A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a libraryis the traditional view of an academic library.
But things are changing quickly.
Only last week the Government released a report called The Future of Universities in the Knowledge Economy. Among the things happening are much greater collaboration between business and HE, whether this is in working together on curriculum design to develop courses focused on the needs of business or in research, where there is a sharper focus on the economic and social impact of research carried out by universities.
We’re in a recession and funding is being cut for teaching and research. In today’s THES, BIS asks why £2bn gap between research costs and income persists.Earlier this week the long-awaited (by VC’s) review of tuition fees was announced. If the fees cap is abolished, the US gives an idea of what might happen. 58 US institutions now charge fees of more than $50,000 (£29,850) a year. Last year, just five colleges exceeded this mark.
This is belated official recognition of a situation we are already in. Students are acting as consumers. There expectations have changed – libraries are expected to meet there demands for information immediately.Not every one likes it though. MacLeod, Donald (2007) Academics fight back against rule of the student customer. The Guardian, 24th September, ttp://www.guardian.co.uk/education/mortarboard/2007/sep/24/aspiritedattackonthe
Institutions aim to be increasingly demand led, responsive to cultural and economic change, and capable of providing opportunities for learners to acquire both knowledge and skills for employability and lifelong learning.”The emphasis on e and blended learning, collaboration and group work, enquiry based / PBL , involvement of industry are leading to changes.
“Literacy practices are changing. Although, the idea of the digital native, the Google generation is a myth, there are changes. Changes to the way people access information, read, write and in fact what constitutes a text.
There are major changes and challenges to the way research is funded.The RAE 2008 saw research excellence funded wherever it was found rather than concentrating funding on elite institutions. The recently published HEF calls for funding to be concentrated on elite institutions.The new REF has seen a major debate on the use of bibliometrics and now on measuring the social and economic impact of research.The way research grants are awarded is challenged. It is argued that the system is failing scientists and in response the Wellcome Trust have announced major changes to the way they will award grants.
The cost of providing access to materials has risen dramatically.
And the open access movement, who want to make journal articles, textbooks and monographs freely available online poses a major challenge to publishers and is an opportunity for libraries who are heavily involved in promoting and supporting this initiative.
More than any other area of academic life, libraries are being forced to respond to deep and disruptive changes in both what they do and how they do it.There is a sense we need to save libraries but “When we shift our attention from “save newspapers libraries” to “save society scholarship”, the imperative changes from “preserve the current institutions” to “do whatever works.” —Adapted from Clay ShirkyAnd there has never been a better time to be an acdemic librarian. There are so many opportunities to do new and interesting and useful things!Taken from Bourg, Chris, Ross Coleman, and Ricky Erway. 2009. Support for the Research Process: An Academic Library Manifesto. Report produced by OCLC Research. Published online at: www.oclc.org/ research/publications/library/2009/2009-07.pdf.
So lets look at the sorts of things libraries should be doing. Peter Murray-Rust is a Chemist who has strong views on what libraries need to do.He says we need to have a vision for the future
Helpfully, he has a 12 point plan for the library some of which I’ve reproduced here.His views aren’t that far from the mainstream – with the possible exception of copyright.Post all academic output publicly - IGNORE CopyrightText mine everythingPut 2nd year students in charge of developing educational technologyClose the library science building and move to departmentsPublicly campaign for openness
“The scientists have mostly gone online with their library needs,” Thorin said. “Cutting-edge scholars in the humanities are going the same way. Students prefer online access.Universities, are either moving their books to off-campus storage facilities or disposing of hard copies. Libraries everywhere are opting for online over print provision.
There is abundant evidence that scientists (and many science) students don’t use the library building (although many of them still use the digital library. This doesn’t mean that librarians aren’t required, its just that they should be embedded in the departments working more closely with the students and researchers.There is a model for this. The Clinical Librarian (CL) Service at UHL NHS Trust takes information services into the clinical setting, responding to information needs that arise there.
There is a counter argument. Libraries were founded as places where materials were collected and stored, shifted focus toward connecting clients with resources, and now are orinetated to towards allowing people to interact with each other. The argument goes that this how people work in the real world. This is not a universally popular view.
And institutions are investing millions in library buildings to provide an experience and to build collaborative spaces. Do you like the changes to the library here?And if you’re going with this the library has to be 24 hour, as we are, and the only cost effive way to do this is via self service.
The way resources are accessed is changing. Course reading lists and tutorial advice are are no longer seen by users as the primary way to discover research content.
