What can liaison librarians do to support and encourage use of our less popular but outstanding databases?

As part of the June 13 2013 liaison librarians event on acquiring and deploying e-resource collections at the U of T, Dan D’agostino provided an overview of the Oxford Bibliographies and Sage Research Methods Online.  These are excellent tools but receive low use. Many faculty and grad students aren’t aware of them.

Librarians discussed how they could increase awareness of these types of tools among key users.  They shared these ideas with the group

How can we communicate with our users about OBO and SRMO?

  1. Insert a link to these resources when appropriate in course-specific Libguides
  2. When we send an email to instructors, don’t just promote the entire resource, find something within the resource that will resonate with that particular faculty member’s interests. Be targeted in your approach.
  3. Connect with graduate student organizations in departments and GSU generally to promote these resources
  4. Connect with undergraduate student unions in individual departments, promoting content in the resources that will be applicable to these students’ interests (Rita will be getting the list of departmental UG unions in September)
  5. Suggested that the low stats for these resources might need additoinal review, as some librarians indicate more robust use of OBO than stats would suggest.
  6. Connect with faculty about something else that really interests them, then inject an “oh, by the way…” on OBO or SRMO
  7. When faculty request materials to be added to their reading lists, suggest these as additional ideas for consideration if they are appropriate.
  8. Reach out to TAs in specific departments to show-and-tell these tools.  They may be interested in them for their students but also for themselves. Consider offering workshops for departmental TAs
  9. Check the calendar for your departments, and look for classes that focus on research methods.  Reach out to instructors in these classes to make them aware of how these tools can help them.
  10. Get Coursebuilder status in Portal courses for your department (ask the instructor to add you as a Coursebuilder) so that you can add these resources.
  11. Add these resources (with explanations) to your customized Library Resources pages in Blackboard using the FIXIT tool (available though the staff intranet)
  12. Find out who sends out weekly departmental newsletters to faculty and/or grad students, and ask them to insert a short blurb on the benefits of one of these resources.

You can also view the raw idea capture from the event.