Collection Communication

I’ve been thinking about an issue for library collections recently. I might like to do a research project on this topic but have not pushed through the inertia to get working on it. The topic is: communication about collections. There are so many issues about library collections that require communication with a wide variety of constituents both within the library staff and in the user community. The number of issues that require communication is almost never ending. And the variety of constituents is daunting.

I started keeping a spreadsheet of all the different communication issues we have:Very Large Array

  • Product trials
  • New products
  • Vendors visits
  • Vendor training announcements
  • New approval titles
  • Renewal notices
  • New product requests
  • Order problems
  • Fund problems
  • Orders or requests (from librarians or users)
  • Invoice (received or to be paid)
  • Claims
  • Connectivity problems
  • Service Outages

Some of those are entirely internal. Some are issues that we communicate outward to library staff and users. Some are issues that users communicate to us. ERMs were designed to handle some of the internal communication issues (although even at those, they don’t do a very good job), but ERMs were never intended to be the means of pushing out the entire gamut of communication elements to a library community.

What can we use to meet all these communication needs? I’ve been pondering that for my own library and not come up with a good solution. Probably no one tool is right for everything. But we do have a lot more options now days. We use a lot of email discussion lists in my library, but, personally, I’d rather eat a bag of glass than be added to another listserv.

So, the number of communication tools is equally daunting:

old phone

  • Telephone
  • Text message
  • Chat
  • Personal email
  • Group email list
  • Newsletter (print or electronic)
  • Face to face
  • Webpage
  • Intranet
  • Local network drive
  • Wiki
  • Calendar
  • Facebook
  • Blog
  • Twitter
  • Libguides
  • Course management system
  • Skype
  • RSS
  • Adobe Connect
  • YouTube
  • Other Social Media

And probably 500 other things. Ideally, it would be nice if we could integrate all of this into a single system. A blog platform like WordPress might begin to do the job, but I haven’t figure out how to sort out the internal and the public. So many puzzles to solve.

What is your library using for internal and external communications about library collections issues? Help me out here!


image credits:

Very Large Array: Rick Ortiz (Flickr)

telephone: Frédéric BISSON (Flickr)

One Comment on “Collection Communication”

  1. Hi Steven,

    More and more libraries are having to evolve with the needs of their diverse local community and create a positive environment, while also attracting new and lapsed patrons back. Some of the innovative programmes and ideas libraries have are fantastic!

    Now we are sharing those ideas in a Linked In group I run:

    The name of the group is: Improving Circulation In Public Libraries

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