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Spark! Program Fuels Staff Engagement & Discussion for Over a Decade

May 1, 2019

In 2009, the Drexel University Libraries (DUL) launched a new program designed to offer staff an opportunity to share their knowledge about innovations in the field and to learn about other campus initiatives happening outside the Libraries.

Now, 10 years and more than 100 Spark! sessions later, the program is still going strong. The Libraries continues to hold Spark! sessions once a month in the W. W. Hagerty Library, and each meeting typically includes two 30-minute presentations where Libraries staff (and sometimes other members of the Drexel community) share conference experiences, discuss new program ideas, and share other narratives about the value of the Libraries to inspire engagement and discussion within the DUL community. Sessions are now recorded and broadcast live online via Zoom for any Libraries staff who are not physically in University City.

During the most recent Spark! held April 25, 2019, two Libraries staff shared stories about their latest endeavors.

Stacy Stanislaw, Communications Manager for the Libraries, kicked off the session with a demonstration of a new Drexel Libraries Marketing & Communications Toolkit she is creating as part of her work to manage and build the Libraries’ marketing and communications infrastructure.

The toolkit includes everything from downloadable DUL logos and existing sign templates to editorial style guides, an event planning checklist and talking points on various Libraries programs and initiatives. When finished, the toolkit will equip staff to effectively communicate powerful stories about the Drexel Libraries’ value.

Shannon Sheridan, National Library of Medicine (NLM) Associate Fellow, ended the Spark! session with a look back at her trip to Melbourne, Australia to attend the 14th International Digital Curation Conference (IDCC). The main theme of the conference was “collaborations and partnerships in the field of digital curation and preservation,” and sessions and discussions focused on how different partnerships are formed and how they support the advancement of digital curation and preservation practices.

Shannon reflected on what she learned during the conference, sharing new ideas and a renewed enthusiasm for the profession. Sessions such as Dr. Patricia Brennan’s keynote Jumping into the Stream of Data Curation also helped reaffirm that the Drexel Libraries is experiencing similar data management challenges as other organizations—and that the Libraries is appropriately addressing those challenges through strategies and services like offering Drexel researchers instruction on Research Data Management (RDM) and support for creating Data Management Plans (DMPs).