Librarian-academic
collaboration: the role of
relationship management
Dr MN Wiggill
School of Communication Studies
North-...
INTRODUCTION
• Context
– Librarian-academic collaboration
– Strategic communication and relationship
management
• Research...
LIBRARIAN-ACADEMIC COLLABORATION
• Role of academic libraries - assist university in obtaining main goals
- research & tea...
LIBRARIAN-ACADEMIC COLLABORATION
- ADVANTAGES
• Academics - understand scope of library’s support for teaching and
researc...
• Library irrelevant - availability of Internet as “easy” way to find information
• Librarians - required to provide infor...
STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION
MANAGEMENT
• Strategic communication management – engage with stakeholders
to create mutual unders...
RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT
Outcomes of strong relationships:
– Trust: integrity, dependability, competence
– Control mutualit...
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
• Qualitative approach
• Semi-structured interviews
– 4 academic libraries
• Ferdinand Postma Library...
AIMS OF INTERVIEWS
• Aims of the interviews:
– determine the nature of the libraries’ communication
strategy;
– determine ...
• No communication strategy
• No formally planned communication
programmes, campaigns or plans
• No account of communicati...
STRATEGY-DRIVEN COMMUNICATION –
“reason for being”
• Intuitively strategic – library personnel’s job descriptions
– 2 Dire...
COMMUNICATION TO ENHANCE
LIBRARIAN-ACADEMIC COLLABORATION
• Directors:
– No difficulties in conveying the libraries’ reaso...
RECOMMENDATIONS
• Communication and relationship management strategy
based on library’s vision, mission and strategic goal...
• Engage in two-way communication (dialogue)
– Understanding of academics’ needs & constraints
• Attending departmental me...
CONCLUSION
• Compile communication &
relationship management strategy
• Focus on reason for being
• Build strong relations...
THANK YOU
Wiggell librarians   academic collaboration
Wiggell librarians   academic collaboration
Wiggell librarians   academic collaboration
Wiggell librarians   academic collaboration
Wiggell librarians   academic collaboration
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Wiggell librarians academic collaboration

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Wiggell librarians academic collaboration

  1. 1. Librarian-academic collaboration: the role of relationship management Dr MN Wiggill School of Communication Studies North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus)
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION • Context – Librarian-academic collaboration – Strategic communication and relationship management • Research methodology • Results • Recommendations
  3. 3. LIBRARIAN-ACADEMIC COLLABORATION • Role of academic libraries - assist university in obtaining main goals - research & teaching of undergraduate and graduate students • Provides access to information & information services • Information age – must be information literate • Academic library – “learning centre” • Academic librarians - active key educators • Information literacy - vital to students’ academic success, therefore librarian-academic collaboration vital • What is librarian-academic collaboration? – In this collaborative effort, the librarian acts as expert, scaffolding the faculty member’s skills in technology; the faculty member as an expert, scaffolding the librarian’s knowledge of research and teaching pedagogy; and the faculty member and librarian (as peers) collaborating to scaffold students’ research methods, knowledge and skills (Bhavnagri & Bielat, 2005:122)
  4. 4. LIBRARIAN-ACADEMIC COLLABORATION - ADVANTAGES • Academics - understand scope of library’s support for teaching and research • Librarians - familiar with course work - assist students more effectively • Academics - design assignments taking the library’s available resources into account • Academics - more reasonable expectations of students’ ability to do research & use information sources • Information literacy training - part of formal academic courses (librarians - implement assessment procedures & act on results) • Academics, who feel that the library understand their needs and who are knowledgeable about the library and its services - encourage students to make use of the library • Students - appreciate libraries & ensures long-term use of libraries • Students - understand research process better - improved pass rates • Independent library research - emphasised as a valuable, life-long learning skill
  5. 5. • Library irrelevant - availability of Internet as “easy” way to find information • Librarians - required to provide information literacy training – academics not always required to cooperate with librarians • Librarians feel unprepared for instructional roles • Parent instititutions of libraries – little/no acknowledgement of role of information literacy in strategic statements • General ignorance - importance of information literacy; role & proficiency of librarians in conveying these skills • Negative corporate image – hampers facilitating librarian-academic collaboration • Academics - mostly ignorant of role of library – Academics - not always in favour of collaborative program planning and teaching involving professional library staff - especially due to time constraints • Unequal balance of power - provision of in-class time for information literacy -“gift” from the academic & librarians “dependent” on academics • Librarians – don’t understand nature of academic work & needs of academics • Unsuccessful llibrary advocacy – one-way communication LIBRARIAN-ACADEMIC COLLABORATION – REASONS FOR NO/STRAINED COLLABORATION
