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Proactive Marketing for the New and Experienced Library Director by Anthony J. Fonseca, Melissa U.D. Goldsmith

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14
Proactive Marketing for New and Experienced Library Directors
Conclusions
When new library directors inherit a library building and its people,
very quickly they discover that the larger picture is more complex. As
they learn about their libraries as a gestalt (e.g. their parent institutions;
the limits of the physical building, furniture, fixtures, and people; and
the history of how all the components of the library and the parent
institution have interacted), they discover that being a library director is
like being a contractor on a repair job – what starts out as one small task
often multiplies as underlying issues are uncovered.
Terence K. Huwe (2013: 24), director of Library and Information
Resources Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at the
University of California at Berkeley, reports that in a 2012 study on
the Berkeley campus, library users are beginning to understand the
urgency of having high-quality library staff, which includes academic
librarians. According to Huwe’s survey, most students prefer librarians,
particularly specialized librarians, to work with them rather than having
one-size-fits-all and impersonal service-point clerks. Huwe’s survey also
includes the importance of the library’s space. His focus is on the library
as a physical study space. He explains that “it may be that libraries are
the bellwether of the limits of just how ‘digital’ students wish to be;
congregating together to study, whether in quiet or social space remains
a priority and a key aspect of student life”.
Sharon Naylor et al.’s (2008: 350) study, which used upper-level
undergraduates as a focus group at Illinois State University, Normal,
drew a stronger, livelier, yet similar conclusion to Huwe:
While many students indicated that they perform much of their
research in their dormitory rooms or apartments, it was clear that
many still value the library as a place. We expected to hear that
students want everything online and that they do not want to have
to come to the library. We certainly heard this attitude expressed,
but we also heard how important the library is as a place for group
meetings and study. One of the few complaints students had about
librarians was that we do not enforce the quiet areas as diligently as
students think we should. Several students also mentioned that they
need the library for access to computers and printing. One student
reminded us that we are not just dealing with the “rich kids” who
own new computers and live in expensive apartments with high-
speed Internet access.

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