100 · Survey Results: Survey Questions And Responses
Different audiences communicate signiﬁcantly differently. We are attempting to broaden our reach by focusing
promotion where our main audience is. For example, to promote to an undergraduate crowd, we rely heavily on online
promotion and social media networks. To promote to faculty, we use listservs and face-to-fact contact. Another barrier
is often program competition, that is, competing for attendees with all the other programs happening on campus. We
attempt to reach out to other interested departments to ensure we are not overlapping events.
Due to the departure of staff, budget cuts, and a hiring freeze, we have a limited number of staff. We have had to cut
back on our reading room hours. The limited hours and stafﬁng are barriers to providing effective outreach. To try
to compensate, we occasionally offer to be open by appointment to users who cannot visit during our current hours
or to visiting scholars who have limited time at the campus. We also are partnering with subject librarians outside of
Special Collections for them to help publicize the research resources of Special Collections. Increasingly, we are offering
instruction with subject librarians to feature Special Collections materials on speciﬁc content, in addition to other
resources in the Libraries. We also try to provide outreach using technology whenever possible (e-mail, phone, tutorials,
Web pages, blog, scanning, etc.).
Everyone is very busy; people might be wary of coming into another space for research; people are unaware of our
collections or how they can be used, etc.
Faculty are often unaware of the existence of Special Collections.
Faculty disinterest is the greatest barrier, although we keep plugging away, especially by building on successful
instruction sessions within speciﬁc departments in order to affect other faculty thru positive word-of-mouth promotion
of our services.
Faculty indifference to special collections in general. Student preoccupation with the Internet as a source of all research
Financial limitations in producing things like print materials. We are still struggling with this barrier. We also have limited
staff time for outreach, and we try to overcome this by having our student workers and interns contribute whenever
Funding and adequate physical space to accommodate large diverse audiences for lectures and exhibitions.
Funding and space are our greatest barriers. Our special collections room is currently more of an exhibit space than
a research facility. The University Libraries are in the process of creating a true special collections room for the use of
Getting the word out is the hardest thing. Developing relationships with local media outlets has helped. Tenacity
has also proven effective — we just keep trying. Faculty turnover also helps sometimes, as younger faculty come in
expecting to use Special Collections with undergrads, while some older faculty persist in believing that we do not want
undergrads to use the collections.
Hours that we are open to the public are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. through 4 p.m. Though we open
occasionally on weekends for special events, this is very rare. It is possible that hours of operation are something of a
barrier to users.
I think the chief barrier is in educating other library staff (principally selector and general reference staff) to be more
aware of our holdings.
Inability to cover weekend & evening hours.
Insufﬁcient staff is the greatest barrier. All staff have some responsibility in this area but carving out enough time to
effectively and proactively provide effective outreach is always a challenge.