Teach and Tell: Access Services’ Frontline Rolein Patron-Centered Activities
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Within the library, the Access Services staff stand at the convergence of users and services and are armed with core functional skills. Yet despite this advantage, they have traditionally played a passive role in patron-centered outreach. Our objective was to see if Access Services could play an active role in promoting library services to enhance academic learning and research. The “Teach and Tell” project began with identifying each Access Services Department’s (Circulation, ILL, and Media/Computer) unique services and expertise. Potential outreach activities were then identified for different target library patron populations. Through these outreach activities, the Access Services staff contributed significantly to raising awareness of library services and promoting a positive library image. This project demonstrated that Access Services can go far beyond its traditional, passive desk function and succeed in building confidence and motivation among staff to take on active roles in patron-centered activities.