So you’re a higher-ed library superstar. Equipped with a 3-D printer and a tablet for everyone on campus, you rule the academic library scene from the throne behind your circulation desk. But even if you’re the best librarian or library resource manager in the world, it can be difficult to stay up-to-date with the technology needs of your campus. While you may have the resources you need, marketing them and letting students know how to use them is another story. Here are our tips for keeping your amazing offerings useful and relevant:
There’s a good chance you’ve got some exchange students in the student body. For them, a predominantly English-language library can seem daunting and impenetrable--but it doesn’t need to be! Make sure your resources are available to all students. Here at Mango, we worked with Hope International University to reach their substantial Korean student population. By partnering with their library and language departments, Mango gives these students a way to practice their spoken English and refine their skills, supplies them with helpful cultural tips and advice, and makes their transition to an American university as smooth as possible. Connecting with the entire student population is the first step in staying relevant.
Wait… didn’t we just tell you to think big? While it’s important to reach many different audiences, college students and faculty are often wrapped up in studying the minutiae of certain topics. Whether it’s investigating the chemical signatures of honeybees or predicting the power of the European Court of Justice in protecting European Roma populations, students are constantly in need of niche resources. There could be a need for Mango’s Koine Greek software or digital images of Tang Dynasty playing cards, so think critically about how different resources can be used for student projects. This may require you to put on your “thinking-outside-the-box” hat, but it’s worth getting into the details to keep your library on the cutting-edge.
Go beyond research.
Even though students most often come into the library looking for new resources to help them with their academics, the savvy librarian knows there’s way more a library can offer. The great thing about college students is they’re a curious bunch, so indulge their hunger for learning by repurposing your resource archives for fun! Consider hosting guest lectures that use library newspapers or artwork as a starting point, or host a craft fair in your makerspace. Open up the space for learning outside of students’ course loads, and watch the library community grow.
Librarians and resource managers, what do you do to keep your tech offerings fresh?
Looking to make your library more tech relevant? This insightful case study could help!