Research Impact Informationist Emory University Atlanta, Georgia
Background: An opportunity was created when a new desk was constructed at the library entrance; temporary collections could be now be shown in a display area to engage users as they exited. After an initial trial, a template and checklist were created for building collections for a 6-month display period. Library staff were invited to suggest special-themes drawing from the circulating print and e-book materials to raise awareness of special topics. Display collections were curated to appeal to faculty, staff, and students in areas of undergraduate and graduate sciences as well as in professional schools of public health, nursing, and medicine.
Description: To date, four temporary collection displays have highlighted special-theme materials: Graphic Medicine: Ill Conceived and Well-Drawn Writing Science: Recommended Books and eBooks Elixirs & Extracts: A Celebration of Emory's Health Sciences Writers Compassionate Perspectives: Personal Narratives of Science and Health Care.
Displays have contained an average of 32 selected items, with roughly 30% being ebooks. A physical display card was created to showcase each of the digital reading options. A special URL, blog post, and digital signage were created fore each of the more recent collection displays for marketing and reference purposes. Circulation statistics as well as blog post views and ebook link-outs were used to track the impact of the collection display and materials.
Conclusion: The opportunity to curate a temporary display has been well received by librarians. Four librarians not typically involved in collection outreach have curated interdisciplinary displays, incorporating both print and e-book materials from not only diverse call-numbers, but providing justifications for interdisciplinary purchase requests. Patron interaction has been mixed, with some displays garnering a 50% increase in average material circulation and others showing no additional usage. Staff continue to discuss evaluation and assessment techniques for measuring the impact of the display, the identification of special themes of interest, and possible future directions for user engagement with available collections and display space.