20th anniversary event students and other patrons connected informally with Library personnel.
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 because of a reinvigorated social media presence.
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