Collaboration is Key

We have been fortunate this semester to host Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War, a traveling exhibition for libraries, organized by the National Constitution Center and the American Library Association Public Programs Office.  The traveling exhibition has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.  The success of this exhibit is truly based upon the collaborative effort between University Libraries and the Department of History, specifically, Dr. Timothy Roberts.

The exhibit is a project I inherited when I started this position in January.  The grant application had already been approved, Dr. Roberts had attended the training, and the agenda had been set.  Dr. Roberts met with me, provided copies of the materials, and ensured that I was involved in any discussion regarding the exhibit and lecture series.  The exhibit would be housed in the library, and the speaker series would take place at various locations across campus.  As the time for the exhibit approached we continued to keep each other informed of our actions, who I distributed posters to, who was invited to the opening receptions, press releases, website updates.  The collaboration was essential to the success of this exhibit.

Once the exhibit opened, that was not the end of the collaboration.  In fact, it spurred additional collaboration with Admissions.  Dr. Roberts worked tirelessly to inform the area high school history teachers this exhibit was here and encouraged them to bring their class for a tour.  Four area high schools signed up to bring their high school junior and seniors through the exhibit.  One even requested some library research instruction, and we were able to accommodate their request.  Wanting to ensure the students were exposed to campus life here, we involved the Admissions office in these tours.  The students were able to tour the exhibit, meet with Dr. Roberts to talk about it, and then hear from admissions about their entry requirements.  This was such a success that University Libraries is hoping to incorporate more collaboration with Admissions and other departments on campus in future events.

I am truly indebted to Dr. Roberts for all that he has done to ensure the success of this exhibit.  If he had not been willing to collaborate with me, I am certain we would not have had as many visitors through the exhibit and success would have been minimal.

Tammy J. Sayles, MLIS

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