Committee Work

It’s been a while since I have updated. I’ve basically been reblogging posts I’ve written for the CJCLS blog and a nice post with a shout-out from the Haggerty Library. I think I will work my way backwards to share what I have been up to. Today’s post is all about committee work for ACRL and the UC Merced Library, which seems fitting since ACRL 2017 is next week! (It’s actually going to be my first time attending the ACRL conference.)

In the fall, ACRL’s College Libraries Section (CLS) sent out an urgent email asking for someone to volunteer to serve as editor of the CLS Newsletter. I became a member of the CLS Communications and Membership Committee and am responsible for producing the fall and spring newsletters. Because of the tight timeline in the fall, I used a MS Publisher template from the previous editor. You can find the Fall 2016 CLS Newsletter here. For the spring newsletter, I will be looking to use something else to produce the newsletter. (If you have suggestions, that would be great!)

And, very unexpectedly, I was asked if I could co-chair the CLS Communications and Membership Committee for 2017/2018! My appointment starts after ALA Annual. I’m a continuing member on the committee, so only my role will change. I will have to find a new CLS Newsletter Editor! I do plan to end my time with CLS and the committee once my appointment is done since I work at a research university with graduate programs.

Back in September, I mentioned that I had started my tenure as the incoming co-convener for ACRL’s Library Marketing and Outreach Interest Group. I have loved working with Bonnie, Chris, Amy, Mark Aaron, and Jen! Jen and I will be leading the group after ALA Annual, and I am equal parts nervous and excited. Our group has grown significantly (nearly 3k have joined the Facebook group!). This year, our group had a lightning round during our regular meeting time at ALA Midwinter 2017 (sadly, I wasn’t able to attend Midwinter). I am excited to announce that we will have a panel discussion at ALA Annual 2017, “Transforming Our Academic Outreach Practices: Reaching Our Students, Faculty, Staff, & Administrators.”I worked on writing up the proposal, and I am so happy we were able to snag a presentation time outside of our regular meeting time. I am so excited for the members who were able to present at Midwinter, as well as those who have been selected to share about their marketing and outreach work at Annual.

I think I wrote about this previously, but my time with the Community and Junior College Libraries Section (CJCLS) and the CJCLS Communications Committee is coming to a close. I wanted to finish out my term even though I changed institution type. It was a good experience. I just have a few more posts left to write and a couple of administrative tasks.

I’m still serving on the Instruction Section’s Instruction for Diverse Populations Committee, but, to be honest, I haven’t done much with the group this year. I missed our last meeting, and I really need to get on the ball with the group again.

UC librarians have an association called Librarians Association of The University of California (LAUC). For this academic year, I’m serving as the local secretary for LAUC-M, which really only involves some elections later in the spring, but I’ve really enjoyed my time serving on the system-wide Research and Professional Development Committee. We just got done awarding spring project and presentation grants to those who were selected for awards. It has been so interesting to read about the applicants’ research projects. We have also been working on putting together a bibliography of the most interesting projects the Committee has helped fund over the last 37 years for LAUC’s 50th anniversary celebration this year, which will be celebrated at UC Irvine in April during the LAUC Statewide Assembly meeting (I’m not sure if I will be going yet).

At the UC Merced Library, I have also enjoyed being a member of our Student Recognition Committee. I’ve been putting together the award letters and taking photos of our monthly winners. We have great student workers, and I have liked getting to know them. I can’t say too much about it yet, but I am also serving on a committee that is developing a Student Research Award for the next academic year.

I’ll probably have a few other updates over the next few days. Thanks for reading!

 

Startup Communications

I just really love the honesty in Meredith Farkas’ latest column in American Libraries. In talking about pitching an idea that didn’t take and then one that was a good fit, she reminds shiny new librarians (that means ME!): “The problem wasn’t [XYZ]; it was trying to solve problems that didn’t exist” (Farkas, 2015).

I have always been an ideas person. and I get really excited about all the library things, but the things I do have got to fit our community. I have let projects go because they don’t work, but that’s the nature of this thing–you have to keep figuring it out until you get a sense of what will work at your library. It takes time. (You have to think like a startup.)

For example, last year, to keep the library on the radar, besides my monthly email update, I was also doing a weekly feature called Tech Tuesday where I would share three apps, websites, or other technology tool. It was really time-consuming, and I never really heard back from anyone, so I stopped after a couple of months. What purpose was it serving? Was it just to keep people reminded about the Library in a non-traditional-to-them way? I realized right then that it was pointless to do this. As faculty, we are inundated with emails–committee updates, college advertisements, listservs, etc. I was just adding to the information overload problem and making myself frustrated.

Fast forward to this year. What I did for faculty and staff at the beginning of the semester (about 3 weeks in) was one big online newsletter using Smore. It was bright and colorful, and it had a hilarious video about books that parodied Mark Ronson’s/Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk.” I got great feedback! Our small campus also has an email newsletter called Tuesday Tidbits (it used to be called the Monday Memo) where faculty submit updates for committees on which they serve as our campus’ representatives and other relevant campus news. Our faculty lead puts it together. Since more people read that, after I did my initial newsletter and email introduction, I started supplying updates on a weekly basis to Tidbits. In my first update this semester, I also resubmitted the link to my initial online newsletter for those who may have missed it. It seems to be going a lot better doing it this way!

Our college recently started a distance education newsletter for updates related to online education. The distance education coordinator, who is also a history professor, recently asked for people to send ideas they may have for the newsletter. Since I am really into DIY visual content, I asked her if she thought a resource list for online presentation and infographic-making tools might be of value (obviously, this also has value for web-enhanced classes). I didn’t want to start off with “this is what the Library can do for you, etc.” Plus, since this is for the whole district, it’s probably not appropriate for me to do anything like that without talking to my colleagues or our temporary director! I actually would really love to write on the behalf of the Library, but my hope is that maybe the list will show that we should be writing something, perhaps on a rotational basis?

Anyway, the DE coordinator agreed! I submitted my draft last night. Distance education is the hot thing in our college district, so I suspect this might be a great place to spread the word about online library services and librarian expertise. I am hoping this can help solve our district-wide library faculty-instructional faculty communication (image?) problem. We actually do a lot of face-to-face advocating, but since there are only four of us, we only can go so far.

Smore

I am obsessed with Smore. Smore is a fast way to make flyers and newsletters online. Last year, I started using Smore for our new book lists. (In the pre-Lindsay years, the library media technician and clerks sent out a typed list of titles in email–attached as a Word document. In my first year, I started sending out monthly email updates that included the hyperlinked titles of new books.) Recently, someone asked about newsletters on a library listserv, and I was able to share a book list as an example. I got some nice feedback on the one I shared there, which inspired me to do a library newsletter beyond book titles.

I didn’t do one before because every Tuesday, the faculty lead at our small campus sends out a newsletters called Tuesday Tidbits (it used to be the Monday Memo) in which different faculty members submit committee updates and other news. This first month, I had so much to update, I decided to do one giant newsletter rather than submit to Tuesday Tidbits. Now that I sent an initial newsletter, I probably will do the Tidbits route more often than our own newsletter.

In my last post about displays, I also talked about the new series I am doing called Major Idea. I post our displays to Facebook (Instagram is my next frontier) and in the faculty emails I send out,  but I also decided to put the materials I put on display in a hyperlinked list via Smore, sort of like a pathfinder. My giant library newsletter also links to the display materials lists for the Major Idea displays for psychology and art history and our Women’s Equality Day and water and drought displays.

I was pretty thrilled by the feedback I got from our newsletter. What I love about Smore is that it allows you to see how many views you get, too. Smore only allows you to make five flyers so free, but the educator account is just $60 a year. It is so worth it!