This unique study conducted at Penn State University is a collaboration between Library Assessment, the Office of Development and Alumni Relations & its Development Board Taskforce to investigate emotional connections to the library and reactions to a draft vision statement to inform the creation of a toolkit for Development Board members for use when working with potential donors. The study design was informed by Development Board Taskforce members with backgrounds in marketing and finance and refined by Library Assessment.
Researchers conducted nine in-person and virtual focus groups with current undergraduate and graduate students (both frequent and infrequent library users), parents of current students, alumni, and library donors. Participants were asked a series of up to 12 questions, provided a draft library vision to respond to and a list of available library services.
The Development Board Taskforce and the research team workshopped the findings to develop a core slate of phrases and examples for the wider Development Board to create personalized unique selling propositions and elevator pitches. These phrases, in conjunction with the resulting focus group report, form a toolkit arming Development Board members with evidence and tools to inform their discussions with potential donors.
Steve Borrelli– Head of Library Assessment, Penn State University