The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) is a Films On Demand subscriber. We recently talked with AnneMarie deGroot, Coordinator of Technical Services & AV Services at SAIT’s Reg Erhardt Library, about how her library promotes its resources, makes the most of its budget, and encourages usage among patrons, students, and researchers.
Tell us one way you’re helping users who may be hesitant to embrace technology to take advantage of your institution’s online resources.
One of the ways I help hesitant users embrace technology is to help them find information on something they are passionate about. Once we walk through a search on that topic through our EDS Discovery search, they see the vast number of options they have. I try to help users find the right type of resource based on what they need to accomplish. Many students are not aware they can incorporate video as part of their research projects, provided they have their instructor’s approval. Using encouraged exploration, many faculty who previously used other video formats, and liked them, have been gently moved over to using the online resources because of the ease of use with added features, like being able to play only the short clip or segment and sharing a playlist to assign after class viewing materials.
What have you done that has most impacted usage at your institution?
- Promotion and one-on-one training of our resources. Films On Demand was the first online video product we purchased with a complete collection of videos. We began by promoting “Top 10 Titles” through our library website social media streams. This really improved the visibility of the resource. We use this method with all new products. Our library based subject specialists also went to each of our 8 Schools, where we showed the faculty and staff how the resources worked and how to integrate them into meetings, classes and the new curriculum being designed.
- We have also added resources our Libguides where new materials and resources are updated regularly.
- Currently we spotlight resources through in-library displays to encourage use and awareness of what we have to any walk-in client traffic.
- One of our biggest pushes that has had significant impact on use of our resources has been to ensure we are part of the curriculum development process. We accomplish this by working closely with subject matter experts who are developing courses. We match resources to their course designs or course outlines, which they then evaluate for suitability. If the resource is suitable the faculty then incorporate the materials into the finished course in the Learning Management Software.
How do you alert faculty to the new resources your library acquires?
We encourage our library social media people to incorporate new titles into their feeds or if they are presenting information on special topics. We share lists of new materials within the library and then distribute via our subject specialists as needed. We also have an e-newsletter we send across campus twice a semester, highlighting things of note about the library. I personally send new titles of note to specific instructors based on my past interactions with them or their teaching focus.
Tell us how you are making the most out of your library budget in these uncertain economic times.
We participate in a province wide resource purchasing consortium, which helps Alberta libraries collaborate for better pricing. This groups negotiates licenses based on the needs of the member libraries. We also have moved some of our resources to Patron Driven Acquisitions (PDA) models to enable our patrons to choose what we purchase. This model allows us to present more materials but purchase access for only those items that are used. In recent years, we have also been the recipient of funds coming from our Alumni and Development department “Student caller program,” which raises funds for specific areas or projects across our college. These funds have helped us acquire resources we previously would not have been able to purchase.
What is your favorite part about working at your library?
My favorite part of working in my library are the people. I love working with faculty/staff to help them find the right video or other resource for their projects. I enjoy showing students what they can do with video and how they can add it to a research project or presentation. I am grateful for my co-workers from all across campus who respect what I do and the knowledge I can share.
What do you think is the library’s most important responsibility at your institution?
The most important responsibility the library has on our campus is to inspire, encourage & support learning. As a centralized service center we provide links between information and all users. We also help our users learn to evaluate the materials they find to be better able to incorporate authoritative information into the assignment, projects and research they do.
Tell us about your favorite YouTube video, libguide, etc., your library has created to promote a resource.
With our new website design, we have an area where we can now highlight a resource right on our main page, which links to blog articles with more information about the resource. This allows us to promote our resources and show people different items they may never have exposure to otherwise. We also use wall spaces to create displays to spotlight resources for added exposure.