Tag Archives: outreach

January 10, 2011, 10:59 am

My Five Blocks of Library Outreach: conceptualizing the engagement impulse

Outreach and engagement can be quite subjective. What one librarian calls outreach another might call instruction and still another public relations. I’m not going to try and establish a shared nomenclature right now—I’m just going to share my perspective in a graphical manner:


This image was a result from a planning session for the year ahead. I want our librarians and staff to think collectively about what we do and what we are striving to do. Obviously building and maintaining collections, offering assistance services, and providing space and tools for productivity and reflection is our core. But around that core is a vague layer of activities that are hard to describe.


What I’ve tried to do here is create target buckets of these activities with the objective of offering something related to each category once a quarter for each of our primary user groups: undergrads,…

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December 16, 2010, 12:02 pm

The Steps (or Pathway) to Pride: the ultimate goal of library outreach

This is another concept from my whiteboard sessions:


When I talk about outreach and marketing and related promotional matters— people often think that I am working just to drive up business… increase volume. That's not always the case… or rather, that's not the sole purpose. Our reference librarians would probably be upset if I brought in 10,000 more questions a year. Our reserves staff probably couldn't handle a doubling of materials from faculty.


My goal is not to just increase usage, but rather, to see it as a step toward a larger purpose. It's not to help patrons become better users of the library. Nor is it to design a satisfying library experience. Ultimately… my goal… right now… is to build pride in the library. Building a brand.

Library Spirit?
It's bowl season and there is all this mounting school pride channeled via football teams (UCF upsets UGA, you read it…

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December 6, 2010, 4:05 pm

Levels of Patron Engagement: a conceptual pyramid

 I’ve had this sketch on my whiteboard for most of the fall term. 


What I am really interested in is the evolution of a patron’s relationship to their library over the course of time.


In theory – as they accumulate different blocks of experience using our services their sophistication and commitment should increase. So perhaps during their first visit they use it as a study space, then the next time they use a computer,  and then next they browse the popular fiction section.


I put this concept into a pyramid to create a better visual. Just ignore the degree of spacing, this is meant more to illustrate progression rather then to accurately chart user behavior:



Ok, so you start with the easiest and most primitive level of service: study space.  This could be a cubical or something more designer. This is the greatest entry point because it is accommodating and requires…

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April 25, 2010, 5:06 pm

Do You Sudoku? Challenging incoming students with a puzzle

It’s about that time of year again. Orientation & Registration Season. Hundreds of kids (and their
parents) will be wandering around college campuses all across the country. Some
of them are still trying to decide where they should attend, while others have
made up their mind and are finding out more about their future school.

 We had one of these last week at UCSB and it was pretty
wild. At GT they spaced things out across two days and separated the various
groupings: academic departments, clubs & organizations, and campus services.
Here they combine everything into one event and it had a carnival- like

Photo 4 
Photo 5

I wanted to share our approach in attempting to
engage this audience of incoming and/or potential students. I didn’t want us to
just tell them facts about library because it’s too early for that. If you read
the book
(p. 123) I talk about timing and I still…

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