There is little wonder why novices do not see the importance of libraries, when search engines provide a deluge of information. This begs the question: What value can libraries provide to stakeholders? What will entice library patrons, especially the millennials and centennials, to libraries, and what would enhance their experience?
In 2016, Taylor & Francis conducted research on how librarians can enhance readership and add value to the community. The white paper was presented at the Charleston Library Conference in November 2016. Together with the Library Association of Singapore (LAS) Programmes and Social Committee, Taylor & Francis presented its findings locally on 30th June 2017 at Taylor & Francis Asia Pacific Office.
The afternoon programme was organised with much aplomb. Librarians were greeted by two personnel dressed in Queen’s Guard attire. Little did we know that this was just the entrée towards a delightfully English afternoon! We received a royal welcome from the ‘Queen’, ‘Prince William’, a ‘Pilot’, and even an ambassador. The marketing director of Taylor & Francis Asia Pacific, Mr Barry Clarke, welcomed the 32 members of LAS and its partners.
The white paper was presented by Ms Natalie Butler, Taylor & Francis Global Marketing Director, Library (Books) from London. From its research findings, the top three most effective ways to communicate library values are through:
- Face-to-face meetings, especially when new faculty arrive at an institution;
- Departmental meetings; and
- Email follow up.
The complete white paper can be accessed here.
Taylor & Francis also engaged us with the “Best of British”, including an afternoon tea and a walk through refurbished spaces in their office that featured various British themes, such as the Queen’s Gallery and many more British signatures. The Taylor & Francis staff also encouraged visitors to vote for the best British decor. We had great fun!
The excitement did not stop there. Every attendee received a token to redeem a book from the Taylor & Francis ‘Royal’ showroom. As we made our selection, we felt just like a child in a British sweet shop: overwhelmed with so many delicious possibilities and having to make a wise choice with the “pennies” given.
Our heartfelt thanks to the ever committed and generous Taylor & Francis Asia Pacific, as well as the LAS Programme and Social Committee who organised this quintessentially British visit.
Reported by Wang Ming Shan, NAFA Library
Photos by Taylor & Francis Asia Pacific and Cheryl Loo, WKWSCI, NTU
Submitted by Jenny Wong, Member of Programmes and Social Committee (LAS)