Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Rethinking Our Role

As you can probably tell by the last few posts, I'm on a marketing/PR kick at the moment. A quieter library in the Summer means that it's a great time for me to work on these types of projects. I read The Visible Librarian by Judith Siess a few weeks ago, and now I'm working on Marketing Today's Academic Library by Brian Mathews.

I really like this passage from Brian Mathews' book:
...it may be hard for us to break away from the library-centered universe, but there is more to college than academics, just as there is more to libraries than circulation stats and gate counts. We are all part of the larger campus ecosystem. We should not limit our efforts to promoting the reference desk or a new database, but instead be focused on improving the quality of life on campus. (p. 9)
I'm just as guilty as the next person of thinking that we shouldn't be a supplier of paperclips, whiteout, folders, and other items; that we shouldn't be a storage unit; etc. But really, what other options do students have? Can we rethink our various offerings and policies in such a way as to benefit students but also not to dent our budget or clutter up our library? Hmmm....

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