MBLWHOI LIBRARY Recommendation for Webinar Series
Corlett, Rebecca S.
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This report was completed for a graduate level class at Syracuse University entitled IST 613 Library Planning, Marketing, and Assessment. This report was completed in partnership with Lisa Raymond and Jennifer Walton, Co-Directors of the MBLWHOI Library in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. The following report delivers information on the existing value and impact areas of the library including an analysis of the existing stakeholders, services, and resources. The MBLWHOI Library is a vital resource to the five science institutions located in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, as it provides both strong core and specialized services to assist patrons in furthering their endeavors in discovery, education, and research; however, communicating the value and impact of the library and its specialized services to its busy user community can be challenging. Bridging this gap is how the recommendation of the monthly lunch and learn webinar series was developed. The lunch and learn webinar series will not only help the library to share its specialized services and resources with its community, but it will also allow the library to meet and expand a good number of the goals listed within its Strategic Plan for 2018. A focus on identifying user needs via assessment will be key to creating a webinar series that is both relevant and inviting to the library’s community. By using webinar services that are provided at no cost by the institutions, the library can reinforce communication with its users, while also ensuring that the library budget remains primarily focused on resources, such as journal articles, that are of great importance to library patrons. Strengths for the recommendation stem from dedicated library staff, evidence of user needs for instruction on specialized services, as well as the library’s strong core values of furthering the education and research projects within the Woods Hole community. Marketing of the webinar series via flyers, social media, and email newsletters will refresh the library’s presence on campus, thus helping it to meet its goal of being viewed by the community as the primary knowledge resource on campus. The increased communication efforts will be tailored to various audience types by using key messages for each user group, as well as ensuring that the communication initiated by the library is brief, informative, and timely. Assessing the webinar series will be essential, and the continued success of the program will rest on the library’s ability to identify strengths and weaknesses in the series, as well as user need areas. User surveys, focus groups, informal conversations, and library statistics will all be collected and used as assessment tools. Assessment of the webinar series will help the library to ensure that the series’ outcomes and strategic plan goals are being met. Available library staff time and library budget will determine the ability of the library to implement the webinar series; however, the benefits of implementing the webinar series will not only create a platform for the increased exchange of knowledge between the library and its users, but it will also bring renewed focus to the library that will allow for the library to maximize the value and impact they are able to bestow on their user community.