Thursday, 16 August 2012

Thing 16

Advocacy, speaking up for the profession and getting published

This thing scares me a little, as it is discussing things I have never really considered before! Through working in a college library it has not been a concern of mine that we need to promote the service in the way that maybe a public library needs to. We should always be needed, and on the whole students want the same things year after year - that mostly being the space to work! At the beginning of the academic year we 'advertise' ourselves to the new students by creating new leaflets, holding sessions on how to use the library and running tours. This year will be different due to all the structural changes to the building, and the addition of self issue machines. We also promote the use of e-resources and create displays of new acquisitions within the ground floor area for visitors and students. Therefore I think the most important thing for us to be doing is showing the students that we are a great place for them to work, and that we do our best to provide all the resources they require for their studies.One way I could potentially help promote our library more would be through social media, as I feel this an area not touched on currently. I just feel unsure about the usefulness of Facebook and other mediums for libraries as I did not use them when I was a student to access information about the libraries. Maybe time will show me how they can be used and how to encourage students/researchers/the public to sign up and follow them.

I am generally quite a quiet person and keep my views to myself, usually being able to see and understand both sides. I frequently read publications relating to libraries, particularly in the public sector and how vital services are being cut to the dismay of many communities. I have never worked in a public library but this is something I would like to look into further, as I feel we are very restricted when only working in a university library, and even more so in just a college library where it's another world really! I have enjoyed attending Cambridge Library Group events where you get a mix of people from various different library backgrounds. We are all catering for such different things.

Publishing is not something I have thought of within the context of working in a library, all the papers I have ever written (not published of course!) are of a more scientific nature. Writing is not something I feel strong at, though I hope over the next couple of years that will improve. This year I wrote a short piece on the history of St John's College and its foundress, Lady Margaret Beaufort, for a similarly named college in Australia, and I thoroughly enjoyed that. But I am not sure this is quite what we are talking about :-).

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