Health Science Librarians of Ilinois

HSLI Newsletter

Serving Illinois Health Information Professionals

Request for Input on ILA Reporter Article Covering Libraries and Community Relationships

(via Sarah McHone-Chase, Northern Illinois University)

I am writing an article for the ILA Reporter, and I would like to hear about the experience of others.

At Northern Illinois University Libraries, we have other University offices in our building: tutoring, Writing Center, and others–even our Caribou Coffee. So, we have a lot of people who work in the library, but don’t work for the Library. If I had to say that there were problems with this arrangement, I would say that it is fracturing to our sense of community: we don’t all know each other. This manifests most often when patrons come in and asks at one of our service desks about a person who works at one of these other offices, or about these services, etc. When we don’t know the answer here, we have had patrons react with frustration. It makes us frustrated too.

I wanted to try to make a resource that the staff could use that would tell us who works where. These other offices would have access too, and that’s where it got hard: our Systems folks couldn’t think of a way for all these various entities to have access to this resource, plus there’s still the issue of keeping such a resource current. What I would like to hear about from others is about the kind of relationships or partnerships that your library has within it or elsewhere, and then how your institution keeps everyone current on those relationships/partnerships and the staff involved. What challenges have you noticed?

Any insights would be appreciated!

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