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Arts librarian surveys VCU art students on their library service needs and uses

September 28, 2017

Are you an arts student? VCU's arts librarian invites your input in a survey that begins circulating today.

Arts liaison librarian Carla-Mae Crookendale, pictured, has been accepted for the Institute for Research Design in Librarianship, a national program to help academic and research librarians develop their research skills. She was chosen based on her proposal to conduct a research project, The Art School and the Library: A Library Use AssessmentShe is refining and honing her project, which will be conducted during the 2017-18 academic year.

The 10-question survey is the first step in a research project she hopes will help her learn how the library can better serve art students. The online survey (here) is being distributed to School of the Arts students. Deadline for data collection is Oct. 20, 2017. 

The Institute for Research Design in Librarianship (IRDL) helps academic librarians develop the necessary skills and confidence to do research successfully. This is the fourth year of the program that is partly funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Applicants submit a proposal for a research project and commit to attending a week-long workshop, then executing their research within a year with the support of an assigned mentor and other IRDL scholars. 

Crookendale expects her research will inform decision-making about outreach and working with the VCU School of the Arts.

She says: “Many students and faculty are heavy users of the library and some aren’t. I want to gain some evidence-based insight into why – what their research needs are, and how I could better tailor my approach as liaison to meet them. I hope what I learn could also be valuable to other art librarians. IRDL was an excellent opportunity to have the tools and structure I’d need to do this effectively.” ‌

In addition to holding a master's degree in library science, Crookendale is an artist who holds a B.F.A. and and M.F.A. Beyond work in consulting with patrons, she engages in many creative outreach activities. She stages pop-up libraries in School of the Arts buildings, has collaborated with the school on a series of Copyright for Creator workshops and updates the Art Browsery--a special section of art books--on the fourth floor, James Branch Cabell Library. 

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