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Collaboration with the Campus Community

February 27, 2015

Hi! My name is Hilary Westgate, and I’m the Information Literacy Librarian at Misericordia University and part of the new blog team for the PaLA-CRD blog! I’m the liaison to the English, Communications, Fine Arts, and Religious Studies departments, the FYE program, and the Writing Center, and I also assist with our outreach programs and services. I attended Rutgers University for my MLIS and graduated in May of 2012, and I came to Misericordia in August of that year, so I am still fairly new to the profession. I’m honored to be a part of this blog team and hope that I can bring you some interesting and useful discussions!

I’d love to open up a conversation here about collaboration with other departments and groups on campus. Since I’ve been at MU, I’ve been fortunate to work with staff and faculty members from other departments who are interested in pairing with the library on special programs and projects. In particular, the Student Success Center and the Writing Center have been amazing partners in collaboration. As a couple of examples, we have offered workshops together in which librarians and the Writing Center coordinator have co-taught about citation styles and formats, and I have offered cross-training opportunities for Writing Center tutors about aspects of their work that coincide with where the library can help.

Our most recent project in this partnership is a satellite Writing Center in one of our new study rooms in the library. We recently had eight new study rooms installed on the second floor of the library, and they are extremely popular with our students, especially because the walls are white boards! It’s amazing to see students filling up the walls with words and diagrams as they study. For three evenings during the week before Spring Break, from 5:00—9:00 p.m., we had writing tutors come to the library and set up to offer their tutoring services in a library study room. At the same time, some writing tutors remained in the original Writing Center location. Unfortunately, for our very first try with this outreach project, the writing tutors did not have students drop in to meet with them. We are looking forward to tweaking our approach a bit to offer the same service in April during the week before finals, and we are hoping for greater visibility and increased attendance from our students. We now know what we would like to change and improve for next time!


This sign was placed in the window of the designated study room, along with other directional flyers throughout the building.

What are some of the ways in which your library works with other departments and groups on your campus? What has worked well (and not so well) for you? Please share in the comments!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 2, 2015 9:16 pm

    Hello neighbor! I’m new to this area (I’ve been the Head Librarian at Penn State Wilkes-Barre for about a month). I’d be interested in hearing what others have to say as well. In my first week here, an opportunity fell into our lap and we jumped on it – to participate, and help coordinate an Undergraduate Research Day. I can’t say how successful it will be yet! There were two very interested faculty, and my colleague in the library designed a wonderful poster. I created a website, submission form, etc. ( and we are holding two sessions in April to work with students on the art of creating a poster. We’ll let you know how it goes (come on over to witness it if you can!). We have a lot of other ideas percolating, but so far, Undergraduate Research Day is the first one to become reality!

    • Hilary Westgate permalink
      March 16, 2015 11:30 pm

      Hi Jennie! Thanks so much for your comment! We are so close by; it’s nice to meet you here, and I hope we can meet in person! Your collaboration for Undergraduate Research Day sounds wonderful. I love your website and the library’s whole approach to it. Last year, we displayed students’ research posters here in the library after the campus-wide student research fair, but we did not take part in actually planning the event, and I think some of us would be interested in doing so! I would absolutely love to come over to see it, and I’ll share with my colleagues here about it. Thanks again for sharing!

  2. March 2, 2015 10:26 pm

    Hey Hilary! It’s awesome that you’ve been able to collaborate with your writing center in the ways that you mentioned. Our library at Millersville actually has a “Writing Center annex” in additional to the original Writing Center on campus, and we also have a Digital Learning Studio (DLS) annex where students can get help with presentations and other tech-heavy projects. Unfortunately, I’ve never seen either one of them that busy. I’ve worked with the DLS students on some library-related projects (promoting events and creating marketing materials), but we haven’t been collaborating to the extent that I would like to. Your post has certainly inspired me! Just curious — what have you done (or plan to do) to promote the pop-up service in addition to physical signage?

    • Hilary Westgate permalink
      March 16, 2015 11:35 pm

      Hi Katie! Thank you for your comment! I love the idea of a permanent Writing Center and Digital Learning Studio/multimedia creation space in the library! It seems strange that they aren’t that heavily used when they offer such important and necessary (I would think) resources, but I think it’s awesome that you have them! Maybe these things just take time to catch on? In addition to physical signage, we have a quarter-page feature space for the library in every issue of the MU newspaper this semester, so we advertised it there, and we also submitted it to campus-wide announcements in our portal. We planned to have posters all over campus, but we did not do that for the first round. I submitted it to our university’s social media, but I didn’t see it there, so I plan to pursue that (and the posters) again next time. I hope that helps!

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