We hope you’ve enjoyed your winter break, academic librarian, because it’s going to be a busy spring semester. Not only do you have the yearly crush of seniors monopolizing the stacks to find the best resources for their theses, but you’ve probably got plans of your own to maximize the value of your library on campus and get the word out about your resources. It’s an exciting time, but if you don’t have a gameplan for how to design and execute on your ideas, it can be stressful.
Today, we’re taking a look at the top initiatives you should prioritize at your library for the spring 2016 semester.
Get on the cloud
We know your digital resources are already top of the line. You’ve got databases covering mathematics, all sciences (of the soft, hard and dismal varieties) and every artistic movement from cave paintings to post-Internet art. But don’t let these database blessings curse you by overloading your digital storage. Invest in a cloud-based storage system like Amazon CloudFront or DuraCloud to keep your online offerings safe, secure and free from cluttering up your library’s digital capacity.
Increase your social media presence with Instagram
You may already have a Twitter profile and Facebook page, but 2016 is your library’s year to become Insta-famous. Instagram, which has more than 80 million users (and many of them young—meaning this is the place to reach your student body) is an ideal place to show your campus community, alumni and library network what’s going on in the stacks. Start a location-based photo stream on Instagram to gather and share photos taken at your library. Create a hashtag for your library and encourage patrons to not only snap photos, but to tag them as well. Through Instagram, you can not only let people know about what’s going on, but encourage interaction with your community.
P.S.: if you’re just starting out and need a follower, reach out to us at @MangoLanguages. We’re more than happy to connect and favorite every single photo you ever post.
Focus on increasing diversity
The greatest gift you have as an academic librarian is the awesome, varied, multidimensional community you reside in. College students, professors and staff are some of the coolest people around—so be sure you’re meeting their needs and wants, whatever they may be. Make increasing diversity in your resources and fostering an inclusive library environment your top priority for 2016 and ensure you’re giving every member of your community the resources they need.
If you need an example of a great diversity plan and strategy, check out the University of Georgia Libraries’ 2013 diversity plan. It’s a great model for how you can design and implement a similar initiative at your place of work.
Interested in learning more about how academic libraries can meet the needs of students in new ways? Check out the case study we did with Brazosport College, who used Mango to increase awareness and participation with their academic library.