(Finally) Catching Up on the Lessons Learned List–Number 10

Our Title, My Friend, Was Blowin’ In the Wind

One of the great pleasures of my summer 2011 gateway week in Syracuse was working with so many equally invested, passionate, and fun fellow students. Of the many group projects we did, our grand finale took the form of presenting at a poster session. I was assigned to Group 6 and our poster session topic was Libraries and Sponsorship. We explored the process of evaluating potential sponsor-library relationships, and the effects resulting from such sponsorships. Like the majority of the group work I was involved in that week, working as a member of Group 6 was positive and intellectually challenging.  The experience was the best kind of group work–pushing each other in the right direction, pointing out and leveraging each group member’s strengths and experiences to enhance the project, and trusting each other to come through with a great product. It reads like Utopia, and it pretty much was. There were two things I would have done better though, if I were to do it again. First, I would investigate all our printing options earlier in the project. Second, I would glue all of the printed parts of the  project onto the poster board prior to exiting the library on a windy night.

The first issue sounds crazy-simple. And it is, really. But it is one of those simple things that is often overlooked in a short-suspense project such as ours. If we would have investigated all of our printing options at this unfamiliar-to-all-of-us library, we would have known about the awesome 36″ Wide Color Plotter much earlier in the game. To be fair, we had a limited amount of time during which to work and all of that time took place after some quite exhausting academic days. The fact remains, though, that a quick internet search would have led us to the web page (linked below) that includes detailed information about the printers available at the SU Library, and we could have planned accordingly.

Syracuse University Library’s Printing Information

The second issue was due in equal parts to chance, weather and lack of sleep. It was windy, it was late, we had just been escorted out of the closing library, and I had left some of our precious poster elements (newly printed on the 36″ Wide Color Plotter) trailing out of my bag as I walked back to the dorm. Mere steps outside the library, I watched our poster title fly out of my bag and whip its way up the street–I felt utterly defeated, too tired and unsure of traffic to run after it. The next morning, during the general class critique, my fellow group members were kind enough not to bat an eye (or point a finger) when our lack of a bold title was used as an example of “something lacking.” I did end up telling on myself, as I have a habit of doing, although I’m pretty certain that the amazing Group 6 wouldn’t have minded if I’d kept quiet.

You are welcome to visit our poster project web page if you’d like to check out some of the resources we found about sponsorship in libraries. The page includes links to examples of sponsorship relationships and how they have affected the organizations involved (for some of the subscription database articles, we have simply provided a citation), links to numerous library web pages that define policies regarding sponsorship, a pdf of the evaluation rubric our group created, and a pdf of our project brochure.

Group 6 Libraries and Sponsorship Web Page (Summer 2011)

Belated thanks, Group 6, for such a great experience!

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