August 14, 2007
Diversity and Multicultural Outreach Site Launched
One year ago, the University Library made a commitment to enhancing services to diverse student populations through the recruitment of Emily Love, Outreach Librarian for Multicultural Services. Anyone with an interest in issues related to diversity in libraries, or with an interest in our expanding range of outreach services and instructional programs for diverse user communities can now visit the Diversity and Multicultural Information site.
The site provides an overview of Library and University resources related to support for diverse campus communities, as well as links to research guides and instructional materials related to the study of diverse communities in the United States and abroad. It also provides an introduction to our increasingly robust set of outreach programs and our valued campus partners in these efforts, including our upcoming Multilingual Library Tours on August 29th and August 30th.
May 7, 2007
Special Issue of Education Libraries Highlights UIUC Program
Education Libraries, the journal of the Special Libraries Association's Education Division, has just released a special issue on "Outreach to Minority Populations" that includes an essay by the Office of Services' Emily Love.
In "Building Bridges: Cultivating Partnerships Between Libraries and Minority Student Services," Love provides an overview of the foundation she has established for substantive and sustainable collaboration between the University Library and the array of student service and academic support programs on campus designed to support the recruitment, retention, and academic success of students of color.
As I have noted before, the idea of ongoing engagement with student services programs in support of student success is a facet of academic library liaison work that has drawn an increasing amount of attention over the past few years. Love provides a good overview of the efforts in this area focused specifically on multicultural student services, and demonstrates another area of library service where UIUC is helping to set the pace.
See: Love, E. (2007). Building bridges: Cultivating partnerships between libraries and minority student services. Education Libraries, 30 (1), 13-19.
April 23, 2007
For those who haven't noticed, my Movable Type guru, Sharif Islam, has made several improvements to the @ Your Service site, including:
*easier access to the RSS feed;
*more obvious identification of the categories into which each post falls; and
*a Blogroll (check out these useful library service blogs, if you haven't already).
I have made a number of demands of Sharif in terms of customizing this blog in order to better meet participant needs, and I appreciate the help!
If you're enjoying this blog, and you see Sharif, please tip your hat!
April 16, 2007
Training Teachers @ Your Library
This week marks the end of another successful year of professional development programming for the University of Michigan's Instructor College, an exemplary training and development program for teaching librarians (and the winner of the ACRL Instruction Section's "Innovation in Instruction" award for 2003).
Many academic libraries, including UIUC, have active training and development programs, and several have programs focused on improving the work of librarians as teachers, but Instructor College has been unusual both for the breadth of its vision and for its staying power. Even when compared with similar programs at Ohio State and Washington State, the Michigan program stands out. I'm proud to have been asked to speak at the Instructor College program this week, but am also happy to have a chance to see, first-hand, what best practices we can steal ("adopt") for our program here.
Teaching is a passion both for our Coordinator for Information Literacy and Instruction and for our Coordinator for Staff Training and Development, and projects like the GSLIS-Library Teaching Alliance demonstrate that our interest in improving our work as teachers is an area where we share a professional commitment with our LIS colleagues. I'm looking forward to working with my colleagues in the Office of Services to build on this good work and to support our organizational commitment to excellence in teaching and excellence in continuing professional education.
April 13, 2007
Library Benchmarking Study Update
How do we stack up when it comes to world-class library services?
This is the question we are hoping to start to answer by participating in the International Library Benchmarking Study being coordinated by the University of Manchester (U.K.). UIUC is one approximately 15 institutions from around the world (with the participant list still being finalized) taking part of this study, and joins the University of Texas, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Arizona as its American representatives.
Eleri Strittmatter from Manchester visited with a number of Library units and committees earlier this Spring as she initiated the planning phase for the study. We will hold an information sharing and brainstorming meeting on Monday, April 16th, from 3:00-4:00 pm (428 Library), for anyone wishing to discuss our participation in this study or to learn more about how we might use the data we will gather for this study as a springboard for further discussions of benchmarking, either locally or in collaboration with peer institutions in the CIC or ARL.
For more information on the Library Assessment program at UIUC (of which this is a part), please visit the UIUC Library Assessment portal.
April 5, 2007
Remember when I said that I was releasing this blog in "beta"?
It appears that while the "Comments" feature has been enabled in this blog, there are still a few bugs in the system when it comes to the design. I have asked my trusty blog guru, Sharif Islam, to trouble-shoot, and I'm sure this will be cleared up very quickly.
Until then, I believe that you CAN make comments, but doing so may hurt your eyes (and possibly your sense of balance). Comments are welcome, though, and we will get this cleared up ASAP.
Can You Hear Me Now?
In every library where I have worked - large and small - there have been concerns over the amount of communication and the ways in which people "find things out."
This very real issue is made infinitely more complex at the UIUC University Library, owing to the size and decentralized nature of our organization. For the Office of Services, this infinite complexity comes also in infinite diversity (with a nod to Gene Roddenberry) owing to the varying degrees to which service programs and initiatives are coordinated across the Library and the varying degree to which formal mechanisms like committees and working groups allow for timely sharing of information.
With that as prelude, I am happy to welcome you to @ Your Service, the "official" blog of the Office of Services. I will use this medium as a way of alerting everyone in the Library to ongoing projects coordinated by the Office. I will also use this blog as a means of sharing highlights of our service activities here at the University Library, facilitating discussions about new service programs and new service models, and sharing our responses to questions that come to the Office on policies, procedures, etc.
I hope you'll visit regularly, subscribe to the RSS feed, and make comments (which is a feature that, if all worked out as planned, is now available on this blog). Everyone at the Library has a role in providing excellent service and I hope this will help facilitate our Library-wide discussion of what our library service programs should look like.