71 SPEC Kit 361: Outreach and Engagement Funding support may be different. Timelines and pace may differ (including scheduling and planning). Communication. Prioritization. It has been overwhelmingly beneficial just have to manage expectations and clarify roles in partnership from the beginning. Lack of interest, different priorities across partner units Lack of understanding of role of library Like in any organization, activities and events can yield territorial issues however, this can be ameliorated by communicating clearly and being mindful of all the stakeholders’ goals. Logistics and timing of events, booking needs, booking anything on campus due to parking limitations and current large scale construction efforts. Also, the campus is very active and there are many groups competing with similar or additional events in the same time periods. Managing expectations and lack of resources Many of our strategic partners come from the world of student affairs. These partners are often extremely busy and might drop the ball on following up on programming ideas. Other partners do not fully realize what the library can do (and how we support students) so it takes time to get them on “our” side. More communication is required and that communication can take more time. Not all partners are as receptive as others some relationships are lopsided. Partnerships take time and investment. Not sustainable due to lack of staff, funding, other support, space limitations differing alignments with strategic goals/visions/plans. One of the challenges of having new people from different units working in the library is they have different expectations about work cultures and rules (e.g., staff bringing bicycles or dogs into work). Another problem we have had with co-sponsored programs is people referring incorrectly to the name of the library. We have seen promotional materials that we did not approve and that have included a warped and fuzzy library logo that was obviously pulled from our website. We have also co-sponsored events where we were not in charge of marketing and barely anyone showed up. To combat this, we are in the process of defining exactly what “co-sponsorship” of a program means. Partners do not always follow through. Partners with fewer resources or skills may require us to contribute heavily to shared goals. Quite often, depending on how big the partner unit is, there can be hold ups due to bureaucracy on their end. Additionally, they can require often, awareness updates/training in regards to what we do. People can be easily confused by the continual changes in our services/programs/collections, etc. Their staffing can change and so this often impacts the work we have to do to keep them updated. Resource sharing, different priorities Scheduling and budgeting Some partners may hijack the project or may disappear mid-project. Sometimes there is inexperience in doing events. Sometimes we miss the opportunity to work with new partners because we don’t know about an initiative or are invited to join after the opportunity to contribute to the formation is well underway. Challenge of time and/or cost justification. Difficult to plan far in advance with many strategic partners (e.g., turnover of students, priorities, etc.)
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