«I N R E C E N T Y E A R S there has been, on the part of many types of public-service organizations, a growing awareness of the importance of good ...»
As a public relations medium, the administrative staff bulletin should go to the president, to the deans and other high administrative officials, to members of the library committee, to the alumni secretary, to the student newspaper, and to the college information service, as well as to interested faculty members and student groups. The bulletin should also be sent to such off-campus destinations as libraries, library schools, and former staff members. This writer knows of at least one instance where there is convincing evidence that the president regularly reads the administrative staff bulletin and that the alumni secretary, the college information service, and the student newspaper obtain news items for their own publications from this source. Such indications of use show clearly that the administrative staff bulletin can be a significant factor in the public relations activities of the library.
Another publication which has real if more limited possibilities is the report of the library survey.lg Comprehensive surveys of college and university libraries in their present form are generally considered [: 128 I Public Rclations for College and University Libraries to date from 1939. In that year Wilson and others 20 surveyed the University of Georgia Libraries and wrote a report that in content and method of presentation has become established as a standard. Included among other types of survey reports is a brief one consisting largely of recommendations and containing few tables or exhaustive analyses of various aspects of library organization, policies, procedures, and operation.18 Any type of survey report, when circulated to those primarily concerned with its contents and when publicized effectively, constitutes excellent public relations material. The survey report is invaluable to the librarian in supporting his recommendations to the president and, through the president, to the board of trustees or the legislature. It also provides information of great value and interest for faculty members, students, and others, including the library committee and the friends of the library organization.
The value of carefully planned and expertly executed library exhibits has long been recognized. '4s is the case with so many public relations media, actual library exhibits have seldom been described in the literature. Reagan 21 reports that because of a dearth of published information she found it necessary to resort to the questionnaire method of obtaining information for her study of library exhibits in liberal arts colleges. She found that only 2 of 731 exhibits about which she obtained information had been publicized in the general library literature. Despite the lack of published information, it can be assumed that every college or university library attempts to maintain at least a minimum program of exhibits.
Two of the factors which tend to limit the number, scope, and complexity of exhibits are a lack of suitable space and equipment, especially in older buildings, and a shortage of available personnel for this time-consuming activity. Happily, however, exhibit materials are becoming more plentiful. Photographic exhibits, perhaps the most popular of all types of exhibits as far as students are concerned, are available from many sources for no more than the cost of transportation. Such exhibits include the annual News Pictures of the Year, sponsored jointly by the School of Journalism of the University of hlissouri and the Encyclopncdia Britannica; Life photographic exhibitions; and the Traveling Print Show of the Pliotographic Society of America.
Many worthwhile exhibits can bc borrowed from business and industrial firms. Individual faculty members and college departments can, in many instances, supply materials of widely varied character which [ 129 I ROBERT W. ORR can be integrated effectively with books and other library resources in exhibits that will command widespread attention.
As new library buildings are constructed, the increasing availability of better display facilities thus provided will act as a stimulus to libraries to develop their exhibit programs. New library buildings not only have more bulletin boards, tables, and cases, but ample floor space in strategic locations as well. A?oreover, the exhibit areas, without exception, are much better illuminated in new buildings than they ever were in older structures. With better facilities being provided and the supply of inexpensive exhibit materials becoming more plentiful, many libraries are certain to make greater efforts than they previously made to improve their programs of exhibits as one means of maintaining good public relations.
Another medium which has attractive potentialities for public relations purposes is the motion picture made by or for college and university libraries for such purposes as showing library facilities and their arrangement within the building, giving instruction in the use of the library, and illustrating the role of the library on the campus and the means employed to attain the library's objectives. There is even less in print about such films than there is concerning exhibits.
In a statement bearing on library services in land-grant colleges teaching agriculture, Jones says that "Films on the arrangement of the library were used by Tennessee, Nebraska, and Wyoming universities, Prairie View A. & hl. College of Texas, Alcorn A. & 31. College, Mississippi, Colorado A. & hl., Oklahoma A. & M. and Maryland State College." 2 2 Just how applicable these films may be for public relations purposes the author is unable to say, but the fact remains that only a few motion picture films relating to college and university libraries have apparently been made, and not all of these are described in the literature.
hlention should be made of two films which have been made at the University of Illinois. The film "Found in a Book" was produced in the spring of 1936 by the administration class of the University of Illinois Library Scho01.2~Using two Freshmen as characters, the film is designed to interest high school graduates in the use of library facilities. In 1942 the University of Illinois Library released the film "Contact with Books" to replace the earlier film.24It shows the use of the university library by students. The information presented is intended to be applicable to almost any college or university library.
It is understood that a new library film is being planned at the UniC 130 I Public Relations for Collcgc and University Libraries versity of Illinois and that the library of the North Carolina TYomen's College is also considering the production of a motion picture.
For public relations use, college and university librarians can profitably study such a motion picture as "Library on Wheels," produced by the National Film Board of Canada 2 5 to tell the story of the Fraser Valley Union Library and to stress the importance of books not only to the Valley people but to Canadians in general. Another excellent public relations film is the one titled "Books and People. the Wealth Within," which was produced for the Alabama Public Library Service Division by the Southern Educational Film Production Service.*j This film shows the Alabama State Library Extension Agency in action, with particular emphasis being placed upon means by \vhich the agency is able to help local communities in establishing county library service.
