ILoveLibraries.org is a web site dedicated to “supporting one of our nation’s most important resources.” Here you can find ways to declare your love and advocate for your library.
At Hope, we feel the love in the Darling Library through usage. We only know we are appreciated if our resources are used. In that way, being the director of the Library, I sometimes feel like one of the servants in The Parable of the Bags of Gold in Matthew 25 (New International Version, ©2010). Instead of bags of gold, I have books, periodicals, videos, sound recordings, computers, internet access, professional librarians, and electronic databases, among other things to care for.
The resources that are purchased with student tuition and fees are carefully selected and monitored for usefulness. If something is not well used, we want to know why.
In the case of electronic databases, we can monitor usage fairly easily by tracking “hits” and downloads. If one of these electronic resources is not being used, we often wonder if it is because our patrons simply are unaware of it. Therefore, we spend a lot of time and energy trying to figure out ways of telling people about them. This is the primary purpose of our News & Events at the Darling Library blog. This is the only purpose for the Darling Library Facebook Page. These modes of communication can reach both our online students and those who meet on campus. But the trick is to get them to see those messages among the myriad of information deluging their eyes and ears from so many directions.
To reach our traditional undergraduate students, we also post messages in the Chapel Notes as often as appropriate and have created a monthly Hidden Hope photo scavenger hunt contest designed to get them to look at the blog. We hope that in their effort to win the $5 Starbucks card, they will scroll past some information that will be helpful to them.
We allow food and drink and cell phones in the Library. We increased the number of outlets, upgraded our wireless network, and even purchased portable bean bag chairs to be moved closer to otherwise out-of-the-way outlets to make the space more hospitable for laptop use.
The Darling Library wants people to get to know us. Because we think that, like the old Phil Spector song, to know us is to love us.
We want our students to love us.