“Engaging Faculty with Technology: Experiences from a Small University Library” (Standard)

Thursday, June 10, 1pm EDT

Ian Hughes and Joseph Coates (Purdue University Northwest)

One of the challenges that we face at our institution is keeping both students and faculty engaged in the services and resources that are available through the library. In the past, we would construct information literacy sessions with classes, then faculty would tell students to ask us if they needed further assistance. These sessions, we believed were successful due to feedback, but where they really successful? We are seeing a wide knowledge gap between what we thought we were doing and what people know, so it’s time to rethink how we communicate.

Now that we are working in remote situations due to COVID 19 restrictions, and using more technology, many of our faculty are ill equipped in not only what the library is currently offering, but they do not understand a lot of the technology. How do we teach online when the instructors are unaware of how to use technology or online library assets?

While this can be problematic, this gives us some opportunities to not only conduct outreach to these faculty members by marketing our services to them, but it allows us to engage with them to build stronger bonds in the future, all while rethinking how we offer instruction in the future. This marketing is focused on the university, but we try to target faculty, especially those who are struggling, in the hopes to increase library services and materials.

We have been marketing through a greater social media presence and have been in constant with communication with department heads and other faculty members who are library advocates. We have created programs between the library and both the academic departments, Social Work, Communication, English, and History, and non-academic, Writing Center, Career Center, and Campus Housing. Our goal is to not just market library services and products, but to be an answer center, to make sure we are creating an environment that focuses on information literacy, and to be a collaborative partner with curriculum development.

As an example of direct marketing, one of our librarians has virtual lunch monthly with his liaison areas to makes sure he is aware and up to date with the departments. He has also reached out to several of the core class areas to build across the community sessions. Additionally, he has virtually guided faculty in ways to improve sessions via Zoom. Now due to social distancing, how effective have we become in communicating with marketing and remote platforms, as opposed to in the past when we could meet in person and how will that affect us in the future? We hope to walk the attendee through those successes and failures.