Love Your Library Week at FIT!
Conference Booklet Description: “The Fashion Institute of Technology’s Faculty Senate Library Committee and FIT’s Gladys Marcus Library co-sponsored a 5-day celebration called “Love Your Library Week” to publicize the resources of the library. We offered 10-minute tips, library tours, an FIT faculty speaker series, and a movie day with screenings featuring libraries and/or librarians. We also held raffled and gave out candy bags with prize tickets randomly hidden within. We produced a series of student, staff, and faculty designed bookmarks, posters, and 3″x5″ announcement cards. The event was held during the week in which Valentine’s Day fell. It produced an awareness of the library throughout the FIT community as well as forging new alliances with the Student Services Department and the Student Ambassador program.”
My Thoughts: This was my first pre-conference session. One of the really amazing things that I learned in this session is that the FIT Library planned the entire “Love Your Library Week” in only 6 weeks… wow. Before this event, the library had done little to no marketing. The event took place during the third week of the second (spring) semester, which was determined to be a perfect time, as students are settled in yet not too settled. For example, the add/drop dates were past, but students had yet to receive lengthy assignments that might hinder them from attending library events.
The faculty guest speaker series the FIT Library conducted during this week sounds similar to the Faculty Scholar Series we have implemented at Wallace Library. A few examples of lecturers were faculty with recent publications, an FIT alum who worked on a special series of USPS stamps, the FIT museum director and a researcher who utilized the FIR Library for a project. Another similarity I found was the fact that FIT Library included a film day where they served popcorn (even though food is not allowed in their library, which inevitably created some confusion) which was an amazing hit! Apparently, students everywhere just love popcorn!
And candy too. The most popular part of the “Love Your Library Week” were small candy bags filled with info., bookmarks and random gift giveaways. In order to find out what gift they had received, students had to go to a central location in the library (drawing them into the facility). As FIT is a design school, it was not surprising to me that their marketing materials were well-designed. Obviously, the Valentine’s Day theme led to some very interesting creations. FIT held a contest for students to submit poster designs and the two that were chosen were beautiful. I have some samples of the bookmarks, etc. and will have them in my office when I return to RIT next week. Stop in!
- Because there were only 6 weeks for planning, advertising was an issue.
- Held during a week in February, it was cold and students may have wanted to remain inside in dorm buildings across the street or campus, resulting in decreased attendance.
- Difficulty motivating librarians to participate enthusiastically.
- 10 minute tips were the most problematic due to low attendance, poor location (tucked away vs. out in the open), and almost no advertising due to last minute schedule changes.
- More delegation of workload was needed.
- FIT collaborated with the Faculty Senate Library Committee, which brought more ideas to the table and more venues for spreading information to students.
- Holding the event during Valentine’s Day week provided a perfect theme and advertising scheme for the event.
- Library tours re-affirmed location of resources for older students who may have forgotten the initial freshman seminar tour.
- Awareness of the library was increased.
- At the conclusion of the week, Academic Affairs awarded the library with a gift of $50,000 (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
- Created new connections and relationships with different departments and people.