Book Reviews

Successful Campus Outreach for Academic Libraries: Building Community through Collaboration. Peggy Keeran and Carrie Forbes, eds. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2018. 235p. Paper, $50.00 (ISBN: 978-1-5381-1371-4).

Book cover for Successful Campus Outreach for Academic Libraries

Outreach and engagement is a key topic in academic libraries that is receiving an increased focus within the profession. While it may be difficult to decide which materials one should turn to first when delving into this subject, Successful Campus Outreach for Academic Libraries is an excellent collection of essays on the current scholarship and practice of academic library outreach. The ideas presented in its pages are not only inspiring; they can be easily adapted to fit a variety of academic settings. Nearly all chapters of this book detail collaborative outreach initiatives featuring partnerships with entities both on and off campus. There is a variety of topics covered, including planning and programming, as well as less obvious topics such as technology. Nearly all chapters incorporate essential details of implementation and assessment of the described programs. The practical information shared in each chapter will appeal to anyone charged with outreach efforts.

The chapters of the book are organized by four intriguing themes: Strategic Vision and Planning, Developing and Implementing Successful Programs, Community Outreach, and Broadening Outreach Audiences. After a concise introduction that gives context to each of the themes, the book begins with a fascinating chapter written by Rosan Mitola of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas University Libraries. This chapter discusses the UNLV Libraries’ “audience-based outreach and assessment plan” (3). Mitola includes aspects of event planning activities and steps taken to establish partnerships with other campus departments outside of the library. The highlight of this chapter is the appendix, which provides a sample event proposal. This proposal contains frequently overlooked aspects of library event planning, including event purpose and outcomes, cost, and unique methods of program assessment.

The second chapter, “Reconceptualizing Outreach” by Rochelle Smith, discusses ways in which librarians can interact with faculty and students outside the traditional information literacy classroom setting. Smith describes the benefits of librarians sharing their subject knowledge in forums such as interdisciplinary colloquia series and subject-based guest lectures. “Teaching to Learn and Learning to Teach” is the third chapter, written by Courtney Lundrigan. Lundrigan encourages librarians to interact with students outside the library instruction classroom by reaching out to campus student groups and organizations. This chapter also looks at peer tutoring and mentoring theories, applying these theories to examples of how libraries can create peer-tutoring programs in the library. Lundrigan suggests simple steps that librarians can take to foster a relationship with student-led organizations.

The second section of this book focuses on the development and implementation of successful library programs. “Building Boot Camp Success” by Mandy L. Havert describes the collaboration between the campus libraries and the writing center at the University of Notre Dame. These departments work together to provide dissertation “boot camps” for graduate students. The chapter evolves into an informative discussion of the logistics, funding resources, and assessment of the boot camp program. The next chapter, “Money Smarts,” discusses the “Money Smart Week” programming at the University of Denver. The university libraries collaborated with nontraditional outreach partners such as the Office of Financial Aid and the Bursar’s Office to provide student programming that teaches topics related to financial literacy. Next, “Library Outreach and Campus Communication Using a Digital Signage Platform” by Toong Tjiek Liauw (Aditya Nugraha) focuses on using the technology of campuswide digital signs for outreach at Petra Christian University in Surabaya, Indonesia. The in-depth assessment of patron interaction with digital signs will be of interest to any library that also has access to this technology.

The third section of this book is a topic that is often overlooked in academic library outreach discussions: community outreach. “Academic Libraries and STEM Outreach Programs” by Naomi Bishop focuses on the University of Denver and Northern Arizona University libraries’ STEM-themed outreach initiatives to several off-campus groups, including elementary and high school students, as well as students at a local tribal college. Outreach activities detailed in the chapter include maker labs, workshops dedicated to 3D printing, and information literacy sessions dedicated to copyright and patents.

A case study of the Long Island University C.W. Post campus B. Davis Schwartz Memorial Library’s collaborative exhibits and events is described in “Academic Library Exhibits and Programs” by Manju Prasad-Rao. This library has enjoyed the unique opportunity to host several national traveling exhibits. The chapter offers valuable advice on the application process for hosting these exhibits. Next, “Regis University and Arrupe Jesuit High School” by Paul Mascareñas and Janet Lee details the collaboration among a university library, a local public library, and a high school to host a “research day” for high school students. This day allows high school students to undergo the “college library experience.” An interesting facet of this chapter notes the feedback on this program from current Regis students who attended the sessions as high school students.

The final section of the book focuses on “Broadening Library Outreach Audiences.” In this section, the chapter “Books Are Not Enough” by Sabrina Wong emphasizes the lack of professional literature dedicated to outreach in polytechnic schools. Wong begins to fill that gap by providing details of the outreach efforts at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. These engagement initiatives were inspired by survey data and conversations with the campus community. Of particular note is the section in this chapter on creating an engagement plan for the library, as well as assessment of the plan.

The next chapter, “Student Library Advisory Boards” by Rebecca Barham et al., describes student library advisory boards at the University of North Texas. A compelling aspect of these advisory boards is that they are separated by undergraduate and graduate students. The focus of the chapter is the formation of the graduate student library advisory board, a unique concept that could easily be implemented in many other institutions. Finally, “Supporting Graduate Education” by Deborah Lee describes Mississippi State University Libraries library workshops for graduate students. To create these workshops, the library collaborated with other campus offices, including the MSU Writing Center.

Each chapter in this book includes an extensive reference list that provides those who wish to learn more about a topic many options for further research. The robust index as well as the biographies of chapter authors completes this satisfying read. The introduction to this book states that one area of the book that could be explored further is assessment in outreach. This reviewer found that several chapters do address assessment, so it is off to a good start to fill the gap in the literature on this topic. Overall, this book is highly recommended for academic outreach librarians or any other staff member who is charged with outreach responsibilities for their library.—Laura Wilson, College of the Holy Cross

Copyright Laura Wilson

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