[This is my transition – going from Amy’s intro about branding and risk into the alignment of library with current user needs across the org – and positioning the library to provide info and services.]The Univ of Illinois study on the value gap points to the measurement of value in terms of the library’s contributions to accreditation, its role in digitization and skilled use of digitized materials, the library’s demonstration of its buying power and ROI and impact on student learning outcomes, and its direct service to the university’s strategic goals
And what might they not even know that they need?Points: comments on disruptive change requiring new ways of engaging with our communities and adding value to mission – reaching current non-users, including beyond the classroom and library instruction. Role in using, instructing in, modeling technologies for presentation and analysis and creation, Role in influencing learning outcomes, Role in business/competitive intelligence
As Amy and Mary have alluded to, we are working in a culture that is challenging us and requiring us to think of the library in new ways, keep up with the flow of information and technologies, and meet evolving user needs and demands. But, we are, for the most part, still working with technologies, equipment, and systems that were not built with today’s opportunities in mind. Unfortunately, what that often means is inefficiencies, redundancies, and difficult workflow for us, and frustration for our users who turn to search engines to get their information needs met.
This is where our students get their information today, and where they focus a great deal of their time and energy. We are struggling to provide access to electronic research databases that require users to login if not on campus, which have varied and sometimes complicated search features and ways to limit, and which may or may not ultimately provide them with the full-text articles they are after. In the meantime, users can go to Google and almost instantaneously be linked to a webpage with information on any topic they type in. Now, we all know, of course, that that information is most likely not the most relevant, and probably not scholarly in nature. But our users don’t always know that…
ACRL offers this view of our future. We have to think like educators, focusing on teaching and learning, and moving away from some of our more traditional ways of thinking and operating. In addition to strategic planning, up-to-date technologies, and a new mindset, we need skilled professionals to make this future a reality. Amy is going to talk about the challenges of that…
Creative collaboration amongst ourselves will be key going forward as we make changes in mindset and operations. Focusing some of our energies into shared infrastructure, possible outsourcing, and consolidation of services would allow for more rapid deployment of these services and help mitigate some of the risks we are facing.Group storage agreements for print materials would offer opportunities to free up space, save money on maintenance, and ensure long-term preservation and yet, very few master’s level colleges or universities participate in such arrangements.Collaboration opportunities exist with digitization initiatives such as the Google project and the HathiTrust; licensing options, non-standard formats, and access issues are not insurmountable barriers.OCLC recently announced its WorldShare product, designed to help libraries connect, operate, innovate and share at webscale; truly a global collaboration for the libraries that participate.
Defending the Academic Library in Lean TimesMeeting of the Minds June Heterick 1 Memorial 2012 Library
From a SWON workshop presented by: •The Value Proposition of Academic Libraries • Amy Ensor Mary Jenkins Alison Morgan • Xavier University • March 5, 2012
Librarians have skills no one else has: • Organization, research, editing, documentation, indexing, makin g information accessible and transparent….
But we have a branding problem, and we have a cultural problem.
