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The Two Solitudes… Academic and Public Libraries Who We Are: Chancellor Paterson Library, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, ON 7,600 full and part-time enrolment New Medical School; new campus at Orillia Thunder Bay Public Library 2 “Main Branches”, 2 neighbourhood branches

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the two solitudes

The Two Solitudes…

Academic and Public Libraries

who we are
Who We Are:
  • Chancellor Paterson Library,
  • Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, ON
  • 7,600 full and part-time enrolment
  • New Medical School; new campus at Orillia
  • Thunder Bay Public Library
  • 2 “Main Branches”, 2 neighbourhood branches
  • City of 117,000, formerly two smaller cities: Port Arthur and Fort William; merged in 1970
high schools
High Schools
  • Declining enrolment
  • Public system declining; Catholic system remaining steady or increasing
  • Public High schools closing or merging; one mega-school planned but not yet a reality
the challenge
The Challenge:
  • High School teachers sending their students to the university library exclusively, unaware of the many useful e-resources of the Public Library
  • University Library dealing with an influx of students requiring much more help and shortchanging their own students
the fix or pick up the phone and call the public library
The “Fix”…or Pick up the Phone and Call the Public Library…
  • Collaborate to plan outreach to the teachers at local high schools to:
  • Explain the services/policies/access of both library systems via presentation, brochure, website, etc.
  • Teach the teacher and the students about access from home (important for rural students).
the original plan
The Original Plan:
  • Design and develop presentation/package/website.
  • Present at staff meetings to reach as many teachers as possible…how?
  • A colleague knew a teacher in the school; this led to a meeting with the Program Head at the school board…
but the best laid plans can sometimes go awry
But…the best laid plans…can sometimes go awry!
  • We presented to the Program Head and she was ready to book us into a school dept. head meeting. Unfortunately, before we had our chance, a presenter came into such a meeting and instead of his allotted 15 minutes took 45 minutes. So, outside guests were not booked after this incident!
plan b
Plan B:
  • Go into specific classes (Gr. 12 English) that would most benefit from learning about the access and resources of both libraries.
  • Give the teachers a package detailing the e-resources/access from home/contact information for both libraries.
is it working
Is It Working?
  • Too soon to tell but…
  • Positive comments from teachers.
  • March 2006: 2 high schools visited with a total of 140 students
  • October 2006: invited back to same 2 high schools…maybe they really, really like us?
what s next
What’s Next?
  • Add Catholic high schools to the program since they each have around 1200 students, and are still sending students to the university library…
  • Promotion for both Lakehead and TBPL.
  • Familiarize high school students/teachers with info. lit concepts: research skills, database searching, etc.
  • Meeting Strategic Plan goal (TBPL).
  • Better use of staff time at LU Library; h/s students are at least familiar with the basics of searching.
benefits cont d
Benefits, cont’d
  • Increase for TBPL in visits to high schools.
  • Increase in high school students obtaining public library cards.
  • High School students learn about academic atmosphere/environment and Lakehead promotes its programs too.
where do i begin public librarians
Where do I begin? (Public Librarians)
  • Contact the university library and ask for a tour for your (public library) staff to find out about their services/resources/programs.
  • Contact the Instruction or Information Literacy Librarian and set up a meeting to discuss possible collaboration.
where do i begin academic librarians
Where do I begin? (Academic Librarians)
  • Check out the Public Library’s website and see what e-resources are available.
  • If you are inundated with inquiries from high schools about instruction sessions, ask the teachers if they are aware of the e-resources of the Public Library and have a contact name/number/email ready to give them.
where do we both academic and public librarians begin
Where do we both (academic and public librarians) begin??
  • Make the first call!
  • Set up a meeting to devise a strategy/plan/outreach program that will benefit both libraries.
  • Follow through! Go to where your audience is: high school staff meetings, dept. head meetings, or in the classroom, if necessary.
contact us
Contact Us:
  • Sylvia Renaud, Thunder Bay Public Library,
  • Janice Mutz, Chancellor Paterson Library, Lakehead University,