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Susan James EWU Libraries Outreach Strategies

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Susan JamesEWU Libraries Outreach Strategies

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EWU Libraries Outreach

Who are we trying to reach?

• Prospective students• Current students• Faculty• Community-at-large• Alumni

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What are our objectives?

• Smoothing transitions from high schools and colleges • Improving information literacy & research skills• Increasing retention and matriculation• Promoting awareness of library services• Creating connections between EWU, students, and the


EWU Libraries Outreach

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What must we consider?

• Strategic planning to maintain primary library services (reference & instruction)

• Workload• Funding/Budgeting for outreach efforts• Examination of mission* and target audiences (external &


*EWU’s 2013 action plan has four clearly defined goals, or themes: StudentSuccess, Institution of Innovation, Community Engagement and Visibility.

EWU Libraries Outreach

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EWU Libraries Outreach

Surveys and formal assessment• Campus self-study reports• Institutional research data• Re-accreditation reports

Personal contacts and other anecdotal evidence• Department meetings• Service on campus committees• Questions received at service

desks• Suggestion “box”

Methods for post-outreach assessment

• Evaluation tools Surveys Skills tests Statistics on library use

• Collect and analyze data• Revise outreach plan• Close the loop

How do we assess outreach needs?

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• Student Research and Creative Works Symposium• Get Lit!• Library Student Advisory Committee – Library Student Liaison• Read-to-Lead Students• National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR)

EWU Libraries Awards• EWU Libraries Oktoberfest and Student Star Search• Outreach via technology (social networks)

Current Outreach

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Current Outreach

Office of Community Engagement

• Providing students with opportunities to engage in meaningful service both in and out of the classroom

• Supporting faculty practice in service-learning, community-based research, and community-engaged scholarship and creative activities

• Developing mutually beneficial partnerships to strengthen our local, regional and global communities

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LC FaceBook page.

Faculty Assessment of Learning Commons SurveyJan-Feb, 2013

• “The majority of our respondents (73.5%) are aware of the learning Commons, but do not use it.”

• “When we asked our respondents if any of their students used the Learning Commons….50.8% indicated they didn’t know.”

• “When asked if they noticed an improvement in student performance on assignments requiring the use of the Learning Commons, 58.3% didn’t know.”

• Respondents suggested the library consider “services for learning impaired students or those with other handicaps.” (ShareScan Station, Universal Access IT Enhanced Computer, etc.)

EWU Learning Commons FaceBook Page

Outreach Strategy #1 - Faculty

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Increase Librarian-Instructor Collaboration• Department Liaisons• Attend department meetings• Involvement in committee work• Faculty professional development sessions (brown bag lunch sessions)• Department Listservs• Faculty one-on-one appointments• Email communication (new resources, etc).

Outreach Strategy #1 - Faculty

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Outreach Strategy #2 – Personal Librarian Program

The library contacts incoming students with a personalized letter and a business card from a specific librarian, introducing them to the library.

• University of Chicago (1993)• University of Richmond

(1993) • Stetson University (2006)• Yale (2008)• Washburn University*• Drexel*• Barnard*• Wesleyan University*

*Started a PL program in the past 3 years

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What does a personal librarian do?

• Sends periodic messages highlighting new resources and programs as well as notices and timely reminders, such as extended Library hours.

• Answers questions about Library policies, procedures and services.

• Assists with finding information, research assignments, identifying the best sources and formulating search strategies.

Outreach Strategy #2 – Personal Librarian Program

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Outreach Students

What is a Common Reading Program?“Topics from a single, carefully selected book for freshmen are featured in first-year and other classes in disciplines across the university, and in special events and presentations. Having a shared source for such topics provides a common ground for students and their professors, and stimulates discussions and learning…”

Common Reading programs also lend themselves to lectures, presentations, and to discussions between students, faculty, and the greater community.

WSU Common Reading Program. http://universitycollege.wsu.edu/units/CommonReading/

Outreach Strategy #3 – Common Reading Program

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Outreach Students

A Common Reading Programs creates a shared academic ground and dialogue for all participants—new students, faculty, staff, and the community around them.

The common reading introduces freshmen to the value of research, the power of ideas, and the various but related ways in which disciplines across the institution approach similar problems.

WSU Common Reading Program. http://universitycollege.wsu.edu/units/CommonReading/overview/

Outreach Strategy #3 – Common Reading Program

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Evaluating Resources

ENGL 100: Fundamentals of English Composition

“Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.”

Zora Neale Hurston

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Acronym of evaluation criteria






The CRAAP Test

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• How do you know if the timeliness of your information is appropriate? • When was the information published or last updated? • Have newer articles been published on your topic? • Are links or references to other sources up to date? • Is your topic in an area that changes rapidly, like technology or popular


Evaluating Resources

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• Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?• Who is the intended audience?• Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or

advanced for your needs)?• Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you

will use?• Would you be comfortable citing this source in your research paper?

Evaluating Resources

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• Is the author qualified to write on the topic? • What are the author's credentials? • Is the author affiliated with an educational institution or prominent

organization? • Can you find information about the author from reference books or the

Internet? • Do other books or articles cite the author? Who is the

author/publisher/source/sponsor?• Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source?

(examples: .com .edu .gov .org .net)

Evaluating Resources

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Accuracy • Are there errors in spelling, punctuation, or grammar? • Was the information reviewed by editors or subject experts before it was

published? • What citations or references support the author’s claims? • Where does the information come from?• Is the information supported by evidence?• Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal

knowledge?• Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion?

Evaluating Resources

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• Why did the author or publisher make this information available? (To inform, teach, sell, entertain or persuade?)

• Are alternative points of view presented? • Does the author omit important facts or data that might disprove a claim? • Does the author use strong or emotional language?• Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?• Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?• Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional or personal


Evaluating Resources

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According to radio talk show host Bryan Fischer, Hillary Clinton will not become president because voters don't want to "elect an old woman to the Oval Office ... She's just going to be too old, going to be too saggy, gravity will have done too much of its mojo on her…."

Example research topic: Is there gender bias towards political candidates and does the media contribute to it?

Example Topic