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Shifting sands: Changing academic library skill sets

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These are the slides and discussions from a workshop at UKSG2017.
ABSTRACT: This workshop will explore the skill sets for scholarly communication including questions about future requirements, the language we are using in this space and, beyond skills, what type of people are suited to different aspects of librarianship. Scholarly communication requires people who are able to be flexible in their approach, rather than ‘rule followers’, which may mean a fundamental shift in the library workforce into the future. Working collectively, the session will consider the implications for upskilling our ‘legacy’ workforce.
Note there are accompanying files. The collection of job descriptions is here: https://tinyurl.com/mcoxwab
The analysis is here: https://tinyurl.com/jw33sqw

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Shifting sands: Changing academic library skill sets

  1. 1. OS C Office of Scholarly Communication Shifting sands: Changing academic library skill sets UKSG 2017 Dr Danny Kingsley - University of Cambridge @dannykay68 Harrogate - 10th & 11th April 2017
  2. 2. OS C This workshop will explore the skill sets for scholarly communication including questions about future requirements, the language we are using in this space and, beyond skills, what type of people are suited to different aspects of librarianship. Scholarly communication requires people who are able to be flexible in their approach, rather than ‘rule followers’, which may mean a fundamental shift in the library workforce into the future. Working collectively, the session will consider the implications for upskilling our ‘legacy’ workforce. Workshop description
  3. 3. OS C How many people: • Work in a library? • Are responsible for hiring staff? • Work in Scholarly Communication? Who are we?PhotobyKevinJarrettviaFlickr,CCBY2.0
  4. 4. OS C The nature of academic libraries is changing dramatically. What is the role of the library in a wholly open access world? What does this mean for our staffing? Skill sets for librarians https://www.macquarie.nsw.edu.au/courses/hospitality -programs/skill-sets-and-part-qualifications
  5. 5. OS C •Qualified library & information professionals in Further Education - Case for Support - 17 May 2016 • https://www.cilip.org.uk/sites/default/files/documents/qualified_libr ary_information_professionals_fe_colleges.pdf •Qualified librarians are – An accredited library and information qualification – Chartered Membership of CILIP (MCLIP) to demonstrate ongoing engagement with the profession – A relevant teaching or training qualification is occasionally required – An IT or e-learning qualification is occasionally required. CILIP – ‘qualified’ librarians
  6. 6. OS C What do library schools offer in the way of Scholarly Communication? Accredited library & information qualification?Businessschoollectureroom.Shouldyoupursueanadvanced degree?Photoby:PromoMadrid/AlfredoUrdaci/CCBY-SA
  7. 7. OS C • City University London –mentioned “research data management, repository management and digital asset management” • Dublin Business School –Future … library programmes will incorporate modules such as the Research Librarian & the Librarian as Publisher to reflect new roles & activities in the sector. • Aberystwyth University – introduced new degree schemes in Digital Curation, Digital Information Services, and a brand new postgraduate certificate in Digital Preservation. • University of Ulster, University of the West of England, Robert Gordon University – No mention of anything related to scholarly communication • University College Dublin –Our newest programmes, which commenced in 2015, include an MSc, Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate (CPD) in Digital Curation, the first such programme in Ireland. • Developing the professionals of the future Views from experts in ‘library schools’ - https://www.sconul.ac.uk/sites/default/files/documents/2_18.pdf SCONUL report - 10 Nov 2016
  8. 8. OS C •2012 analysis of job announcements – identified ‘Scholarly communications librarians’ as a new role for health sciences –https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC37946 82/ •2015 paper on scholarly communication coaching: “To successfully address the current needs of a forward-thinking faculty, the academic library needs to place scholarly communication competencies in the toolkit of every librarian who has a role interacting with subject faculty.” –http://thekeep.eiu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=11 00&context=lib_fac Increased need
  9. 9. OS C • High skills gap in nine key areas – Ability to advise on preserving research outputs – Knowledge to advise on data management and curation, including ingest, discovery, access, dissemination, preservation, and portability – Knowledge to support researchers in complying with the various mandates of funders, including open access requirements – Knowledge to advise on potential data manipulation tools used in the discipline/ subject – Knowledge to advise on data mining – Knowledge to advocate, and advise on, the use of metadata – Ability to advise on the preservation of project records e.g. correspondence – Knowledge of sources of research funding to assist researchers to identify potential funders – Skills to develop metadata schema, and advise on discipline/subject standards and practices, for individual research projects Reskilling for Research – RLUK report 2012 http://www.rluk.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/RLUK-Re-skilling.pdf
  10. 10. OS CSmall research project •Survey sent out September 2016 –Over 500 responses –Employing a researcher to analyse findings •Are academic librarians getting the training they need? –https://unlockingresearch.blog.lib.cam.ac.uk/?p=995 –Our hypothesis is simple: there is a systematic lack of education on scholarly communication issues available to those entering the library profession. This is creating a time bomb skills gap in the academic library profession and unless action is taken we may well end up with a workforce not suited to work in the 21st century research library. •Changing roles and changing needs for academic librarians –https://unlockingresearch.blog.lib.cam.ac.uk/?p=1189 –Literature review of research on the issue of training for librarians. –Many people working in scholarly communication come from outside the Library sector.
