Neil Hinsch & Kate Dunn
Library, University of New South Wales
To describe innovative service delivery methods implemented in the University of NSW Library.
As one of Australia’s largest academic libraries, the University of NSW Library serves a community of 2300* academics, and 37,000* students supporting both their learning & teaching and research needs. In 2006, the Library restructured in an effort to build a stronger communication model with the faculties and a new method of delivering services to this community. The goal is to build a strong partnership between the Library and the academy, where the value of the Library and its offerings is understood and appreciated as being integral to achieving the University’s learning & teaching and research priorities.
*These figures are taken from the 2006 annual report
Taking inspiration from a variety of service professions, the University Library has separated the distinct functions of service development, service delivery and communication. Specialist staff are assigned to innovation and new service development projects. Subject librarians are given ownership of relevant areas of the collection and the resultant services. Communication and delivery of these services is managed by a team of individual client contacts.
The response to this model amongst the academic community has been mixed, but primarily positive. The academy was used to seeing the Library primarily as a service centre for the undergraduate community and therefore the reassignment of professional services to support research represents a considerable change. Benefits demonstrated so far are an increased penetration into the academic community and therefore a greater awareness of our user requirements, and a consolidated approach to collection management.
Future challenges involve:
Consolidating the way in which the Library offers value to our community
Implementing appropriate measures to record the impact of the model
Maturing the service towards a more targeted solutions delivery method