Marketing and Outreach Session Notes

Notes on Marketing, outreach ideas in general, and STEM
Session #3 Held 12:00-1:10

We covered three main topics:

  • How to partner with faculty
  • How to reach out to students
  • How to promote the library in general

Partnering with faculty
Obtain a copy of the syllabus and create libguides and/or online tutorials for the courses, asking the professor to make the url available to the class. If the materials you create are very popular you can go back to the professor to ask for class time, or a greater role in research.

Get into faculty meetings, but also see if you can’t get some time to present relevant databases or library services at a faculty meeting. Getting acquainted with the professor in charge of scheduling the meetings is important.

See if you can’t get a library information box on a class’s CMS.

Go to internal poster sessions with information on library services.

Before events using a large screen in a college, there are often ads and notices that cycle past. This is a good place to put a little information about library services offered.

An interesting way of showing professors the issues that librarians work on is to send a professor a really great article from library literature.

Reaching out to the students
It was mentioned that STEM students don’t come into the library very often. Freshman students focus only on their textbooks. Later on in their work, they are often asked to do a large project and they are unprepared. It is important to go to where the students are and emphasize that they don’t have to be in the library to use the library.

Sit in on student clubs and resident hall meetings.

Put up contact information in the dorms, especially if you have a 24 hour librarian chat service.

Set up journal clubs/book clubs, author events or science cafes. At the event, talk briefly about library services or library space. You could have an exhibition nearby of related materials.
Offer soft skill workshops, in partnership with the Career Center or not, with advice on interviewing, presentations etc.

Offer study breaks with food and free books to meet with the students and find out if they need help.

Promoting the library
Librarians in the session mentioned having set up Twitter, Yelp, Foursquare and FB accounts and sending out newsletters, though there was not much discussion about how useful these tools are. One librarian mentioned that her faculty is into Research Gate.

Do co-promotion with the archives or special collections.

Run contests or polls.  Two examples were a contest to name the reference desk and another to choose what posters went up on the walls.

Further reading: