Marketing the Library
to Remote Faculty
sCIL Open House, January 17 2003
Presenters: Robin Lockerby, Debbi Renfrow, Sheryl Martinsen (National University)
Instructional Services Coordinator,
Robin Lockerby, opened the session by explaining that National University is
a private, accredited, nonprofit institution. NU offers over 300 online classes
per month to 3500 students, primarily adult learners in graduate programs. Just
over 100 full-time and 2000+ adjunct and core adjunct faculty share the teaching
load, supported by a Main Library in San Diego and eight regional Library Information
Centers throughout California.
National University sponsors a variety
of events that train faculty to teach in their unique circumstances and give
them a sense of shared purpose. Robin and Debbi related how the Main Library
in San Diego has arranged to play an integral role in each of these experiences:
- The Center for the Improvement
of Teaching Effectiveness (CITE) holds mandatory 41/2 hour
sessions for new faculty where the library has 30 minutes to tout its services
- All faculty attend monthly daylong
best practices colloquia where librarians are regularly given two hours to
present pedagogy from the Librarys perspective.
- Subject liaisons regularly attend
departmental meetings held by each of the universitys four schools where
they promote services such as course reserves, journal awareness and upcoming
professional development workshops such as those offered by the Librarys
new multimedia librarian.
- Liaisons also attend the annual
Staff Assembly in San Diego, where they regularly address all faculty, again
promoting library services as well as fielding faculty complaints and receiving
- A liaison works on an ongoing
basis with the Academic Affairs Committee of each of the four schools to assure
adequate Library resources for existing and new programs.
- The NU Library director consults
regularly with the Graduate Council to ensure adequate library resources for
Sheryl Martinsen, San Bernardino
LIC Librarian, presented the Librarys marketing program from the perspective
of a Library Information Center: "Yes, Virginia, there is a library!"
Although the LICs offer primarily electronic resources, branch librarians interact
with faculty on an individual level by:
- Attending monthly faculty meetings
- Creating printed handouts
- Offering faculty research consultations
- Conducting on-site instruction
- Staging and attending social
Instruction Librarian Debbi Renfrow
elaborated on the considerable challenges of marketing library resources to
a largely invisible virtual faculty. Much progress has been made:
- NUs online tutorial, Library
101, includes a unit just for faculty. An average of 130 Education students
per month now complete the tutorial, as well as the test at its conclusion.
Results are automatically forwarded to teaching faculty, serving as a constant
link between the Library and instructional faculty as well as a valuable post-assessment
tool for the Library. Plans are underway to develop LIB 101 for all schools.
- Concurrent with NUs migration
from E-College to Blackboard as its online class presentation software, librarians
are working with faculty to include Library modules in the new course presentations.
- Library staff are able to communicate
readily with all instructional faculty via e-mail accounts provided by National
- Produce and distribute promotional
materials in multiple formats, including CD-ROM and web pages.
Session attendees were finally treated
to a short and snappy online video produced in Flash by the Multimedia staff.
After highlighting current books, professional librarians, databases, videos
& DVDs, e-books and distance education and online services, this upbeat
"library commercial for faculty" concluded by placing information
literacy at the very top of its list of "Seven Things You Need to Know
about the Library".
Attendees left with a generous arsenal
of marketing tactics already test-driven by a Library that makes faculty outreach
an integral part of its daily activities.
Submitted by E. Carol Dales, CSU