academic libraries: effectively communicating withy faculty, on and off line

Wisniewski, Jeffrey A jeffw at PITT.EDU
Tue Apr 15 08:47:37 EDT 2014

Apologies in advance for the long post….

Hi, We here at Pitt have just engaged an external communications consultant to help us discover ways to more effectively communicate with faculty, both online and offline.

We've begun this process because we have discovered, through a number of channels but primarily an annual survey we conduct on campus, that while in general our faculty are highly satisfied with the library, our collections, our website, and the services of which they aware,  they indicated low awareness of a number of services we had hoped would be higher.

We don't see this as a website usability issue. We tested our new site with numerous faculty, and the results across the board were positive. The problem, though, is that while they could effectively navigate to a page that, for example, describes a service we offer that pays their fees to publish in an open access journal, they didn't know such a service existed so would never had though to look for it on our website in the first place.

In addition to a series of focus groups with faculty from various departments and at varying career levels, our consultant will be conducting an environmental scan of select academic library websites of peer institutions, as well as any other we identify, which is where you come in.

Has anyone out there undertaken a similar initiative? Does anything think, or better yet know, they do an effective job of communicating with faculty online? Point me to your site!

Thanks in advance.

Jeff Wisniewski
Web Services Librarian
University Library System
University of Pittsburgh
jeffw at


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