When Students Promote The Library

I’m getting more interested in exploring ways in which we can take greater advantage of “word of mouth” marketing on our campus to get our students to pay more attention to our library resources. At least one recent article pointed out that libraries need to do more to make our library resources more visible to the user community. Put that together with a chart from OCLC’s College Student’s Perceptions of Libraries and Information (go to page 21 of 100) report that indicates that the college student’s number one source for learning about electronic information sources is “friend”, then it’s not unreasonable to conclude that to reach students you need to be integrated into their informal networks – and no – Facebook doesn’t cut it because students don’t take your profile seriously and its not word of mouth unless students are hearing it from other students.

So I was interested to come across this article, written by a student at Dennison University, that basically says everything (well, some of the good stuff) that we’d like students to know about using the library’s electronic resources. So how do we get students to read something like this or better yet create this kind of content on their own – or with our support. I don’t doubt that there are students just like this author on all of our campuses who would be willing to share their success stories and endorsements of the library’s resources if we could develop good strategies for tapping into the content and distributing it to other students. For example, how about livening up the tepid library blog by featuring posts from students about their positive library experiences – and even negative ones too just to show were open minded and listening. As one recent article described it we need to encourage our students to be our “library ambassadors” .

I will be putting out feelers with students on some of these ideas in the fall semester, and if you are too – please share what you’re working on with ACRLog.

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