Satellite Librarian Pilot Project

Satellite Librarian Pilot Project


Project Description

Satellite Librarian places an Eliot D. Pratt Librarian in the Community Center during Goddard College residencies. This project is designed to provide students with access to a librarian where they are while at the same time improving efficiency and efficacy of the library and its staff as a whole.

This will be a new service piloted by Library & Information Technology Services in addition to services already provided. Satellite Librarian differs from other library programs in that it does not happen in the library. Instead, the library is going to the campus center as a regular part of the residency experience. Whenever possible, Satellite Librarian will coincide with advising times in the residency schedule unless faculty and program directors prefer other times & locations.

The Problem

The distance of the library from the main campus can be an impediment to use of library services. There are students & faculty across programs that never use the library because they are unable to make it up to the building, which is isolated from the main campus. This is especially true in cold/hot/wet weather and late at night when users are less like to make the journey.

Currently, the library is open on weekdays during residencies from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm except for the final friday because the residency closes early that day, with overlapping coverage (more than one librarian is available to users) from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm. Overlapping coverage allows librarians to answer reference questions, provide help in the computer lab, offer instruction, and cover circulation and student accounts simultaneously.

However, from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm, there is only one librarian on duty, necessarily limiting availability of hands on help as well as timely user access to a librarian. Additionally, statistics show reduced in-person usage of the library after dinner opens on the main campus. The combined building and personnel costs of keeping the library open late at night, especially in the winter, may be greater than the impact we are able to make on users at that time.

The Solution

The Eliot D. Pratt Library staff propose to provide a Satellite Librarian for two hours a day in the community center during residency weekdays (Monday through Thursday of the full residency week). The Satellite Librarian will be available during times when there is already overlapping coverage in the library.

With the help of program directors, academic services, and student life, Satellite Librarian will be advertised in the residency schedule and overlap, where possible, with scheduled advising group meeting times unless suggested otherwise. A librarian will also be present at each residency opening session, if invited, to introduce the library briefly with emphasis on this program. The library staff will create and distribute signage for campus buildings, including dorm bulletin boards.

In order to properly staff both the library and Satellite Librarian, we will shorten our residency weekday hours by two hours. The library hours will be consistent, 9:00 am to 8:00 pm, throughout the residency (except the last day, which has always been 9:00 am to 4:00 pm). This change will both reduce user confusion, and make more effective and efficient use of paid personnel time. It will also serve to save energy and, in the winter, heat, contributing to a greener Goddard.


The Mobile Reference Service at St. Louis University.



Implementation Area





Long Term Goals

If this project is deemed successful by the end of 2013 we will further evaluate library hours and staffing to provide the most effective combination of library building and Satellite Librarian services for campus users as a permanent program of Library and Information Technology Services.