Thursday, November 14, 2013

Challenges of Connecting Off-Campus Agricultural Science Users with Library Services

In 2005, the University of Florida (UF) Libraries created a new position, the Outreach Librarian for Agricultural Sciences, whose primary purpose is to enhance library services to the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) off-campus community. As of Spring 2006, IFAS includes more than 995 faculty and staff located at 13 different Research and Education Centers (RECs) and 67 County Extension offices throughout the State of Florida and more than 240 distance learning students from all over the world. Providing library services to IFAS is complicated, considering the distance from the main campus, the various levels of research, the wide range of subject expertise required by users, and the separation into three distinct functions-research, education and extension. In recent years many of the UF services and resources important to off-campus users—such as Interlibrary Loan, virtual reference, instruction services, and electronic resources—have dramatically improved, and yet a lack of awareness for these services and a feeling of unhappiness persists. Furthermore, competition from resources like Google Scholar makes building awareness of library services a top priority. This paper covers the various steps taken, and challenges met, to generate awareness of available library resources and services.

Cite: Valrie Davis (2007) Challenges of Connecting Off-Campus Agricultural Science Users with Library Services, Journal of Agricultural & Food Information, 8:2, 39-47, DOI: 10.1300/J108v08n02_05

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