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What Can We Build (Or Schedule) to Get Them to Come?

March 1, 2019

As we enter March, especially growing up as a softball player in a highly involved Little League family, I often find myself quoting Field of Dreams: “if you build it they will come.”

As libraries resources become more and more digital (and therefore accessible from outside of the walls of our building), I find my attentions focusing more and more on spaces (see my previous post on Space Renovations) and programing.

Of course as librarians, we have information literacy, but what else can we do, outside of the box, to bring not only students, but also faculty and staff into library spaces? We’ve had some success at Baker Library with our creative displays and events (next week is National Grammar Day and National Oreo Cookie Day!), so we have people guessing what crazy thing we’ll come up with next. Which is great, but in reality, how much do Oreos really have to do with academic library services?

Our library is small (2 full-time librarians, 2 part-time staff, and 3 student workers), so we have to be careful about what events and programs we want to allocate resources to. We have 3 programs this semester:

Walk-In Wednesday Workshops (for students): Wednesdays during lunch we bring in pizza, and students can walk-in to receive research help. (Our librarians are often busy with teaching, meetings, etc., so this gives students a dedicated time when they know we’re available).

Pizza & Pedagogy Series (for faculty): 3-4 times/semester, typically on a Friday during lunch, we bring in pizza and share pedagogy ideas, education technologies, etc. with our faculty over pizza. (Relationship building is a great take-away from these events!)

Writers’ Retreat Series (for faculty): once a month (date and time selected by Doodle poll to match schedules), we carve out 2-4 hours, set up a coffee and tea bar, bake snacks, bring in food (if it’s over lunchtime), and break out the charging stations. We invite our faculty and staff to join us for a writers’ retreat where everyone can work on their own scholarship.

Does anyone else have any free or low-cost program ideas they can share? What can we build (or schedule) to get them to come?    


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