In 2016, our private four-year institution launched a new undergraduate housing model with the goal of providing more opportunities for intellectual engagement through social encounters among students, faculty, and staff. During the day, the campus is an intellectually-engaged community with free exchange of ideas among community members. The housing communities aim to extend this dynamic more fully into the student experience, after hours and outside of the classroom.
The Library’s mission is to foster intellectual growth by supporting excellence and innovation in education and research. We were enthusiastic about the potential both for improved student experience and for opportunities to further engage with the campus community, especially undergraduate students. When the housing communities were announced, the Library created a house librarian program to partner a librarian with each community’s house professor. The house librarians solidified their roles as house community members in multiple ways, including: hosting the house community campus-wide kickoff event, working with faculty to plan programs, participating in house social and academic events, and promoting the Library’s role in the housing communities throughout campus.
Our institution recently launched a new undergraduate housing model in order to provide more opportunities for intellectual engagement through social encounters among students, faculty, and staff. We will describe our experiences implementing a house librarian program. We will discuss how we negotiated intra-institutional barriers that can prevent librarians from pursuing new methods of outreach. We will help participants imagine new non-traditional methods for outreach and engagement that will elicit enthusiastic responses from campus partners.
Barrett, Laura and Harding, Katie, "Librarians Are in the House! Unconventional Strategies for Outreach to Your Campus Community" (2017). Dartmouth Library Staff Publications and Presentations. 10.