The Management and Support of Outreach in Academic Libraries
PublisherReference and User Services Association
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The promotion of services in academic libraries often falls under the purview of outreach. This paper explores a number of questions regarding library outreach, specifically how libraries manage and support the marketing and public relations aspect of their services, resources, and facilities. An exploratory survey of more than 100 academic libraries reveals that the management of outreach often occurs on an informal and ad hoc basis, with only a minority maintaining a dedicated budget or articulated mission statement. Over- whelmingly, campus and library events prove the most popular methods of outreach, although blogs and other Web 2.0 tools trail closely behind. Additional survey questions address the use of dedicated positions and committees, and future efforts planned for outreach. This paper should provide a gauge for libraries in measuring their outreach efforts, while also highlighting topics for further study.