Fundamental changes in academic libraries“…Academic libraries have changed more in thepast two decades than in the preceding twocenturies. Technology is a major driver... But thereal questions of interest are … the social impactsand processes that have resulted.Furthermore, we must address these changes withthe recognition that they have only begun, and thatthey are irreversible.” Andrew Dillon, “Accelerating Learning and Discovery: Refining the Role of Academic Librarians,” 2008
#1 OVERARCHING RISK to academic libraries:“Reduced sense of library relevance frombelow, above and within.” “User base erodes because library value proposition is not effectively communicated.” “Availability of online and other resources (e.g., Google) may weaken the visibility and necessity of the library.” Research Libraries, Risk and Systemic Change OCLC Research, March 2010 (James Michalko, Constance Malpas, Arnold Arcolio)
…library value is being measured in terms that are moredifficult to quantify:• How integral it is to the academy• How well it supports learning and teaching• How well it supports research The Academic Library in a 2.0 World ECAR Center for Applied Research, September 2008 Susan V. Wawrzaszek and David G. Wedaman http://www.flickr.com/photos/dnnya/2559183847//
What do our users(and non-users) need today? Assessment/Surveys
Changes to access It is not obvious that investing in renovating the traditional technology platform will substantially reduce systemic risks facing libraries. Legacy library technology is not a risk inherent in the surrounding information environment; it represents an obstacle to effecting meaningful change in the library’s operations and value proposition. Research Libraries, Risk and Systemic Change OCLC Research, March 2010 (James Michalko, Constance Malpas, Arnold Arcolio)
Change and Risk • Libraries can’t adjust fast enough to keep up with rapidly changing technology and user needs • Libraries often face inefficiencies and expenses due to lack of functionality and IT support • Replacement parts are hard to find • Digital content is lost because it’s not properly managed and preserved Research Libraries, Risk and Systemic Change OCLC Research, March 2010 (James Michalko, Constance Malpas, Arnold Arcolio)
Legacy tech systems: could we do more with less?Search engines trump libraries forspeed, convenience, reliability, and ease ofuse; libraries trump search engines fortrustworthiness and accuracy. OCLC, Perceptions of Libraries, 2010, Context and Community
Information Literacy “What’s so frustrating to me about conducting research is the more you know, the more you realize how little you know – it’s depressing, frustrating and suffocating.” – undergraduate humanities student Information is now as infinite as the universe, but finding the answers is harder than ever. Alison J. Head and Michael B. Eisenberg, Project Information Literacy, University of Washington
How college students search for information: • 83% begin information searches using search engines • 57% use the library website for finding online information • 10% use online librarian question services (chat, IM, etc.) • Top reason for not using the library website is the perception that other sites have better information, not that students don’t know the library website exists • One in three college students report that they use the library less than a few times a year OCLC, Perceptions of Libraries, 2010, Context and Community and Ithaka S+R Library Survey 2010: Insights from U.S. Academic Library Directors
Support of teaching and learning is priority. • Undergraduate information literacy is primary role • Supporting discovery of content is important • Priority is on research and teaching support functions more than traditional collections and preservation • User-facing functions rank higher in importance than collections development and maintenance • Research and teaching support will grow in importance in the next five years Ithaka S+R Library Survey 2010: Insights from U.S. Academic Library Directors
• Libraries will be assessed on how they contribute to teaching and learning• Shift from functioning as information repositories to learning enterprises• Services and resources must be embedded in teaching and learning activities• Focus must be on information skills, not information access• Librarians must think like educators, not service providers Value of Academic Libraries, ACRL
Concerns about staff, cited by academiclibrary leaders: • Staff lack skill set for future needs • Conservative nature of library inhibits timely adaptation to changed circumstances. • Difficulty finding candidates for evolving management/leadership roles. • Not easy to provide cross-training and re- training required to manage change • Smaller pool of qualified candidates.
“Somebody will develop the services the newresearcher needs. If the library does not developthose, there is no future for the research library.”Requires a radical, fundamental transformationprocess, focused on collaboration with others, thatwill affect every aspect of the ‘library’ business. Rick Luce (vice-provost and director of libraries at Emory University), speaking at LIBER 2011
Best practices for addressing thesechallenges: • Set high expectations; put into place an explicit program of cultural change • Move from hierarchy to adhocracy – a culture of high flexibility and external focus • Proactively work toward meaningful library/faculty partnerships to deepen and advance research • Restructure traditional workflows to invest in research support services • Engage users in program and collection development
Collaboration is crucial.84% of library directors would withdraw print collectionsif access to print copies existed through a trustednetwork that provided on-demand access. Ithaka S+R Library Survey 2010: Insights from U.S. Academic Library Directors• Shared infrastructure• Increased outsourcing• Regional consolidation of services• Shared repositories for books and print journals• Industry-wide digitization initiatives
What to do? What’s being done? • Self Study • Environmental Scan • Surveys • Assessment • Access – Discovery Layer • Tools – Calculators
Photo/art credits:Slide 4: Xavier University Archives and Special CollectionsSlide 9: Slide 13 Scales – dnnya, via FlickrSlide 10: City, Public Library – The Library of Virginia, 1956, via FlickrSlide 17: Folly Beach, South Carolina – Alison MorganSlide 19: Pez collection – Karen Tucker, karen.tkr, via FlickrSlide 23: Library of Celsus, Ephesus – Dachalan, via FlickrAll Flickr images are Creative Commons licensed