Library’s partnerships brings the community to campus

Margaret Haines has forged partnerships with other libraries across the city, country and world — a move that enhances what Carleton’s MacOdrum Library can offer its clients.

Margaret Haines has opened the doors of MacOdrum Library to more than just the Carleton community.

As head librarian, she’s formed a broad range of partnerships with other universities, the Ottawa Public Library and government libraries.

“We do this with the public’s interests at heart,” says Haines. “We do it to provide a better service for them and I think it pays off.”

These partnerships allow MacOdrum’s collections and publications to grow and also become accessible to members of the public, not just the Carleton community.

“We’re bringing in a wealth of resources we wouldn’t normally have,” she says. “It’s an enriching experience for everybody and not just our clients. Our staff meets different people and it broadens their horizons. It’s all about citizenship and engaging citizens.”

The MacOdrum Library also works with other libraries in initiatives that benefit high school outreach programs, reading programs and spreading literacy among youth.

The library wants to give senior high school students in the Ottawa area the opportunity to use resources, which will help them transition to a university setting.

Haines encourages her staff to continue building strong relationships with these students, like those in the Shad Valley Program, which is a four-week summer enrichment program for high school students.

“We can build a partnership to help these students, but also the university library,” Haines says. “Most of our work focuses on ways that we can support faculty and researchers here and encourage high school students to come to the university. It also shows them research and information skills they might need.”

Carleton is a member of Capital SmartLibrary, which brings together a group of libraries across the Ottawa region. Users of any one of the libraries are able to access all of them at any given time.

On an international level, Carleton has forged partnerships with the University of Botswana library through a contact Haines made there. She has also had talks with contacts in England about sharing collections and publications.

“The main thing is we are great networkers in the library. It goes with the profession, that’s what we do. We’re good at making connections and getting information for people,” says Haines.

The library’s collections are far more than just books, she points out. Its partnerships bring a wealth of information to users, both at Carleton and outside the community.

“There’s much more that’s available hidden behind the scenes,” she says. “There’s a lot of experience and knowledge we bring in through partnerships which we hopefully pass on.”

This entry was written by Kristy Strauss and posted in the issue. Tags applied to this article are: , . Leave a comment, bookmark the permalink or share the following short URL for this article via social media:

Kristy Strauss

By Kristy Strauss

Kristy Strauss graduated from Carleton's journalism program in 2009. She is a regular contributor to Carleton Now. She has worked as a reporter for the Kemptville Advance. She currently reports for EMC Ottawa South.

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