Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, is a Films On Demand subscriber. We recently talked with Hope Johnson, outreach and reference librarian at Winthrop’s Ida Jane Dacus Library, about how her library handles technophobes, encourages usage among researchers and faculty, and makes library resources more accessible for all patrons.
Tell us one way you’re helping users who may be hesitant to embrace technology to take advantage of your library’s online resources.
We have a program called Book-A-Librarian, where patrons can schedule an appointment with a librarian for one-on-one assistance. If patrons are unsure about searching databases, accessing electronic books, using a specific computer program, or other technology- (or research-) related questions, they can get friendly, personalized help.
What is your favorite part of being a librarian?
I love being part of a community that helps to foster a love of learning for a diverse population of people.
What have you done that has most impacted usage at your college?
We have textbooks for most of the courses taught at Winthrop available for in-library use. Students love having access to their textbooks in the library, and it keeps the circulation desk busy in the evenings.
How do you alert faculty to the new resources that your library acquires?
We use many avenues for communicating with faculty, such as newsletters, emails, digital signage, our website, and social media.
What role does social media play in your relationship with your patrons?
We use social media to let our patrons know about resources, services, and events in the library. We keep them updated on the library’s hours of operation. And we share images and stories of fun or interesting things that happen at the library.
What do you think is the library’s most important responsibility to your institution?
I think the library’s most important roles are teaching information literacy skills and encouraging a dedication to life-long learning.
Tell us about your favorite YouTube video/LibGuide, etc., your library has created to promote a resource.
I think our most important resources are the skills and knowledge that our librarians can share with patrons. Our Book-A-Librarian program is a great way for librarians to connect with patrons and provide personalized assistance. We promote this service in a wide variety of ways, including LibGuides, bookmarks, digital signage, T-shirts, social media, and giving out free cookies at the student center!