I thought I would rehash the need for bibliographic instruction for my patrons, a majority of which are fellow workers in the Marketing Dept. It’s nice to be needed and depended upon but there needs to be a broader understanding of the uses of our OPAC, the general organization of our collections, and the ability to independently locate physical and electronic resources. This is particularly critical since I am a solo librarian and cannot be on-site at all times. Additionally, I will one day–hopefully in the DISTANT future–be translated to another existence apart from the organization.
The discussion of activities to provide perpetuity in many non-profits outside of the governmental sphere, however, is usually anathema. This foible, along with reluctance for budgetary support of such activities, excentuates many organizations’ laxness in creating and/or maintaining viable disaster recovery and preservation programs. Like many others, I face this uphill battle in my current position. Despite a perfunctory recognition of the need, not much seems to happen although we must be persistent and optimistic.
“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves [not the 'Lone Wolf', of course ]: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”–Matthew 10:16
Anyway, as a good librarian should, I have made several attempts at bibliographic instruction with varying degrees of success. Additional attempts will be made as time goes on and circumstances change. The main deterrent to participation seems to be the time constraints–real or imagined–of my patron/co-workers.
As discussed briefly before, I send email blasts every few months to patrons announcing progress in cataloging and extolling the virtues of our OPAC and collections. The homepage of the OPAC contains as much bibliographic instruction as is possible within the limitations of the current ILS software parameters. The vendor said they will address text limitations in the next release. Hopefully, it addresses the issue adequately and won’t be too long from now.
In April of 2008 , a demonstration of our OPAC was performed in our conference room for any staff interested and who had the time to attend. Unfortunately, only 4 others were able to attend and the demo had to be curtailed when I was called away to see to attend to urgent, non-library related, product project management matters. However, those who attended the demonstration were impressed and expressed a heightened appreciation for the library resources and services available. When an opportunity arises where it would be possible for another batch of patrons to attend, a “new and improved” demonstration will occur.
An introductory tutorial for the use of the OPAC has also been created but needs to be refined. Its use will likely be limited to the future when our library resources become more visible and useful to the organization, department, and management. More thoughts on bibliographic instruction and planning will come in future posts.
“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” (Alan Lakein)