The UVU Library is one of the eight out of 108 entries to be selected to receive a national Public Relations award. UVU has not won any award like this before. The closest it has come was a best-of-show award for a public relations campaign in 2006.
Lesli A. Baker, assistant director of UVU Library Public Services, said the concept to win the award was innovative and different from what they had seen other libraries do.
“We were trying to help new students who come to a university library feeling overwhelmed and have anxiety,” Baker said. “They don’t know what to expect, or what is even available to them.”
The library has a variety of services available to serve the needs of the students, many of which are not even aware of them. These services range from checking out textbooks and media equipment, to getting assistance from reference desks and help with research papers.
“We have specialized support groups such as assistant technology, writing center, visual arts and innovation center,” said Michael J Freeman, Library Director.
To have students fully aware of these services and how to be helped, Baker said the library worked with faculty to conduct games like, “Get a Clue Run” each fall and “Library Craft Run” in the spring. Each of these focus on highlighting different areas and services for students to learn more about what is available.
“We are also getting the word out with digital signs, orientations, Twitter, Facebook and monthly podcasts.” Baker said.
The library hopes that with these different ways, they can reach students.
“Students need to learn how to ask and not be intimidated. There is always an initial learning how to do these things just like everything,” Freeman said. “If students fail to ask for help, they end up wandering around and taking shortcuts that don’t help them that much.”
In winning the award, the Library received $10,000, which they intend to use to spread the word of how they can help students.
“We want to promote the library to our students and try different ways to get the word out, hopefully reaching even more students through our marketing efforts,” Baker said.
By Lesedi Botite