|Image from ALA|
"First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April." (ALA. National Library Week.)
This year the Darling Library explores the theme, "Unlimited Possibilities" as applied to the library of Hope International University.
How can any library claim unlimited possibilities?
Libraries have long been about connecting the communities they serve with the information and research resources they need. If they are successful in this mission, their patrons are only limited by their own imaginations. How does the Hugh and Hazel Darling Library meet this mission for the students, faculty, and staff of its academic community?
Early this semester, the presidents of two sister schools visited Hope to explore a merger opportunity. I was given fifteen minutes to give them the gist of it. Knowing that I was only one of numerous presentations they would be hearing that day, I decided to give them a bookmark with bulleted points to take with them. On one side of the bookmark I focused on the brick and mortar library offerings for those who have the privilige of visitiing the facility. The other side focused on our online presence, which I knew would be of greater interest to my audience.
More recently, our Admissions Department held a Spring Preview Day for prospective students and their parents during which they gave tours of the campus, including the library. It is always interesting to overhear what our student admissions representatives say about the library on their tours. We listen critically and hope they "sell" our services well. After hearing a number of these tour guides, the library staff decided we should give them the same bookmark I had created for the visiting administrations the month before.
Having excellent information resources does not provide "unlimited possibilities" unless the intended users know about it and how to take advantage of them. This year, I hope to use National Library Week as an opportunity to take a step toward increasing awareness of the unimited possibilies we offer.