Engaging the academic community


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Presentation by Cath Morgan, University of Sussex

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Engaging the academic community

  1. 1. Engaging the Community @ “ We are dedicated to delivering high quality, innovative information services, which contribute to the successful learning, teaching and research of the University and the community.” Library Strategic Plan, 2006-09 Cath Morgan, Head of Information Services [email_address] Career Development Group Conference, 30 April 2007
  2. 2. Engaging the Community @ <ul><li>The community- key facts and figures </li></ul><ul><li>6 Schools </li></ul><ul><li>36 Departments </li></ul><ul><li>10,500 students - </li></ul><ul><ul><li>70% undergraduate; 30% postgraduate </li></ul></ul><ul><li>850 academic staff </li></ul><ul><ul><li>525 teaching faculty; 325 research faculty </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1300 ‘other’ staff </li></ul><ul><li>the Public </li></ul>
  3. 3. Engaging the Community @ <ul><li>Library resources budget 06-07 - £1.5million. </li></ul><ul><li>No subject librarians. </li></ul><ul><li>Instead, two dedicated teams focusing on the very different, and often conflicting activities of the University:- </li></ul><ul><li>Learning and Teaching Support </li></ul><ul><li>Research Liaison </li></ul>
  4. 4. Engaging the Community @ <ul><li>Learning & Teaching Support: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>liaise with teaching staff to ensure provision of resources for taught courses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>develop online information literacy tutorials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>teach groups of students to use electronic resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>explore alternative methods of providing resources for large groups -e.g. eBooks, digital reserve. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>design subject web pages to signpost important resources. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>participate in campus wide initiatives e.g e-learning, plagiarism, teaching quality assessment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and lots more..... </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Engaging the Community @ <ul><li>Research Liaison: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>liaise with researchers to develop the library’s journal and monograph collection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>evaluate e-resources to ensure value for money and comprehensive coverage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>provide bespoke sessions for individual researchers or research students in exploiting the range of resources available - print and electronic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>design web pages to inform researchers of national initiatives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>participate in National initiatives relating to research support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>organise research seminars - Electronic Publishing, Open Access Publishing. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and lots more.... </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Engaging the Community @ <ul><li>Academic staff are the key. </li></ul><ul><li>Developing and maintaining good relationships with academic staff ensures that: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>collections are fit for purpose - researchers and students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>resources are exploited fully </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the Library becomes integral to the academic effort, not an ‘add on’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>we avoid the ‘them/us’ scenario </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Using the right language is vital - we have to learn to use their language not ‘library speak.’ </li></ul>
  7. 7. Engaging the Community @ <ul><li>Library representatives - named academics in each department- </li></ul><ul><ul><li>first point of most consultation processes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>conduit for information flow between library and dept. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>library ‘experts’ in department </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>subject experts for collection development/management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>liaison focus for budget expenditure </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Engaging the Community @ <ul><li>So what about students? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>staff/student groups and meetings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students Union President and Education Officer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>surveys - local and national </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>publications- guides, newsletters, web pages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>suggestions scheme </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>library staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>enquiries service </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Engaging the Community @ <ul><li>It’s not easy.... </li></ul><ul><li>takes a lot of time - there’s a lot of them and few of us </li></ul><ul><li>lot of urban myths to dispel about ‘The Library’ </li></ul><ul><li>our community is always changing, as are their expectations </li></ul><ul><li>we need to be flexible and ready to take on new ideas and challenges </li></ul><ul><li>...and it can be frustrating, but (most of the time anyway) </li></ul><ul><li>it’s fun:-) </li></ul>