Users overwhelmingly use keyword searches to discover the existence of research content which are inputted into a mixture of tools usually including internet search engines, library catalogues and specialist subject databases.
It used to be that the problem was finding stuff. But if you did it was usually from the library. The library acted as a filter – it collected things that were useful and that were peer reviews / scholarly.
“The biggest problem faced by users is the sheer volume of information available on most subjects.” Information overload is seen as a huge problem. Clay Shirky argues that the problem isn’t too much information, its that we don’t have good filters. Users struggle to identify relevant content from mass that is available because they don’t have the filtering tools they need.*S. Hampton Reeves (2009) Students’ Use of Research Content in Teaching and Learning. Preston: UCLAN. http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/aboutus/workinggroups/studentsuseresearchcontent.pdf
Users expect to be able to access research content immediately and prefer online access but will, for the moment, visit the library if necessary.The issues around finding, filtering and using information have implications for the training we provide and the tools we build to enable users to access information.
Information literacy is important. Training is important. It’s critical to what we do but what and how we deliver is changing.
A lot of what we do is about guiding users (staff and students) to the different sources of content and equipping with the skills to assess its worth. A kind of filtering.
“Information literacy needs to be broadened to include – or be supplemented with – communication and media literacies.”The key point that we can learn from other areas and that this will impact on the training we deliver.
If we think about searching for a moment. Students (and some staff) need guidance on how to find research content. This is more about where to find rather than how to search for it.“If librarians invented Google – you’d need an hour’s training just to perform a keyword search.” I’m sure you all know how easy to use Google is. Now think about Metalib.There is a learning cost associated with using search tools. Google is easy. Library tools have to be easy too or you have to be able to demonstrate value in spending time to get to know them.
There is a learning cost associated with using search tools. Google is easy. Library tools have to be easy too or you have to be able to demonstrate value in spending time to get to know them. And that isn’t easy.Cross-disciplinary is good too.
What should we collect? Traditionally we build a collection against possible future need. This is inefficient. A lot of what why buy never get used. We should buy what people need now and not try to second guess what they may need in future. There is no real role for librarians in selecting materials in this model.
And print is dying. Journals are online. We along with many other libraries have a policy that says that we will only buy journals online unless there is an exceptionally good reason why not. And where we have journals online we aren’t keeping the print.
Books are going online too. This year for the UoL is the tipping point. I think we’ll start to see an major increase in e-book acquisitions and a sharp decrease in print acquisitions. And we tend to buy collections of e-books rather than individual titles. No prints books, less processing, less shelving, fewer issues, smaller queues at the issue desk – major changes to the way the library operates.
So to sum our policy going forward is likely to be:Ebooks first, where available, Much more user-driven acquisition, Much less librarian-driven acquisition, More focus on local/unique documents, Less focus on acquiring copiesFewer prints books, less processing, less shelving, fewer issues, smaller queues at the issue desk – major changes to the way the library operates.
We haven’t just decided to do this – these are the numbers!
You don’t own e-resources, you license them which has implications for what you can do with them. Essentially, you need librarian /lawyers
We’re competing globally. We’re not just designing systems and services for students in Liverpool or the UK, we have to support students across the globe. 53 countries currently. Different local laws, variations in internet access, cultural issues and time zones. Support has to be 25 hour – its is at UoL. 9:30pm to 8:30am support is outsourced to NOMAN.
We’re delivering services to schools, school children, teachers, mature students. We have to design and develop services to met their needs. It isn’t just current staff and students, its potential staff and students we provide a service to,
The government are keen to provide services to local SME’s in knowledge industries. We’re sitting on lots of stuff that they could use, but we’re struggling to make it available. Licensing issues mainly.
There is increasing demand to provide services for alumni – particularly now Uni’s see them as potential sources of income to fund endowments.
Its not just about finding and reading things. Libraries should support innovative scholarship.
This could take a number of forms but to give a couple of examples. Opening up our e-collections to allow data and text mining.
AndDigitising primary research materials we hold like the First World War poetry Archive and making them available.
Embedding librarians into offer bespoke support in expert literature searching and reference management for any group undertaking a systematic review.
Traditional skills are important. Not so much cat and class as we live in a miscellaneous electronic world.
But having good metadata is critical to delivering the kinds of innovative scholarship I was talking about and to delivering on the promise of the semantic web.
We need librarians (or at least library staff that can code). IT literacy isn’t enough. There is so much that can be done if you have people that can make use of Api’s, hack the catalogue etc. See the work of Dave Pattern at Huddersfield for an example.
