Charleston Neapolitan: Don't Be an Invisible Library! Shedding the cloak of invisibility


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Glenn Johnson-Grau (speaker)

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  • I’m probably the fourth most qualified person at LMU to discuss this issue: Dean Kris Brancolini, Outreach Librarian Jamie Hazlitt, Serials & Electronic Resources Librarian Marie Kennedy (Marketing Your Library’s Electronic Resources). But, since I’m here, you get me.I’m a collections person. What we do with collections can be minimally visible, as long as it works. Traditionally, the less visible the collection wires are, the better. However, reducing your visibility as intermediaries to collections can free library folks to be visible elsewhere.LMU has been very successful at raising our profile, both on campus and beyond LMU. I’ll talk about how we’ve done that and give examples.
  • About LMU: Located on the West side of Los Angeles. One of the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the U.S. We have 6100 undergrads and 2200 graduates, plus the Loyola Law School located in downtown Los Angeles.Okay, I’ll admit it. We opened a new library in 2009. We are very, very lucky. But we also consciously leveraged our new building to do the things I’ll discuss today.
  • Willingness to partner is the necessary mindset; exhibits serve as a peg upon which we can offer programming.Dia de los Muertos altar: Film series & discussion (Chicano Latino Student Services Association and Latino Staff Association)Work study students A&SC Primary Sources Research Skills WorkshopPrison Art & Experience – Frankie Carrillo – Bellarmine Forum on Restorative Justice
  • ALA Public Programs Office/NEH Grant: traveling show from Folger Shakespeare Library & the Bodleian.400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible.This was not a obvious fit for us, since the King James Version is a Protestant bible. But we knew we could find campus partners.
  • Conversations with the Director of the Honors Program led us to ask how to reflect the African American experience of the KJV into our programming.African American studies / Dr. Dee – director of LMU Gospel Choir and director of choir at Faithful Central Bible Church
  • By outward appearance this event had nothing to do with the library, but it would not have occurred without our arranging the exhibit and people on campus knew that.
  • Success with one exhibit leads to enthusiasm for another, even though the players are all different.“Dust, Drought, and Dreams Gone Dry” – NEH exhibitLMU Departments: History, Philosophy, Chicano/a Studies, African American Studies, and Environmental StudiesOutside partners: Los Angeles Public Library and UCLA Center for Oral HistoryWith enough lead time, opportunities to integrate themes into university-wide initiatives like LMU Common Book and Bellarmine Forum.
  • We intentionally set out to change the perception of what a library is and doesBuild on librarianship’s culture of collaborationPlay upon our nerdy, helpful (and non-partisan) reputationWe have a foundation of good feelings about the library, but until we build upon it, it is just nostalgia.Campus groups (faculty, students, and staff) need spaces the serve as what the sociologist Ray Oldenburg calls the “third place” where social interaction can occur. Libraries provide that.Pub nights: Four events each semester where faculty discuss their recent scholarly or creative works over beer and pretzels. We have regulars, including community members, plus if you ask just one professor to give extra credit, we’ll have 25+ attendees. Pub Night:What do faculty do after class?Nurture relationships with “our people”; making friends and allies.
  • Welcome hosts for student events: exhibits for service orgsDomestic Violence Awareness weekAsian Pacific Student Services and exhibit on internment camps (using LMU archives)Places You’ve Never Been – Senior All-Access Tour & National Library Week event for Facilities StaffSocial media: communication to build & sustain relationshipsVoices beyond the library websiteHUMANIZE the library and let us see the library through our users’ eyesWe don’t use social media just to promote stuffPromotion is great: e-newsletter, twitter, instagram, facebook. It is essential but not sufficient.
  • LMU is particularly mission driven, but all organizations want to see units taking the overarching message to heart.Participation in governanceexamples:Board of trustees audit committee / university grievance committee (Meghan)Committee on the status of clinical facultyHonor code committeeMarie’s Senior Vice President Fellows program
  • Dean made it clear to Library and administration when she started that she wanted the library to be an intellectual and cultural hub of campus.Communication within the library is keyNeed internal structures to share ideas and keep open communication amongst librarians and staff – especially in different departmentsCOWG – Communications and Outreach Working GroupProgramming/fundraising relationship – grant opportunities, special collections Funding:Outreach LibrarianInvesting in programmingRelationship between programming & fundraising
  • Service ComponentProfessional Development componentResearch Incentive GrantsL.A. as Subject Archive Bazaar
  • Empower staff – they may have untapped skills, expertise, and relationships that can support the library’s vision beyond their job description.Travel/professional development funding for staffService Staff Technology WorkshopsLibrarian/staff collaboration$3000 University Inclusive Excellence GrantCataloging Assistant won Staff Service Award, which usually goes to 20+ year employees
  • Early participation in SCELC; we’ve been working on participation and visibility for many years:Vendor DayOCLC getting off the islandInstitute for Research Design in Librarianship: Partnered with San Jose State University School of Library and Information Science; three 9-day residential summer institutesYou don’t need a beautiful building with an ocean view to make all of this happen (although it doesn’t hurt)Culture of being a gracious host – this means relationship building with others on campus who can help to make this happen (conferences & events)Every campus has SOMETHING unique and cultural to offer visitors – tap into this
  • Core Curriculum as case study of involvement:We wanted something (for years): Information literacy integrated into undergraduate curriculum in a planned, sequential program.We involved ourselves from the earliest opportunity – starting five years ago – into the planning for the Core.Even before the real planning began, we made sure Information Literacy skills were on the list of the University’s Undergraduate Learning Goals and Outcomes. Early partners with the Director of Assessment developed that relationship to our mutual benefit. Having an official LMU Learning Outcome, even before Information Literacy became a WASC accrediting outcome, gave us something to point to.We volunteered for every Core committee opportunity. I’m sure I attended over 100 meetings.We were there when decisions were made and made sure our voices were heard.Information Literacy is now embedded in the new Core Curriculum as ten percent of the grade in both first year student’s fall and spring courses and at least once for all students in a 200 and above level course. In the new First Year Seminars, our four-module information literacy tutorial, the Lions Guide to Research & the Library is in all classes.
  • All those folks we’ve made partners and “our people?” Those are future members of the Faculty Library Committee. Those are the colleagues on the Faculty Senate who will vet future library initiatives.When we discuss potentially controversial issues, including collections issues like withdrawing print periodicals or journal cancellations, those are the allies we’ll need.In conclusion, here’s what we’ve learned and constantly remind ourselves:Be strategicBe a partnerBe persistentBe at the table!Thanks for listening.
  • Charleston Neapolitan: Don't Be an Invisible Library! Shedding the cloak of invisibility

