This is the largest campus-wide event held in the fall before the term begins in the auditorium. The libraries & LRCs from different campuses, as well as different academic and departmental services set up tables in the entrance area to present our services, information and giveaways to entering & returning faculty, staff and administrators before the official program. The Adjunct Faculty Institute was started in the summer of 2011 to present new and returning adjunct faculty members with different resources available to them to use with their classes or for research. Representatives from the libraries and LRCs present resources available in hour-long sessions. A representative from the library contacts the deans of different departments to find out when departmental meetings will be taking place and whether it would be productive for us to attend. We present general information about the library with contact information and our web page and discuss subject specific databases with the faculty, with general and specific information on handouts. Sometimes we set up orientations during the meetings, but often we agree to set up dates and times afterward. Usually at the reference Desk or over the phone instructors contact us to learn to use subject specific databases usually to use with their classes. This is especially common during the summer term when the sessions are shorter and faculty often feel they don’t have time to bring students to the library. In this way we can step the faculty through the web pages and database and suggest general and subject specific databases.
At the beginning of every semester we send out a campus-wide email to all faculty, staff and administrators welcoming everyone back and promoting the services that we offer, especially our web page and databases and instructional sessions. This runs in tandem with announcements on our Facebook as well welcoming the campus community back, though we continue to post items of news on the Facebook wall throughout the term of featured databases or events that are going on in the library. The Web Page and Research Tutorial Page are connected because they are linked together from the college’s home page and libraries and LRCs link page. The Web Page has general information about the resources we have available as well as contact information for faculty, students, staff and administrators, and links for forms to put books on reserve, order books for the collection and for instruction sessions for classes. The Research Tutorial Page has the tutorials that we have created for general library orientations and databases specific to different disciplines. This created a debate for us about where was the best place to put this information, here on the Web Page, on Facebook or in Blackboard. As part of trying to make access to the databases and the tutorials for information on how to use them more available we place links to them in department blackboard pages, specifically in the English, Communications and SLS programs. We are working on links for departments that are offering the new B.A.S. degree programs. There is a movement to get these links placed in or near the tool bar that everyone in the college sees upon entering Blackboard. In addition, faculty members coordinate with us to put links to the web pages, catalogs, tutorials or databases in Blackboard page for their classes.
Broward College has worked with Learning Communities for several years to combine two classes, usually involving one of the required first year classes, like writing or speech with another more subject specific class like history, business or social studies, allowing the faculty work together to teach the classes and the students the opportunity to think about their classes in a multi-disciplinary way. Librarians have participated in the program in the past to serve as an embedded librarian to review assignments with the faculty members to make sure they are productive given the resources we have available and to work with the students to help them with the resources they will need from the library to do their assignments. There is also discussion now of embedding librarians in online classes, but the demands of the role of an embedded librarian have raised issues of staffing because of the time required. Brown bags are an informal way for librarians to meet with faculty and administrators on a wide range of topics, but in this context they can be useful for highlighting resources available in the library for courses that are currently being offered. Sometimes they might take the form of a morning breakfast with librarians and faculty members or lunch or after lunch snack sessions, but they can be a way to meet with different stakeholders without the need to set up a formal meeting. As faculty members the librarians at Broward participate in campus and college wide committees which allow many opportunities for general networking, but more to the point chances to promote the libraries’ resources. Certainly at academic resource committee meetings, I represent the needs of the library and try to make visible the ways that we are trying to support the college with the resources that we have. In addition, at faculty senate meetings when academic issues are being discussed, we can always make sure that considerations for the library are taken into account.
Every spring the library and LRC at the North campus of Broward College participate in a Perspective Student Open House held in the auditorium in the evening. It is similar to our Welcome Back marketplace held in the fall in that we set up tables to demonstrate the resources that we have to offer and hand out pamphlets and information about the library. It gives the students of what we can offer them and we get an idea of what new students are interested in. Of course a good deal of contact between students, faculty and librarians occur at the Reference Desk during which the librarians always try to make all of these patrons aware of the electronic resources available and show them how to use them in a productive way. These are often visits after we have had an orientation or research instruction session with a class, and students feel confident enough to come to Reference Desk to follow up with some one on one instruction on their particular topic. Also, faculty members commonly stop by to look at a specific subject database before using it with a class. Naturally, any patrons that require help to doing research… We have developed survey to elicit customer satisfaction from students and customer satisfaction and use of electronic resources on the part of faculty. Customer service surveys for students and attending faculty members are done randomly after a specified number of orientations and research instruction session. Surveys of faculty use of the library’s electronic resources is done on an annual basis to find out if resources are being used, which resources are used more or less often and to elicit any suggestions from faculty. We haven’t initiated any major changes to library services recently, so we haven’t used focus groups to discover attitudes toward the library and its services, but they would be a first step in discovering these attitudes. They also are something that might be undertaken on a regular long term basis to verify the images of the library that patrons, either students or faculty, have.
Together Student Orientations and Research Instruction Sessions are the meat and potatoes of contact between the library and students. Ideally, an orientation would occur as part of one of the required first year classes, writing, speech or SLS (Study and Life Skills) so that students have an introduction to library resources, have contact with us and are introduced to some research techniques. Subsequently, research instruction sessions would be available to students as they begin to study classes in their major and focus more on resources specific to those subjects, the databases, collection and reference material available to them. Also, these follow up research instruction classes are available as the students start doing more significant research for their projects even before getting into their majors. Of course this doesn’t always happen, but we hope that by contacting as many students and faculty as possible in the orientations we can begin a relationship with them that will encourage them to return to see us at the Reference Desk or in our offices to get further help with their research. In House Training and Reference Meetings are two ways to share information with our librarian peers. Especially in our situation at North campus where we are a joint use facility between the college and the public library, it is important to continually offer updates to what we are doing with students for the public librarians, while they are constantly providing us with information about changes that are taking place in public library programs. This we do on an on-going basis in Reference Meetings, where we highlight classes that we have been doing recently and any changes that have occurred with the web page or databases. If we are starting a new program or have new databases, we will organize an in house training that will set aside time in the computer center so that we can go through the changes or new resources together to ensure that as much as possible we are all aware of the same information.
How Reference Librarians Market Electronic Resources:SEFLIN Academic Presents
Presentations- new faculty orientation
Department visits and other faculty meetings
Emails and correspondence
Faculty welcome back meetings
Faculty embed library materials, links, etc into their
blackboard, department or other courseware pages
Perspective student open house
Tutorial links on general and specific databases and
Research Tutorial Page
Research Tutorial Page
Emails to faculty, students, public and/0r other
Informal instructional sessions with faculty
Through university wide committees (union,
Distance Education Committee, etc)
Initiating Faculty Contacts
•Faculty Welcome Back Event
•Resource Presentations for New / Adjunct Faculty
•Visits to Beginning of Year / Semester Departmental
•Informal Instructional Sessions for Faculty
Electronic Follow Up
•Emails to faculty, students, public and other
•Web Page (for contact information, orientations,
collection development & reserves
•Research Tutorial Page (on specific databases, the
catalogs and research techniques
•Tutorial links placed in College, Department and Class
•Perspective Student Open House
•Reference Desk Questions & Follow Ups to Orientations
•Focus groups or surveys to find out input from students
Students & Staff
•Research Instruction Sessions
•In House Training