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Engagement Strategies in Turbulent Times


Engagement Strategy Panel

(L-R) Carla Evans, Library Systems Manager, Pfizer, Inc.; Valerie Enriquez and Robin Henshaw, Assistant Librarian and Librarian, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals; Deb Hunt (Moderator)


Cara Evans
Reconnecting with Users
The Information & Library Services at Pfizer moved from physical library to all digital. It has experienced staff reductions, spinoffs, and site expansions and has moved to decentralized funding model which provides portfolio governance, and transparency in the journal renewal process. When their “Executive Sponsor” (the VP of Research who sponsors the content) asked if they were maximizing the use of our resources, an “optimizing information assets team” was formed with a charter of maximizing the information service’s ROI by enhancing resource utilization, improving user engagement, and increasing the use of their services.  The team solicited qualitative feedback (who is using what), targeted the largest groups of users (chemists), and sent out an e-mail survey asking what their needs were.  This was followed up with focus groups.  Weekly announcements kept the stakeholders informed.

Here are the team’s next steps:

Next steps

After the physical library was closed, many users did not realize there were still people connected with the library and thought there was nowhere to go when they needed help. So the information services group needed to improve their presence. Librarians began attending department meetings and focused on work they are doing. They are now evaluating alternative delivery options for content and are also thinking of changing job descriptions to increase focus and keep the engagement going.  There is a need to promote why they are better than Google.


Robin Henshaw
Information Services at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals

Ironwood’s 3 goals are to focus on improving medicines that make a difference for patients, creating value to inspire continued support of its stakeholders, and building a team that passionately pursues excellence.  They felt the need to invest in a library and provide access to literature.  The information services group enjoys support of top management.  Librarians are not scientists but found they have the skills to support scientists.  Here is the mission and vision of the library organization.

Mission and vision

Library Mission and Vision

A centralized funding model allows equal sharing of resources and gives people a central place to ask for help.  Free databases, SciFinder, and Pipeline (for competitive intelligence) are used.  Copyright licenses allow sharing across the entire company; they have few institutional subscriptions.  Training is mostly led by vendors.

The model has evolved to include much more collaboration than before. The legal and compliance areas grew.  Librarians are embedded and attend department meetings.  They have purchased more databases: Embase, Dialog, Datamonitor, and Decision Resources and have collaboration agreements with partners and a motion picture license. End user searching is available, but librarians will do searches for staff members if desired.

Valerie Enriquez described how engagement with the Ironwood user population proceeded in a geographically dispersed environment.  (She works at the main site; Robin works at a remote site.)  The following services are offered:

  • Training of new hires on services available to them
  • Group training workshops
  • Meetings with research working groups (embedded librarian)
  • External training sessions provided by vendors
  • Switch from Sharepoint to Ironworks (the internal social network for the company), which has a library blog, featured content.

A continuing challenge is to raise awareness of what is available on the network.

Collaboration with remote site is achieved through phone conferences, WebEx/GoToMeeting (screen sharing help on how to use a resource), Google Hangout.

Summary and what’s next:

What's next


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