Education Librarian, Laura Lillard takes images of the Govornment Publication Stacks in an attempt to show areas of Suzzlo Library that are less known to the public.
For the first time, the UW took part in a nationwide effort to demonstrate people’s value of the library system through photo, video, survey, social-network sites and comment-card representation.
During Library Snapshot Day, a 24-hour period starting on April 12 hosted by the American Libraries Association, students, faculty, staff and other library users contributed their comments and feedback to be used for comparative statistics and graphic representations.
Throughout the day, library users were encouraged to share their library experience via Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Catalyst surveys and comment cards to show their appreciation for the library system and staff, some to possibly be used in future brochures.
Jill McKinstry, director of Odegaard Undergraduate Library, said the timing of the event was particularly crucial following a 20 percent budget cut, amounting to about $5 million and a 40-person staff reduction this year. One of the goals of Library Snapshot Day was to generate input that would highlight what visitors appreciate about the library.
“We’ve heard from students [through surveys] that [the] library as a place is still very important, particularly for the undergraduate population. … So we’re trying to make sure that that is not damaged or hurt,” McKinstry said.
The resulting data set is to be compiled by library staff members by April 15 and submitted to the state on April 27. The information gathered from Snapshot events across the state and throughout the nation will be made available on a site coordinated by the American Libraries Association.
For UW libraries, this event was a chance to highlight what people value in the libraries, despite some of the recent budget concerns.
“We have many efforts right now in efficiency and streamlining and just trying to be smarter about the way we do things to minimize the impact on services,” McKinstry said. “We definitely have been hurt.”
A positive outcome of the cuts has been that the UW libraries have been doing a lot more cooperative buying and sharing with other facilities in the community in order to cut unnecessary costs, McKinstry said.
Molly Riley, a graduate student and library staff member assisting with Library Snapshot Day, participated by taking videos of students in the libraries and in the Quad, and asking what they like about the libraries, and how they use them.
“The responses were overall really positive, I noticed most of all that … people really value [libraries] as a place to come and meet other students, to study quietly and study together,” she said. “People say that they don’t know what they would do without this space and the resources that are available here, and so I was really pleased to hear those things.”
McKinstry and A.C. Peterson, UW libraries communications officer, hope the event will become a recurring one — should all go smoothly — and hinted at the possibility of Library Snapshot Day going international in 2012.
“We are excited about having information about ourselves to be able to talk and to share and to draw on,” McKinstry said. “It’s a treasure chest of images and quotes and statistics that we can use to talk about ourselves and to share with others.”
Reach reporter Stefani Bartz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please read our Comment policy.