Alex Parker, 2nd year Comp sci undergrad developed a tool where he presents library data in three different ‘galaxy’ views where library books are represented as moving stars that change speed and location according to how popular they are within a given course. They also join together in constellations to show books on connected topic, while orbited by meteors representing the courses of the students using those books.Perhaps we should leave it to the undergrads?
Whether that is buying managing funds to pay open access author charges to allow researchers to publish their work.
Buying building an institutional repository and archiving copies of all of the research outputs produced by researchers at the institution, making that openly available online, linking this in with other systems to provide data for RPM, to go into CV’s and for web pages.
Managing the institutions digital assets – reports, strategies, student work etc that libraries traditionall have had no role in.
Or by contributing to the management of primary research data generated by researchers within the institution.
Academic libraries David Clay LJMU 12th November 2009
“A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library.” Shelby Foote
The Times They Are A-Changin‘ Bob Dylan dhammza. changes. http://www.flickr.com/photos/dhammza/2227347832/
“Turning more of the knowledge that is generated in UK universities into jobs and growth, especially by bringing businesses and universities together to collaborate.” Lord Mandelson http://nds.coi.gov.uk/clientmicrosite/content/Detail.aspx?ReleaseID=408199&NewsAreaID=2&ClientID=431
“Universities have enjoyed a benign financial climate over recent years. Growth based so heavily on state funding cannot continue ....... “ BIS http://www.bis.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/publications/Higher-Ambitions-Summary.pdf
“There will be a consumer revolution for students with each course labelled with key facts about their drop-out rates, students' future earnings and contact hours with senior tutors.” Lord Mandelson http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2009/nov/03/peter-mandelson-university-review-modernisation
“The importance of curriculum design is prompting many institutions to rethink the processes, systems and procedures involved in planning, designing and administering programmes of study.” http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/publications/managingcurriculumchange.pdf
“Literacy practices are changing. Writing has moved from a paper-based to a largely screen based medium. Associated searching and editing software has profoundly changed the way in which writing is typically constructed.” http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/projects/elearningllida.aspx
Developing the REF: framework Outputs Impact Environment Quality and sustainability of the environment: assessed through narrative and indicators Quality of outputs: assessed through a combination of bibliometrics and expert review Engagement with users and the public: assessed through narrative and indicators Impact of research: assessed through a portfolio of evidence Source:: Chaplin, H (2009) The Research Excellence Framework. AUA Annual Conference 2009. http://www.hefce.ac.uk/research/ref/resources/AUA_AnnConf.ppt
Serials costs are rising dramatically Source: Kyrillidou, Martha . Research library trends: ARL statistics. The Journal of Academic Librarianship 26(6): 427-436 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0099-1333(00)00177-4
The impact on open access on publishing and libraries
“ ........ more than any other area of academic life, libraries are being forced to respond to deep and disruptive changes in both what they do and how they do it.” Gaynor Backhouse http://librariesofthefuture.jiscinvolve.org/2009/03/25/holding-out-for-a-hero-technology-the-future-and-the-renaissance-of-the-university-librarian/
“Librarians must have a vision for the future.” Peter Murray- Rust
2. Post all academic output publicly - IGNORE Copyright 3. Text mine everything 4. Put 2nd year students in charge of developing educational technology 8. Close the library science building and move to departments 10. Publicly campaign for openness Peter Murray-Rust, Internet Librarian 2009
“Let’s face it: the library, as a place, is dead ..... Kaput. Finito. And we need to move on to a new concept of what the academic library is.” Suzanne Thorin, Dean of Libraries, Syracuse University http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/11/06/library
Take the librarians out of the library and into the lab
“To interact with one another — to talk, to collaborate, to think, to communicate, to be with one another,” he said. “Isn’t that what we do in our best libraries?” Rick Luce, Director of University Libraries, Emory University http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/11/06/library
Information Commons at the University of Sheffield Paolo Màrgari. empty brains in the information commons. http://www.flickr.com/photos/paolomargari/758421322/
