If I build it, will they come?

I am heartened by the fact that other staff at MPOW seem to think that student patronage of the library has increased tenfold since it has been staffed full time (about 6 weeks now).  I like to think that the fact that I am bombarding the students with messages, information, classes and emails is helping.  If I bang on about the Facebook page long enough surely some of them will take notice?

Collection development has been my focus this past week – taking a break from lesson planning and writing of objectives.  Collection development is tricky without a budget of course – but I am slowly building an argument for aforementioned budget and a workable, measurable collection development policy is an essential part of that argument.  There is a collection development policy in place, but I want to take the library in a slightly different direction so a rewrite has been called for.  It happens that collection development is something I have had some experience with so I am reasonably pleased with my efforts thus far.

I’m also joining the team of staff developing our online course management system, using Moodle as the platform – the idea (well, my idea anyway) being that the library and associated ideas of information management and resource discovery are included in the system as it is built from the ground up.

The library here is isolated from the computers – partly because of space restrictions but I think also because it just didn’t occur to anyone to put them together.  So, students can either look at books OR search google – they can’t do both easily.  Co-locating the library and the computer lab is a high priority for me, reinforced by some reading I did today on user behaviour in digital information seeking.  Essentially, this JSIC/OCLC study points out what we already know anecdotally – users see libraries as being about books – and my library is reinforcing that stereotype by keeping the books separate to the information source they prefer to use.

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