“Menus” – to market your library services

I liked this idea, so want to pass it on to you. It has proved successful in three European libraries and whilst the “dishes” on your library’s menu may be different, it is another way of marketing your skills throughout your institution.

Do you do any training in: information literacy, use of HINARI, eGranary, or something else? If you do, then HINARI: a guided tour of all resources – 60 mins. might be a “dish” you wish to advertise. Probably a bit  long and undigestible for your “diners”, so you might consider breaking it down:

  • Find useful search terms and search in PubMed: an introduction – 30 mins.
  • How to access free online e-books – 10 mins
  • An introduction to CINAHL – a nursing database – 20 mins

Varied topics with timings attached will enable users to choose what they need at the time they need it. And that has proved popular with both individuals and departments. If your internet connection is slow or unreliable you may have to set up the “eating” environment on paper or preferably as a power point presentation without the necessity for an internet connection.

This will mean ensuring that your own skills are fully updated and deciding on the length of time required to teach the topic to others. The authors advise that you ask any respondents to your “menu: about their current research or study topics, so that you can tailor the training to the person or group’s interest.

Based on: T. Ovaska et. al. The success of the menu … Journal of the European Association for Health Information and Libraries 2012, v.8(2), p.3-7. For the original idea see congress presentation

Jean Shaw, Phi



About jgreigshaw

I work with Partnerships in Health Information which promotes partnership between libraries in Africa and the UK with an emphasis in African leadership. I have visited Kenya, Mali, Uganda and Zambia though Phi has contacts in many more African countries.
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