Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship

v.7 no.1 (Spring 2006)

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Designing an Academic Outreach Program through Partnerships with Public Schools

Alan R. Bailey, Linda M. Teel and Hazel J. Walker, Assistant Professors
J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University


The article discusses an outreach program at the Teaching Resources Center of J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University.  The collaborative project consists of three significant components created to partner with public schools within a designated service area.  A library card for educators, interlibrary loan services and a production center provide commitment and support to area educators.


Housed within the J. Y. Joyner Library of East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, the Teaching Resources Center (TRC) serves as the curriculum materials center for the university.  The TRC maintains a specialized Birth to 12th grade collection of over 45,000 volumes, including fiction and nonfiction young adult materials, easy picture books, big books, state adopted and supplemental textbooks, audiovisual materials and young adult reference materials. The mission of the Teaching Resources Center is to facilitate teaching and learning initiatives by providing resources and services to educators at all levels.  One of the center’s main purposes is to serve the students in the College of Education as they work toward earning their education degrees. In order to extend the resources, services and materials of the Teaching Resources Center to educators of eastern North Carolina, an outreach program was needed.  With the support and encouragement of the library administration, the planning for the outreach program began. Early in the initial planning of the program, the need for an outreach coordinator was determined and approved.  With the allocation of that position, a person was hired who would be responsible for the coordination and implementation of the TRC outreach program. Once the outreach coordinator joined the TRC team, an outreach program was designed to increase and diversify the center’s audience to include area educators offering innovative programs and services to strengthen partnerships with eastern North Carolina schools. To strengthen these partnerships, the TRC identified mutual interests and needs that would accommodate and extend its resources, materials and services to the schools. Established in 2003 after much planning, the Teaching Resources Center Outreach Program encompassed three significant components:  1) an Educator Library Card, 2) Interlibrary Loan Services to area public schools and 3) an Enhancing Teachers’ Classrooms production center. 

Educator Library Card

Collaboration and planning were the key elements to the success of the addition of the Joyner Educator Library Card.  The new program was presented in the form of a written proposal to the Library Assembly, a deliberative body that discusses and has a voice in the policy-making processes of the library.  The proposal outlined the need, objectives, methods of promotion, procedures and usage of the card for purposes of implementing the program.  It was essential that the proposal for the addition of an Educator Library Card for Joyner Library be communicated clearly and precisely so that all faculty and staff members of the library supported the program.   The following proposal was presented to the library assembly and approved unanimously in November 2003.

Proposal for a Joyner Educator Library Card


Currently for area educators to have checkout privileges at Joyner Library, they are required to obtain an Area Resident Library Card.  This card costs $15.00 per year and restricts loan periods and limits.  By proposing a free card with less restrictions and limits, area educators will be allowed free access to resources and materials to integrate into their classroom curriculum.  Joyner Library will be exhibiting support for our area educators as a partner in the education process.


The Teaching Resources Center proposes to offer an additional borrower type for Joyner Library circulation in the form of a free Educator Library Card.  By offering a free Educator Library Card, several objectives would be accomplished.  The card would:

Methods of promotion


To qualify for an Educator Library Card, an educator must:




In November 2003, Joyner Library announced the implementation of the first significant component of the Outreach Program, an Educator Library Card.  The Educator Library Card is available, free of charge, to K-12 educators of eastern North Carolina. In the development of the proposal for the Educator Library Card, the TRC designed a five-year plan to market the card realizing that the promotion of the card would determine its successfulness. During the first year of implementation, the TRC partnered with the university’s local county public schools to conduct a one-year pilot program.   The program offered the opportunity to promote, implement and evaluate the new card on a manageable basis to area educators. The pilot program began with an Open House held in the TRC.  School media coordinators were invited to the Open House where the Educator Library Card was introduced to them.  School media coordinators served as liaisons between the schools and the TRC proving instrumental in the promotion of the outreach efforts being offered to the schools.  Additionally, a presentation was given to the principals during a regular county meeting, in which the staff and faculty of the TRC asked for permission to attend the faculty meetings of each county school. At each faculty meeting, a presentation was given introducing the Educator Library Card along with other outreach services. Registration forms were available for educators to apply for the card on location.  Completed registration forms were taken back to the TRC where each educator was entered into the library system and issued a personal library card.   The library cards were sent back to each school where the school media specialists assisted in distributing the cards to the educators. Two options for registering for the Educator Library Card are available:  1) Educators are allowed to request an Educator Library Card through their media specialist who sends in the forms and verifies the educator’s status and 2) Educators may come directly to the service desk of the TRC and register individually. The second registration option requires the educator to present verification of employment as an educator.  During the first year of the pilot program, 2300 educators were registered as new patrons.   The circulation of TRC materials doubled in the center.  By offering the Educator Library Card, the Teaching Resources Center has provided area educators with free access to the materials in Joyner Library, increased the awareness of the resources and materials in Joyner Library and has shown our commitment and support to the area educators through our partnership efforts.  Currently in the third year of implementation, the Joyner Educator Library Card has proven to be a valuable resource for educators and a successful program in strengthening the partnership between the academic library and the area K-12 schools.

