special collections and archives, outreach


After four years of being closed to patrons due to a combination of a mold outbreak, renovation, and transitioning to a new location, the Emporia State University Special Collections and Archives reopened in fall 2012. While the department was closed, staff members worked hard to care for the collections, reply to patron requests, and prepare to open our doors again; however, after all that work we were not prepared for the lack of patrons walking through the doors. This paper shares our successes and lessons learned, as well as offers ideas for implementing innovative outreach strategies that challenge a variety of audiences to reexamine how they perceive and/or utilize a certain resource or service.

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