  11. 11. OS C We are going to analyse some recent job advertisements for library staff in scholarly communication areas Time to do some work The-Library-of-the-Future-Is-web(CC)byCalgary NewCentralLibrary
  12. 12. OS C • At LEAST one person in your group must have an internet enabled device • You will be considering the job descriptions you have been allocated: • https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B0K7mk Ul0AXKN3pGMFpfWTZOaGM?usp=sharing • Tiny URL version - https://tinyurl.com/mcoxwab You will need to be in groups of three
  13. 13. OS C • Knowledge – What specific knowledge or systems are being requested? • Generic skills – What types of generic library skills are they asking for? •Soft skills –What type of person do they need? •Attendees were asked to complete this table: •Tiny url - https://tinyurl.com/jw33sqw •https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1u6t4657h7hgAFmYxsGOp AL8Xmhg6SbJI8aR3Ze1CxHU/edit?usp=sharing Different TYPES of skills
  14. 14. OS C What does this tell us? Discussion
  15. 15. OS C • Are these the kinds of skills, knowledge and people you are currently employing or working with? • Which skills and knowledge should be: – In initial qualification training? – Learnt on the job? – Part of ongoing professional development? – Reliant on the type of person you are? Discussion points
  16. 16. OS C • We have had to change job descriptions to get to a point that we can get the kind of person we want through recruitment. • Thought there should be learning on the job – when you first start in the job there is a process already. Getting more knowledgeable about the job comes with time. • Professional development is the appropriate place to get this knowledge – eg: UKSG conferences • Team that you can become part of – still fairly new. Library schools can’t churn people out with these skills because they are always changing • Want an advocate but also a skills set – split personality. – should we split the roles? • If it is difficult to recruit then the job description itself is a problem. Type of person is more important. • Also something about having the type of person that will go outside their institution to gather that knowledge • Part of role is to liaise with academics. Culturally found that academics are quite resistant to using the repository so an advocate role would be part of it. • Implication that wants someone who can go around and communicate that value. • Looking for someone who is resilient and adaptive • Being bold – moving into a an environment where researchers recognise my expertise. Researchers on teams haven’t been as good as good librarians. Discussion notes - Monday
  17. 17. OS C • Copyright – discussed that at our library doesn’t have anyone that works with copyright. • We have one person with specialist knowledge – but they were almost employed by chance • We recently advertised for a Copyright and Scholarly Communications manager. Have people who have developed these skills and knowledge but it was organic – after these skills and knowledge started to develop we decided we needed to look at it properly. Lots of people with pockets of knowledge and bring together so we knew what we knew and ensure we were telling staff the right things. • People go into libraries not knowing what they are about and then they develop a specific interest and then develop own expertise. Very organically grown. Then an area becomes a ‘thing’ that you need to recruit to because it is a core thing. • Learning is episodic - one time learning won’t set you up for your career. These are jobs that don’t even exist yet. Should be teaching critical thinking. • Things are changing and developing all the time. What you learnt in year 1 of your qualification might be completely irrelevant by the time you do the job. Should lay groundwork. Should be around flexibility and adaption as much as the knowledge. Sometimes more emphasis on knowledge. • More useful to teach librarians customer service skills or relationship management - that would have wider benefits. Needs to balance the base information with other types of skills and knowledge. Discussion notes - Tuesday
  18. 18. OS C Are there options for our staff to be trained up? What about professional training?
  19. 19. OS C •A Creative Community: Nurturing leadership, innovation and skills throughout our libraries –Nurture new skills and competences within member libraries •Work with Information Science schools to shape both CPD and professional training for students, fitting them for the challenges presented by modern academic libraries and the changing landscape of higher education •http://www.rluk.ac.uk/strategy-2014-17/ RLUK Strategic Priorities 2014-2017
  20. 20. OS C • Bibliometrics and Scientometrics for Research Evaluation – Basic and advanced citation analysis, bibliometric visualization, university rankings, journal impact indicators and much more! •Chicago, IL - June 26-28, 2017 • DPTP: Digitisation – from project management to access. –The course will cover the basics of digitisation, from the initial planning through project management to protecting and preserving the resulting digital assets for the long term. It explores preparation, project management, equipment/outsourcing, workflows and policies. It will also look at metadata, copyright and licensing, and managing access to the digitised content. •Senate House, London: 28 April 2017 • UKeIG - Open Access, Open Data, Open Science: Anatomy of a Disruptive Technology –This one-day workshop gives an overview of developments in Open Access, Open Data and Open Science framed within the context of a disruptive technology. •May 24, 2017 at CILIP's headquarters in London. • UKSG Licensing Skills for Librarians –The course is designed for librarians involved in e-resource purchasing in academic institutions; librarians in these institutions who are being trained to undertake purchasing roles will also benefit from attending. Participants should gain a good understanding of the key issues surrounding publisher licensing and negotiations, together with practical skills and knowledge which they will be able to use in their professional lives • London on 11 May 2017. There are some courses available…
  21. 21. OS C • ACRL Scholarly Communication Toolkit http://acrl.libguides.com/scholcomm/toolkit/ • FOSTER - Key Skills for Open Science and Responsible Research and Innovationhttps://www.fosteropenscience.eu /courses •MOOC - Scholarly Communication (Coursera) https://www.mooc-list.com/course/scholarly- communication-coursera Some good examples
  22. 22. OS C •Dr Sarah Pittaway - UKSG Forum 2016 –Arguing we need to broaden our definition of ‘librarian’. Diversity is beneficial. • “When is a librarian not a librarian?”http://www.uksg.org/sites/uksg.org/files/PresentationP ittaway.pdf •Discussion at RLUK 2017 – We need to develop digital leaders for libraries. Are these people already in libraries who we train up, or are they people with these skill sets we bring in and introduce to library culture? •“Become part of the research process” – observations from RLUK2017 https://unlockingresearch.blog.lib.cam.ac.uk/?p=1384 Librarians or not?
