During the last four months, I have conducted a “library listening tour” with A.T. Still University’s (ATSU) deans, administrators, and faculty at each of our six colleges.
During my tour, I asked five questions: What are we doing well for our students? Where can we improve? What do we do well for faculty? What can we do better? What else do you have to comment upon where the library can serve your school or program better?
The main message I heard was the library provides excellent services, and we have great employees who provide those services. Our interlibrary loan/document delivery is fast and efficient, our collections mostly or completely meet the needs of our students and faculty, the reference and literature queries we provide are top-notch, and our liaisons tailor library services to the colleges they serve.
The one area we were asked to improve upon constantly in all my sessions was outreach: outreach to students, faculty, and staff.
As a result of this feedback, the library will make our newsletter a monthly feature.
To increase our outreach to students, during orientation and throughout the academic year, we will continue to use unique ideas for engagement. During orientation in 2019, we had a scavenger hunt for incoming ATSU-School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA) students, a digital coupon for snacks for many of the colleges, and coffee chats at our Missouri campus.
Our outreach to faculty is mainly through departmental and college faculty meetings and email outreach. We will be researching and testing new models of outreach over the next year to meet this need from the community we serve. What are some models of outreach have you seen that are effective?
If you have some input on any of the questions listed above, please email me.
by Hal Bright, MERLS, university librarian