    1. 1. Shedding the Cloak of Invisibility Glenn Johnson-Grau Head of Collection Development Loyola Marymount University
    2. 2. Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles, California
    3. 3. Howdy, partner • We spend time on relationship building. • Relationships are built upon common interests. • Exhibits serve as launchpads for collaboration.
    4. 4. CASE STUDY
    5. 5. ON CAMPUS LMU Departments: Theological Studies, English, African American Studies, Campus Ministry, Center for Religion & Spirituality OUTSIDE PARTNERS Inglewood Public Library, local churches RELATIONSHIPS BUILT ON COMMON INTERESTS SPARK NEW COLLABORATIONS Honors Program ->> Gospel performance
    6. 6. Partnership Breeds Partnership Success with one exhibit leads to enthusiasm for another, even though the players are all different. Photos:
    7. 7. Presto chango Library = book to library = intellectual engagement PUB NIGHTS: Four events each semester where faculty discuss their recent scholarly or creative works over beer and pretzels.
    8. 8. Presto chango II Opening the door to students and their ideas Providing selfie opportunities in forbidden library locations
    9. 9. Know on which side your bread is buttered Align unit with institution’s mission. – Reflect it in what we say and do • Mirror language Participate in strategic planning. – Librarians develop a reputation for good citizenship Encourage librarians to participate in campus governance. – Librarians on Faculty Senate & committees – Develop peer relationship with faculty and administrators – beyond “library as support”
    10. 10. The Vision Thing Adopting an expansive vision of the role of the library on campus – Leadership matters – Librarian buy-in matters – Funding really matters
    11. 11. Align Incentives Give librarians tools and reward them for outcomes. Enact a promotion plan with incentives. Provide travel/professional development funding for librarians.
    12. 12. Foster and Support Staff Ideas
    13. 13. Beyond the Walls SCELC • • • • Benefits member libraries and member librarians Support for small libraries Continuing education Research support – Research Day ->> IMLS Grant » Institute for Research Design in Librarianship Catholic Research Resources Alliance (CRRA) Association of Jesuit College & Universities (AJCU)
    14. 14. Participation = Visibility = Impact
    15. 15. Be strategic Be a partner Be persistent Be at the table!