How to Connect with Alumni Through the Library

Library Resources | April 10, 2017

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College libraries are reaching out to alumni to strengthen relationships with graduates. EBSCO’s Product Management Analyst Beth Garry shares tips for strengthening your ties with alumni.

Does your library cater to alumni? Are you looking for suggestions on how to connect? There are several ways for libraries to keep in touch with this audience, and many reasons to maintain and build upon those relationships. Generating goodwill among alumni helps keep people connected to a college or university, and could lead to higher attendance among friends and families of graduates. 

In addition, the alumni connection could lead to more donations to the library. “Active and engaged alumni are key to student recruitment, ongoing financial support, and employment opportunities for future generations…” states Michelle Botek, in AALL Spectrum.

Here are some examples of how academic libraries connect with their alumni communities:

1. Offer Database Access
This could include specific alumni versions of databases as well as links to free resources and other materials. Cornell University, for instance, offers a wide range of academic databases and access to the Cornell Alumni Magazine (2001-present).

2. Host an Alumni Weekend Event
As a result of a suggestion from an alumnus, ZSR Library at Wake Forest hosted an alumni weekend “based around intellectual topics.” The theme of the event was “Well-being,” and several faculty and staff speakers were recruited for the event.

3. Host a Homecoming Weekend Event
In 2016, the University of Pennsylvania library drew in alumni by hosting a performance by The Daedalus Quartet, Penn’s string quartet in residence, at the Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion, Kislak Center, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center.

4. Host a Special Series
North Carolina State University Libraries host the Amazing Alumni Events Series, which features presentations by alumni who achieved success in their fields.

Learn More about EBSCO's Alumni Databases

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