SPEC Kit 317: Special Collections Engagement · 101
Lack of an adequately outﬁtted classroom space, with flexible furniture, document camera, and related equipment,
within the Special Collections security perimeter. We are at the mercy of scheduling issues for other Library classroom
spaces; and only one of those three spaces allows flexible table/chair arrangement. Extraordinarily long process required
to cut contracts with vendors not already in University’s system (resulting e.g., in one case in a months-long delay in
publishing an exhibition catalog). Until recently, lack of University Development support in helping to attract funding
and solicit donations to support outreach efforts. Paucity of staff (we have no dedicated public services staff in Special
Collections, let alone a dedicated outreach person); and in particular, paucity of curatorial staff with the personality and
experience best suited for engagement of students and faculty.
Lack of adequate and secure exhibit space for art work such as paintings. Staff to keep the library open for events.
Lack of awareness/interest on the part of faculty, et al.
Lack of staff time. In most units staff have too many responsibilities to allow as much time as they would like for doing
Library support for outreach is limited. Staff are few and occupied with priorities other than promotion or publicity for a
speciﬁc special collections exhibit or event. No one within special collections has the time, funds or expertise to handle
promotion or publicity as it should be done to garner interest/support within the university and beyond. We continually
ask for more support for our programs. We often apply for grants, but again, applying and administering grants requires
Limited human resources, limited hours of operation, though it isn’t clear how much of an impact this has on users.
Limited staff and resources; Need more targeted outreach efforts — we sense that there is e-mail overload and even
targeted mailings are not as effective as they might be.
No barriers other than lack of a proper instruction room and time.
Not enough hours in the day, and currently, not enough appropriate staff. To address problems in common, we engage
in ongoing, if infrequent, meetings of curators across units.
Not enough time to dedicate to this activity. We are depending more and more upon the efforts of outside faculty,
hence the use of the “embedded faculty member.” (Embedded because we gave him an ofﬁce in our newly renovated
One of the greatest barriers has been geography. Our largest collection and best building space is located 3 miles
from the main campus and despite a university run shuttle, we have difﬁculty getting students and faculty to use the
Our limited hours.
Primary barrier would be lack of time to engage faculty, students, and other researchers, i.e., to reach out to them and
suggest relevant resources and activities.
RBSC: lack of staff. Xwi7xwa Library: lack of staff with expertise in First Nations collections. Library Development Ofﬁce:
librarians’ time constraints (potential collaborators).
Resources — staff, technology, space. Our new strategic emphasis means that additional staff resources, technology
and new organizational structure will combine to provide more and improved outreach. The new building will provide
signiﬁcantly improved space to support teaching and research, and embed special collections in more graduate and
undergraduate courses. The need for outreach, and related technology, relating to our digital unique collections will
continue to grow.