107 SPEC Kit 361: Outreach and Engagement Outreach and engagement is an initiative in the university’s strategic plan. Although there are numerous outreach and engagement activities within the library system in support of this initiative, these activities are highly decentralized and autonomous with no overall coordination. Some of the questions are not able to be answered based on the data we collect (especially reasons why employees are not involved). Basic outreach structure is a defined group of faculty and staff, based on position, who meet regularly to discuss outreach best practices and plan certain events. Data gathering is also conducted through this group. Faculty and staff also conduct individual outreach initiatives through their departments. This is based on interest and position. Statistics are submitted to the outreach group. The library student engagement committee handles the majority of outreach and engagement planning and implementation. The student engagement committee has an annual retreat to plan events and subcommittees are created to manage each event. Event documentation and sharing of planning documents is an important part of the committee’s work. There are many more opportunities to collaborate with campus partners and we anticipate that these relationships will continue to grow The National Archives is actually many institutions under one umbrella, with each institution having their own set of programming and structure. This survey was not easy to answer for this structure, so we made some decisions that affected the way we answered: except where noted otherwise, we interpreted library director to mean a local facility’s director (such as the director of a Presidential Library). Most outreach is done at the local level. The university has upwards of 42 libraries on campus. It is challenging to complete a survey that incorporates every library and reflects a collective response. This is particularly challenging when some of the libraries report independently to their respective colleges and academic units, making it difficult to track their activities, practices, and budgets for outreach. Therefore, the responses in this survey attempt to aggregate the information that was provided by libraries/units that responded to the call for input. The libraries/units that responded to the survey represent some of the largest libraries/units where outreach occurs, and so the survey responses should still be a reasonable ballpark. This survey is not designed to capture the variety of activities that occur at a large university library with multiple branches we have centrally driven activities but a lot of branch activities that would have provided much different answers to many of these questions. I have tried to capture the scope of activities but this survey is really looking at an aspect of our Libraries that have many, many dimensions. This survey represents a combination of responses from two different librarians/offices. One heads diversity and external programs, while the other heads learning, research, and engagement more generally. A recent reorganization will move these key outreach functions into a single reporting line. We are in the middle of a process to create an institutional home for outreach at the library. To date, outreach activities have been diffuse and largely uncoordinated. The first step in creating a new outreach office was conducting an audit of all outreach activities in FY17. At the same time, we are developing a new outreach and evaluation reporting system that will standardize outreach activity reporting, establish a centralized approval process, and instantiate standard evaluation metrics for different types of outreach activities. The new office will be implemented in the next year. As a result, much of the documentation requested for this survey is being drafted or revised currently, and therefore not available to be shared. We are in the process of thinking hard about outreach activities and accountability in the University Libraries. In the coming years, we will use the annual review to help define goals for outreach and introduce measures to motivate liaisons to do more active outreach in the future. We are hiring several new positions to help create a leadership level in the organization focused on outreach in an attempt to rebalance outreach activities and collections activities.
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