Films of the quality of the two mentioned above have not been employed extensively as a public relations medium by college and university libraries. One of the deterrents to the production of such films is the relatively high cost. Lack of qualified personnel and availability of production facilities undoubtedly play a part in keeping the number of such films produced to a minimum. It seems likely, also, that slides and film strips, which can be produced less expensively and which have certain advantages in convenience and flexibility of use, will continue to be preferred to motion picture films in many instances.
There is no indication that college and llnivcrsity libraries in any considerable number are likely to undertake the production of motion picture films.
Radio has been used by libraries for more than a quarter of a century. An early account of the status of radio broadcasting by college and university libraries was published in 1935.2G During the following decade, there was little increase in the number of libraries participating in radio programs. A survey made in 1946 27 revealed that less than one-fourth of the land-grant college and university libraries, for instance, were producing or directing radio programs of any description. This finding was all the more surprising because direct participation in radio broadcasting by libraries of institutions of higher education has larqely been confined to those of land-qrant colleges and universities. This group of institutions has an obliqation to engage in extension education which reaches beyond the confines of the campus to include the whole area of the state. Many of these instituROBERT W. ORR tions own and operate their own educational radio stations as a part of their extension work.
The radio programs for individual libraries, including the institutions of the University of Utah,28 University of South C a r ~ l i n a, ~ ~ University of I l l i n ~ i s, ~ ~ the Iowa State C ~ l l e g e have been deand,~~ scribed in the literature. In general, it can b e said that college and university libraries use radio as a medium for popular education and information, for stimulating interest in reading and discussion, and for publicity purposes. There is considerable doubt, however, as to the effectiveness of such radio programs in so far as reaching the faculty and students directly is concerned. If they are broadcast during daytime hours, the principal audience for such programs probably is comprised largely of housewives. The results of a survey of listeners to the book programs broadcast by WOI in cooperation with the Iowa State College Library were published in 1940.32 College and university librarians have been relatively indifferent to the opportunities available for direct participation in radio programs.
I t may b e that librarians question the value of radio programs in terms of the personnel requirements and the staff load involved. L. C. Branscomb indicates that the public relations value of the radio programs broadcast over WILL, the radio station owned by the University of Illinois, may be somewhat incidental. There is no reason to believe that experience in this rcgard at the University of Illinois is not typical for college and university libraries in general. Lyle says that participation in raciio "requires part of the time of a member of the staff who has faith in the value of the project, enthusiasm for its advancement and development, and some knowledge of recent scientific studies of the effects of radio on reading." 33 The newest of the media available to libraries for use in public relations work is television, by which is meant the production of television programs by or for libraries rather than the placing of television receivers in libraries for the use of readers. It is recognized that the latter use of television does have its public relations advantages.
Because of the "freeze" which was placed in effect by the U.S. Federal Communications Co~nmissionon the licensing of additional television stations in 1915, only limited areas of the country are served by commercial stations at present ancl Iowa State College is the only institution of higher education that owns and operates an ec!ucational television station. Most libraries, therefore, have had little or no opportunity to experiment with television for public relations or for any other purpose.31 [ 132 I Public Relations for College and University Libraries A survey made by the Television Committee of the American Library Association's Audio-visual Board 35 revealed that thirteen of more than thirty public libraries replying had produced or were producing or sponsoring television programs of one kind or another and that only one of more than forty college and university libraries replying had done so. According to the findings of the survey, the opinions of college and university librarians vary from a feeling of unconcern about television as a medium for book-related programs and other forms of direct participation to the belief that television offers almost unparalleled opportunities for educational, library, and general cultural purposes. The potentialities of television for library public relations as such were not covered in the survey.
Until librarians have gained experience in producing or assisting in the production of television programs, the public relations value of such activities for libraries can only be conjectured. Librarians in the meantime would do well to study the statement of the needs and potentialities of educational television published by the Joint Committee on Educational T e l e v i ~ i o n. ~ T htelevision has real possibilities at as a powerful force in public relations can readily be surmised by observing the respectful attention paid to it by public officials and candidates for political office. It should also be noted that some public librarians who are using the limited commercial facilities available to them, according to the survey report mentioned above, are of the opinion that television does hold great promise as a medium for public relations.
Television has been characterized as a monster who consunles all the manpower he can get. Librarians should acquaint themselves with the almost incredible demands made by television for personnel possessing a variety of highly specialized talents and skills and with the many man hours of time required for the planning and production of even a single television show. Programs telecast over network facilities and widespread distribution of kinescope copies of library shows may offer at least a partial solution to the financial and personnel problems of libraries wishing to make use of television. It appears to be only a matter of time until libraries make routine, if limited, use of television facilities directly or indirectly for educational and public relations purposes.
The principal need at present relative to public relations for college and university libraries is for facts in the form of published information. Descriptive accounts of the use being made of the various media, as well as of case studies of the over-all programs of selected libraries,