On the 5th December 2012 I attended a UKSG seminar in London. As proclaimed by the event summary, the purpose of this event was to discuss how to successfully promote your e-resources.
I was very excited to attend this seminar and for an opportunity to discuss how other colleges are getting the most out of their e-resources. This does seem to be a common problem. We all have e-resources, we all think they are great, but how do we get users to love them and use them like we do?
As it turned out, the main thrust of the event was in its opportunities for networking and for vendors who specialise in providing e-resources for further education to promote their wares.
My favourite presentation of the day was given by James Clay of Gloucestershire College. His presentation was entitled ‘Would you like fries with that? How to engage your learners to use more of the library resources available to them.
James gave an excellent presentation, with lots of great ideas. Many of which echoed my own thoughts on the subjects of engaging your learners.
James main idea was upselling. If a learner is borrowing some books on a certain subject, ask if they have seen the new issue of a related journal in the library. If you are helping a learner search for books, offer to find them a related article on one of the libraries specialist databases. It is by engaging your learners with all the resources and answering their queries from multiple mediums that the learners will become more aware of how the library can impact their learning in a positive way.
A second idea which struck a chord with me was taken from research conducted by the University of Huddersfield. This research suggests that students who take out more books, or use more e-resources, will get higher grades. This is no secret and is something us information professionals have suspected for years, but it was nice to hear it articulated.
The final point made by James which I will elaborate on here was one of library staff knowing their learners. This is something that I learned from my boss in my role as a library and information assistant years ago. The point made to me was that “people do not forget conversations, they forget facts”. It is by engaging in conversation with your learners that you can best understand and fulfill their learning needs.