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Ten ideas for library outreach to student organizations

February 1, 2019

One way to boost outreach and engagement efforts at your library is to connect with student organizations. Traditionally librarians have been liaisons to academic departments; we can adapt those same strategies to being a library liaison to student organizations as well.

The potential benefits of outreach to student organizations might include increasing attendance at library events, connecting with students outside the classroom setting, creating opportunities for student-led programming, and building new collaborations with staff in the Student Life office at your campus.

Here’s a list of 10 strategies I’ll be experimenting with this year to reach out to student organizations:

  1. Connect with student organizations at the Student Involvement Fair.
  2. Meet regularly with your campus Director of Student Life to stay in the loop.
  3. Attend events sponsored by student organizations.
  4. Promote student organizations’ events with social media and physical signage at your library.
  5. Serve as a guest speaker at one of their club meetings.
  6. Offer library programming in the Residence Halls.
  7. Get a library portal on Connect, OrgSync, or whichever online platform is used by the Student Life office at your campus.
  8. Invite student organizations to co-host programming at the library.
  9. Serve as faculty advisor for your campus’s Library Student Advisory Board–or, if your campus doesn’t have one, encourage students to start one.
  10. Offer satellite reference service in the HUB or Student Union building during semester crunch times.

Please share your ideas for outreach to student organizations in the comments. Thanks!

Jessica Showalter is the Student Engagement & Outreach Librarian at Penn State Altoona’s Eiche Library. Say hello on Twitter @libraryjms

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