BRAND AID Creating a Presence in Your Community

Annual BRASS program
June 17, 2002
Atlanta Georgia

The Mississippi State University Libraries Outreach Program:
Reaching Out

Gail Peyton
Coordinator of Outreach & Interim Coordinator of Reference
Mississippi State University Libraries


  • Librarians’ Attitudes
    • Let them come to us
  • Develop and create new collaborative relationships


  • Many of the academic faculty were not fully aware of the new technology services being used by their students
  • Academic faculty are reluctant to inform library faculty about their problems

MSU Outreach Program Goals

  • Foster an ongoing partnership with the assigned areas of responsibility by professionally representing and promoting the library program and services.
  • Market Mississippi State University Libraries as a premier information provider to the University community, the state, the southeast region and beyond.

Program Phases

  • Phase One
  • Phase Two
  • Expansion Phase

Community Participation

  • Parent’s Day
  • Scholar’s Recognition Day
  • New Student Athletic Academic Orientation
  • Resident Assistant Orientation
  • Information Desk Quick Stop in the Union
  • Satellite Librarians
  • Honors Program
  • Road Runners Class
  • Graduate Student Seminars
  • Graduate Student Fair
  • ELL
  • New Faculty Coffee
  • Adopt a Library
  • Distance Education Program

Project Publicity

  • Dean visits with each Department Head and Library Representative each year
  • MSU Faculty Publication
  • Student Publication
  • Community Newspapers
  • Library Newsletter
  • E-mail (individual, departmental, college-wide and/or university-wide)
  • Library Public Relations Committee
  • Library Web page
  • Outreach member PR

Evaluation/Statistical Success

  • Increasing faculty, student, and researcher awareness about the Libraries’ programs and services
  • Upgrading the image of the Libraries
  • Building general faculty and library faculty relationships (partners)
  • Establishing personal contact for subject-specific questions
  • Discovering current general academic faculty research needs
  • Increasing both the effectiveness and the scope of public relations of the Libraries
  • Increased traffic in library, presumably due to faculty requiring more research for assignments

From Our Experiences

  • Library and Librarians’ commitment to the Program is imperative
    • Not enough time to do major job and outreach
    • Money
    • Sell your outreach program to your librarians
  • Failure (things might not go like you want them the first time around, don’t give up…some one will appreciate you sharing “what services the library has to offer”).

    “One kind word about your services or personnel in the library will recruit others”.

  • Make outreach mandatory (maybe good, maybe bad)
  • Librarians fear of academic faculty
  • Speaking in public fear (especially if your outreach staff consist of public and technical staff)
  • Tech Services think that outreach is a public service responsibility
    • Allow outreach member to create their own outreach initiatives
    • Work with existing campus programs
    • Don’t expect immediate pay off
  • Partner with
    • Campus bookstore
    • International Student Office
    • Diversity Centers
    • Sorority/Fraternities
    • Academic Faculty with special expertise
    • Graduate Student Office
    • Graduate Program Coordinator
    • University Library Committee
    • University Relations
  • Small Departments vs. Large Departments

Future of Outreach at MSU Libraries

  • Coordinator will continue to plan new initiatives, develop partnerships
  • Academic Faculty Outreach is presently in committee (being re-evaluated to address some of the Librarians concerns noted above and other concerns)
  • Discussion in the committee has focused on:
    • Librarians as liaisons
    • Evaluations criteria
    • Who should do outreach

bullet BRAND AID: Creating a Presence in Your Community
BRASS Program, ALA Annual Conference, June 17, 2002

Disclaimer : This publication has been placed on the web for the convenience of BRASS members. Information and links will not be updated. Posted 19 August 2002.