Interlibrary Loan Service to Area Public Schools

A cooperative lending agreement proposed to the designated service areas allows the public schools within each county to borrow materials to help supplement teaching and to provide professional development for educators.  The guidelines for school library use of library resources available through document delivery from Joyner Library’s Interlibrary Loan department are based upon the American Library Association and North Carolina Interlibrary Loan Codes.  These codes are intended to make interlibrary loan policies as liberal and as easy to apply as possible.  The assessment and evaluation of the pilot program served as the foundation of the proposed cooperative lending agreement. The local county public school courier system was used to deliver interlibrary loan materials requested by schools.  This system allowed for materials to be delivered in a timely and cost efficient manner.

Document Delivery Guidelines:

Enhancing Teachers’ Classrooms

The Enhancing Teachers’ Classrooms Room (ETC Room) is a production center designed to assist pre-service teachers and educators in eastern North Carolina as they create materials used for classroom instruction and learning.  Equipment, software, supplies, and assistance is provided to users as they prepare bulletin boards, lesson plans, activities and presentations.


With more than ten pieces of production equipment available, those heaviest used include the die cut machine, laminator, artwaxer and button maker.

With two die cut machines and 375 die cuts available, educators can create endless classroom aids using foam board, paper, foil, acetate, matte board, paperwood, quilt batting, bubble wrap and numerous other materials.  These die cuts allow users to make multiple copies of letters, numbers and shapes and are arranged in numbered slotted caddies near the machines.  Resource notebooks are available to assist in locating desired die cuts and conveniently reference them alphabetically by name, slot number and subject (i.e. shapes, animals, community helpers, and holidays/celebrations).  Scaled examples of available die cuts are also included in these notebooks.

A 25” laminator is available and pre-service teachers and area educators are allocated ten feet of film each semester.  When a request to laminate is made, an ETC Room attendant reviews the user log, informs the user of his/her available amount of film, assists the user with the laminator if necessary, logs the amount of film used and updates the user of his/her new available footage.

Artwaxers allow users to apply a thin coat of wax to the back of paper.  Once coated, die cuts, posters, flyers, instructions, flash cards and more will adhere to most surfaces including concrete blocks, metal, brick, and blackboards.  Unlike tape, glue, staples and tacks, art waxed materials can easily be moved from place to place, will adhere for several months and do not damage surfaces when removed.

With the electronic button maker and cutter, users can produce imaginative and vibrant buttons.  Educators can create original buttons or choose from the available templates included in Button Builder Pro.  In addition to templates, this software includes 8,000 pieces of clip art to assist educators.  Educators are limited to five buttons per semester but the use of the button maker is unlimited if the user provides his/her supplies.

A manual radial binder (which binds up to 450 pages), light box (for tracing and drawing, viewing transparences, backlighting calligraphy and viewing photos/slides), heavy duty stapler, heavy duty rotary trimmer and paper cutter are also available in the ETC Room.


Computer workstations with Internet access and Microsoft Office (Access, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, and Word) are available in the ETC Room.  Educational software is loaded on each workstation, and workstations are connected to a scanner and high quality color laser printer.  Software available to pre-service teachers and educators include:


As an additional service, basic office supplies and equipment are available to educators while using the production room.  Tape, scissors, markers, pens, glue, staplers, pencil sharpeners, paperclips and note pads can be readily found in locations throughout the ETC Room.

The color printer in the ETC Room is used to print educational materials requiring high quality color only, and educators are limited to printing a total of five sheets per day.  Users must provide their own supplies for die cuts.


The ETC Room is available when the service desk in the Teaching Resources Center is open, and library staff is available to assist users during these hours.  Users may also refer to colorful step-by-step instructions posted on walls near each equipment station or refer to user guides and reference notebooks located throughout the production room.  These guides and notebooks include classroom activities, curriculum guides, shortcuts, tips, quick references and questions relating to equipment and software in the room.  Additional information, instructions, guidelines and a suggestion form can be found on the Teaching Resources Center’s web page, http://www.ecu.edu/cs-lib/trc/index.cfm.


As the Teaching Resources Center Outreach Program moves into its third year of implementation, statistics overwhelmingly confirm that use of the center’s materials, services and equipment has increased significantly.  Since the conception of the outreach program circulation increased by 38%, library instruction by 400%, reference service by 700%, ETC Room usage by 500% and staff doubled from four employees to eight employees.  In order to continue meeting the needs of area educators, suggestions are solicited from users through surveys, a suggestion book located in the ETC Room and an online suggestion form conveniently located on the center’s web page.  Once suggestions and requests for additional materials, equipment or services are discussed by the TRC staff, they are proposed to upper management to be purchased or implemented when possible.  As the outreach program expands to include the entire designated service area its audience will continue to increase and diversify as partnerships strengthen with area schools.   

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