  23. 23. OS C • “The research librarian of the future: data scientist and co-investigator” –Librarian as co-investigator, not an overhead •By using their data science and digital skills, research librarians have the opportunity to make an impactful contribution to the workflow of their faculty colleagues. Librarians’ data science skills can help navigate through the deluge of information, and can truly change how they are perceived: from an overhead service to research co-investigators. http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2016/ 12/14/the-research-librarian-of-the-future-data- scientist-and-co-investigator/ Colleague not servant
  24. 24. OS C • Evolution of Library Ethnography Studies - notes from talk - Susan Gibbons 2015 –https://unlockingresearch.blog.lib.cam.ac.uk/ ?p=69 •Increasingly the university is asking librarians to have outreach as part of their role. Outreach is valued in the evaluation process. •For some existing staff this was not comfortable – they wanted to be curators. The feeling for these people was they ‘changed the rules on me’ – so the university helps them make the transition. •Some have come along the outreach path, others have moved somewhere else – and the university helps them with that move. Legacy staff
  25. 25. OS C • What are the implications for your: – Hiring processes? – Current staff? – Own practice? Challenges for the future
  26. 26. OS C • Lots of implications – from the job advertisement, the person specification and where you advertise – not necessarily the traditional places. • In the US you always advertised in the Chronicle of Higher Education, no-one looks there now. Had to step back – whole different way of advertising • Also looking outside your profession. Looking for similar experience, possible implications for current staff • We should not be hung up on having a MS or MSD in library, particularly when people have had years of experience, people don’t want to spend five years getting a new qualification • We hired three part time people to give jobs for year to develop the skills sets. • Information management skills are valuable but system analysis more important. A lot unknown. • There is loyalty of library staff – the term ‘legacy’ has a connotation. If there are no opportunities internally then it is limited. Staff can be retrained. Make the best of who you have got. • Should we be looking at job descriptions regularly review them to ensure they stay up to date – to give the opportunity to adapt and change • There are lots of things that libraries do that are different to the skills that libraries do – whole new definition of the profession. • Reflects the discussion about digital literacy –different strands and different types of librarian – different roles. Discussion notes - Monday
  27. 27. OS C • We are super converged – blended the library with student services - massive impact of the range of skills we are hiring for – wider range of skills than the library schools are producing. Increasingly library qualifications are less relevant. • Who is providing the kind of training? Need to take someone who has one of the skills and cross train them. • We recruited for a Scholarly Communications officer – new role – asked for experience from library. • Lots of job descriptions brought back memories because they were my jobs! Have noticed requirement for library qualification is moving from essential to desirable or just experience. Was going to do a course last year, but CILIP said that it was an academic qualification not a professional qualification. • I have learnt everything on the job. Interesting yesterday was bibliometric training where you do a week long retreat where you get a badge. • We recruit and there is not a lot of staff out there – significant lack of knowledge. Steep learning curve. • CILIP is the elephant in the room here • It is possible with CILIP to be an associate or chartered with a significant portfolio. Move away from having a qualification. Might be an annual subscription fee and doing the job without that. Good to have some leven in the mix • This is very familiar. I was an e resources librarian - that was a massive transition. I didn’t feel qualified, got more from the job and from a graduate traineeship. Losing the battle again in scholarly comms and library skills have not caught up again. • Often economic considerations for the person providing the course. There is a conflict of interest because you need to ensure a number of students • Library schools have narrow attitudes and it is difficult to teach skills in curiosity. Argument against a formal route Discussion notes - Tuesday
  28. 28. OS CThanks and Questions Dr Danny Kingsley Head of Scholarly Communication Cambridge University libraries dak45@cam.ac.uk www.osc.cam.ac.uk www.unlockingresearch.blog.lib.cam.ac.uk @dannykay68

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