Academic libraries: facing the future - the role of library and information professionals

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Talk given by Jo Webb for UC&R Yorkshire and Humberside on 8th June 2010

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Academic libraries: facing the future - the role of library and information professionals

  1. 1. Academic libraries: facing the future The role of library and information professionals Jo Webb, Head of Academic Services and National Teaching Fellow, Department of Library Services, [email_address]
  2. 2. Context <ul><li>Public sector spending cuts </li></ul><ul><li>Impact on HE and FE </li></ul><ul><li>L. Elliott and A. Asthana (2010) ‘Cable moves to cut back university places’ Observer , 6th June, p.8 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Step away from 50% participation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Investment in further education and vocational training </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>10,000 fewer university places 2010-11 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Source close to Cable, ‘debate between excellence and quality and…bums on seats’ </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. The HE environment <ul><li>Competition </li></ul><ul><li>Mission groups </li></ul><ul><li>Internationalization </li></ul><ul><li>Widening participation? </li></ul><ul><li>Market for mature and professional courses? </li></ul><ul><li>Research assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Changes to postgraduate education Technology-enhanced learning </li></ul><ul><li>Student as consumer </li></ul>
  4. 4. Library and Information Service drivers <ul><li>Convergence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Infrastructure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Student services </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Increasing national co-ordination </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A national LMS for HE? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But what will happen to JISC, RIN? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Budgets and recognition </li></ul><ul><li>Learning and teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Research support </li></ul>
  5. 5. Impact of recession on academic libraries <ul><li>Making the ‘least worst’ choices </li></ul><ul><li>Restructuring </li></ul><ul><li>Reorganization </li></ul><ul><li>Cuts in information resources budgets </li></ul><ul><li>Need to develop new services </li></ul><ul><li>RIN report, Challenges for academic libraries in difficult economic times </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.rin.ac.uk/our-work/using-and-accessing-information-resources/challenges-academic-libraries-difficult-economic- </li></ul>
  6. 6. Being (a) professional OED definitions <ul><li>a. A person who engages in a specified activity, </li></ul><ul><li>especially a sport, as a paid occupation. Freq. </li></ul><ul><li>opposed to amateur. </li></ul><ul><li>b. Chiefly colloq. A prostitute. </li></ul><ul><li>2. A person engaged in a profession, esp. one requiring special skill or training; a professional person, or a member of the professional classes. </li></ul><ul><li>3. Scottish University slang. Short for ‘professional examination’ Now rare. </li></ul><ul><li>4. A person who does something with a high level of competence, commitment, or expertise. </li></ul>
  7. 7. A Profession: <ul><li>Vocational commitment (original meaning related to religious orders) </li></ul><ul><li>Prolonged training and formal qualification </li></ul><ul><li>Application of a discrete body of knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Commitment to ethical values </li></ul><ul><li>Some degree of monopoly rights </li></ul><ul><li>Control over own affairs </li></ul><ul><li>Regulatory role of professional body over conduct, entry, standards </li></ul>
  8. 8. Michael Gorman’s enduring values <ul><li>Stewardship </li></ul><ul><li>Service </li></ul><ul><li>Intellectual freedom </li></ul><ul><li>Rationalism </li></ul><ul><li>Literacy and learning </li></ul><ul><li>Equity of access to recorded knowledge and information </li></ul><ul><li>Privacy </li></ul><ul><li>Democracy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Application to academic libraries </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Ranganthan revisited <ul><li>Books are for use </li></ul><ul><li>Every person his or her book </li></ul><ul><li>Every book its reader </li></ul><ul><li>Save the time of the reader </li></ul><ul><li>The library is a growing organism </li></ul>
  10. 10. CILIP Body of Professional Knowledge <ul><li>Ethical framework </li></ul><ul><li>Legal dimension </li></ul><ul><li>Information policy </li></ul><ul><li>Information governance </li></ul><ul><li>Communications perspective </li></ul>
  11. 11. What do academic librarians do? <ul><li>Manage resources, services and facilities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In UK universal and pervasive </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Organize knowledge and information to serve the needs of their users </li></ul><ul><li>Support literacy and learning </li></ul>
  12. 12. Professional recognition <ul><li>As a library and information professional </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chartership and Fellowship </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subject knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In learning and teaching </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teaching qualifications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Higher Education Academy membership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Specialist awards in information literacy / teaching for librarians </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In technology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In specific applications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In IT management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In technology-enhanced learning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Project management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Generic management </li></ul></ul>Blended librarianship
  13. 13. Developing our skills <ul><li>Our discipline knowledge </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Think about what is distinctive to LIS </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Technology-engaged </li></ul><ul><li>Develop research </li></ul><ul><li>Personal and professional reflection </li></ul><ul><li>No excuse for professionalism as a silo, comfort blanket or defence </li></ul>
  14. 14. Developing our practice <ul><li>Professional not employee </li></ul><ul><li>Engagement with communities and stakeholders </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Professional as expert and champion </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Joining in the debate e.g. in learning and teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Critical and reflective practice </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Building an evidence base </li></ul><ul><li>Advocacy </li></ul><ul><li>Embrace innovation and change </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on what is distinctive </li></ul>

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