At first there were only academic librarians at this roundtable ... after a little while, thankfully some public librarians joined us. It would have been sad right, to only have academic librarians at a collaboration roundtable? I was heartened to hear so many of my academic colleagues talk about their interest in working with their local public libraries. I know we at Mt. Wachusett Community College find ourselves in a unique position - community colleges are somewhat of a hybrid, in that we serve both the greater community and also our more immediate community of faculty, staff and of course, students.
Here is a snapshot of the discussion:
Seven academic librarians and two public librarians
Do academic and public librarians handle reference differently? One participant had heard it was vastly different and participants weighed in on their views of the differences.
How do public libraries handle information literacy? There is a need for public librarians to start doing more to help their users become more information literate.
Vying for the same money with municipalities makes it difficult – need to make a special effort to bond and recognize commonalities.
Present together at conference – academic/public librarians - a great idea - I would love to present with someone (email me!)
Talked about the MassBlast program and others, teaming up public and academics - worked well at the Springfield Public Library. We at MWCC have also worked with MassBlast kids through visits by students doing the program through the Athol Public Library.
“My College Freshman” – day long event that gets all types of librarians together to talk about information literacy and writing - FREE - you should attend!! The 2006 event had a number of public librarians in attendance, including a YA librarian from Shrewsbury Public Library.
Tensions in relations between collaborations between public and academics sharing spaces/facilities ... Some specific situations were mentioned.
Training sessions – do together for users
How to fix the us and them issues … No easy answers