  6. 6. STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION MANAGEMENT • Strategic communication management – engage with stakeholders to create mutual understanding – Outcome – strong, mutually beneficial relationships • Communication strategy - aligned to organisation’s vision, mission & goals - contribute to success & effectiveness • Organisation’s reason for being - reflected in its vision, mission and goals - reflected in its communication strategy • All communication – reflect reason for being - public legitimacy & social trust • Libraries - continuously engage with stakeholders – Two-way communication - obtain mutual understanding of each others’ goals and needs – Mutual understanding - strong relationships & more effective librarian- academic collaboration
  7. 7. RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT Outcomes of strong relationships: – Trust: integrity, dependability, competence – Control mutuality – Commitment – Level of relationship satisfaction
  8. 8. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY • Qualitative approach • Semi-structured interviews – 4 academic libraries • Ferdinand Postma Library, North-West University – Director, Information Librarians • Leeds Metropolitan University Library, England – Information Librarian • Campusbibliotheek Arenberg, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium - Director • Library of the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands - Director – Aim - obtain a better understanding of how academic libraries communicate to obtain librarian-academic collaboration
  9. 9. AIMS OF INTERVIEWS • Aims of the interviews: – determine the nature of the libraries’ communication strategy; – determine whether the interviewed libraries’ communication is founded in the university as well as the library’s vision, mission and goals, reflecting its reason for being; and – determine how the librarians communicate with academics to foster librarian-academic collaboration
  10. 10. • No communication strategy • No formally planned communication programmes, campaigns or plans • No account of communication needs of strategic stakeholders COMMUNICATION STRATEGY
  11. 11. STRATEGY-DRIVEN COMMUNICATION – “reason for being” • Intuitively strategic – library personnel’s job descriptions – 2 Directors • 2 Information Librarians studied university & library’s vision, mission & goals – plan communication & work accordingly • 1 Information Librarian – worked long enough, does not need vision, mission & goals • Other Information Librarians – agreed - guide communication & provide grounds - persuasion regarding the important educational role of the library
  12. 12. COMMUNICATION TO ENHANCE LIBRARIAN-ACADEMIC COLLABORATION • Directors: – No difficulties in conveying the libraries’ reason for being and its supporting educational role to senior university stakeholders – Some in academic community – ignorant of library’s role • Information Librarians – Librarian-academic collaboration - difficult - many academics do not perceive librarians & services as valuable; no time to spend on library awareness campaigns – Leeds Metropolitan University - “How” shift to “why” - librarian-academic collaboration based on library’s reason for being – Campusbibliotheek Arenberg - service delivery changed from “Just in time” to “Just for you” – Engage in dialogue – NB to ascertain academics’ needs • Building strong personal relationships - Information Librarians & academics mutually acknowledge and support each other’s role – Coinciding information literacy training with assignments – better results • Some librarians – do not communicate positive outcomes strongly enough – Academics do not convey information to students – Some feel that it is not librarians’ role to promote, market or communicate about library’s services and products, or to have an educational role - no training
  13. 13. RECOMMENDATIONS • Communication and relationship management strategy based on library’s vision, mission and strategic goals – Focus on library’s reason for being – legitimacy – No need for library advocacy – academic community would understand library’s role – Improved corporate image – Students trust librarians & library information sources – Students more willing to attend training
  14. 14. • Engage in two-way communication (dialogue) – Understanding of academics’ needs & constraints • Attending departmental meetings, introducing yourself & library services to newly appointed faculty • Personal appointments – determine personal needs & constraints – sometimes basic knowledge gaps • Personalise service & products for each academic - would feel valued by the library – show interest in academics’ research areas – eg recommend relevant/new databases – Ask questions, feedback on appropriateness of information/services provided • Focus communication on how library is adding value to academics’ & students’ educational experience • Provide excellent service - build and maintain strong relationships to ensure effective collaboration – Academics need to trust that the librarian are so committed that the best possible research and service would be provided PRACTICAL RECOMMENDATIONS
  15. 15. CONCLUSION • Compile communication & relationship management strategy • Focus on reason for being • Build strong relationships with academics – trust & commitment foundation • Result – effective librarian-academic collaboration
  16. 16. THANK YOU
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