“The traditional ways in which libraries and academics define the research environment for students is now being bypassed by most users, who regard tools such as reading lists as a back-up rather than a starting point.” S. Hampton Reeves (2009) Students’ Use of Research Content in Teaching and Learning. Preston: UCLAN. http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/aboutus/workinggroups/studentsuseresearchcontent.pdf
“Users overwhelmingly use keyword searches” Cellanr. OLPC at Kagugu Primary School, Kigali. http://www.flickr.com/photos/rorycellan/3933612995/in/photostream/
It used to be that the problem was finding relevant stuff .... Paxsimius. library card catalog. http://www.flickr.com/photos/paxsimius/2235761852/
§ “The biggest problem faced by users is the sheer volume of information available on most subjects.*” Librarian by Day. The EEE vs The Mini 9. http://www.flickr.com/photos/librarianbyday/3686346119/
“Users expect to be able to access research content immediately and prefer online access.” Brianjmatis. Day 166 - Let there be internet! http://www.flickr.com/photos/brianjmatis/3631670054/sizes/l/
The researchers of the future (and quite a few researching now) come from the born digital age and will use information differently, so what is information literacy? Rachel Bruce (2009) “… to engage or not engage…” the choice for libraries. JISC DATA Environment Team Blog, http://infteam.jiscinvolve.org/2008/11/12/%E2%80%9C%E2%80%A6-to-engage-or-not-engage%E2%80%A6-the-choice-for-libraries/
“Users want more guidance and clarity on how to find research content and on how to assess its worth as well as its relevance.” S. Hampton Reeves (2009) Students’ Use of Research Content in Teaching and Learning. Preston: UCLAN. http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/aboutus/workinggroups/studentsuseresearchcontent.pdf
“Information literacy needs to be broadened to include – or be supplemented with – communication and media literacies. It makes little sense to support information literacy’s in isolation from other communications and media practices. The agenda needs to be clearly formulated around informed and critical use of technology for learning.” JISC (2009) Learning literacies in a digital age. http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/projects/elearningllida.aspx
“If librarians invented Google – you’d need an hour’s training just to perform a keyword search.” Llordlama http://twitter.com/llordllama
Libraries should support innovative scholarship. We’re now in a complex world where the web is a platform of “mass creativity” but offers real opportunities for innovative scholarship. Rachel Bruce (2009) “… to engage or not engage…” the choice for libraries. JISC DATA Environment Team Blog, http://infteam.jiscinvolve.org/2008/11/12/%E2%80%9C%E2%80%A6-to-engage-or-not-engage%E2%80%A6-the-choice-for-libraries/
Licenses should allow text and data mining ... .. but most don’t Alarch. Drift of Harrachov Mine. http://www.flickr.com/photos/alarch/308587800/
Systematic Review Support Chickenlump. Stethoscope. http://www.flickr.com/photos/chickenlump/2038512161/sizes/o/
“We’ve been raised as experts at keeping our physical environment well ordered, but our homespun ways of maintaining order are going to break—they’re already breaking—in the digital world.” David Weinberger, Everything is Miscellaneous
<<xs:complexContent mixed="true"> − <xs:restriction base="xs:anyType"> − <xs:sequence> <xs:anyprocessContents="lax" minOccurs="0" maxOccurs="0"/> </xs:sequence> <xs:attribute ref="xml:lang" use="optional"/> </xs:restriction> </xs:complexContent> </xs:complexType> <xs:element name="any" type="SimpleLiteral" abstract="true"/> <xs:element name="title" substitutionGroup="any"/> <xs:element name="creator" substitutionGroup="any"/> <xs:element name="subject" substitutionGroup="any"/> <xs:element name="description" substitutionGroup="any"/> <xs:element name="publisher" substitutionGroup="any"/> <xs:element name="contributor" substitutionGroup="any"/> <xs:element name="date" substitutionGroup="any"/> <xs:element name="type" substitutionGroup="any"/> <xs:element name="format" substitutionGroup="any"/> <xs:element name="identifier" substitutionGroup="any"/> <xs:element name="source" substitutionGroup="any"/> <xs:element name="language" substitutionGroup="any"/> <xs:element name="relation" substitutionGroup="any"/> <xs:element name="coverage" substitutionGroup="any"/> <xs:element name="rights" substitutionGroup="any"/> − <xs:group name="elementsGroup"> − <xs:annotation> − <xs:documentationxml:lang="en"> This group is included as a convenience for schema authors who need to refer to all the elements in the http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/ namespace. </xs:documentation> </xs:annotation> Dublin Core, METS, ETD, LOM are as important as MARC, perhaps more so
IT Literacy is not enough wili hybrid. Office: Research in Progress. http://www.flickr.com/photos/wili/242265276/
“Information is the fourth resource, alongside people, finance and property. It is therefore vital to invest in good management of information across the University and especially in electronic information as this is more vulnerable to loss or unauthorised access.” UoL (2009) Digital Information Assets business case.