∂
View of Durham City from the train station
Stretching the envelope: how to
make ourselves indispensable!
Presented by Jon Purcell
University Librarian and Director o...
Why this topic
• 2020 a very important year professionally and personally
• Current involvement in strategic planning for ...
∂
A little of the Durham Context
Library and Heritage Services responsibilities include
• 5 University Libraries (but not ...
∂
Why have Libraries expanded
their role beyond ‘Core’
Are we ‘the home of lost causes’?
• The cynical view – unexploded g...
∂
RAE: An acronym to remember
R = Relevance
A = Alignment
E = Engagement
∂
Relevance?
• Involved in core delivery of academic services
• Recognition as an academic service / professional support ...
∂
Alignment
Ensuring
• Complete alignment with institutional/strategic planning
• Especially with developments in teaching...
∂
Engagement
“ A University is just a group of buildings gathered around a Library”
(Shelby Foote)
• On or off the institu...
∂
Making Choices
STOP STARTING
AND
START STOPPING
∂
Futureproofing: some techniques
• SWOT Analyses - plot your way forward
• Benchmarking – rank against competitor/exempla...
∂
2014 2018 20252020
Stop
Continue/Start
More likely to happen
Less likely to happen
∂
∂
∂
Some concluding thoughts
The best way to
predict the future is
to invent it
(Alan Curtis Kay)
∂
And more
• We have to prove that we are indispensable, it doesn’t just happen!
• Nobody else could do what we do
• Or be...
∂
Thank You
Questions?
∂
View of Durham City from the train station
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Stretching the envelope: how to make ourselves indispensable by Jon Purcell, Durham University

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Stretching the envelope: how to make ourselves indispensable by Jon Purcell, Durham University

  1. 1. ∂ View of Durham City from the train station
  2. 2. Stretching the envelope: how to make ourselves indispensable! Presented by Jon Purcell University Librarian and Director of Heritage Services Durham University
  3. 3. Why this topic • 2020 a very important year professionally and personally • Current involvement in strategic planning for the next 6 years • Deep reflection on the role of libraries, their value and their future – and the people working in them • Conscious of CPD and of libraries taking on new roles and fresh challenges • The theme of this conference ‘to boldly go where you have never gone before’ • So! Let’s discuss
  4. 4. ∂ A little of the Durham Context Library and Heritage Services responsibilities include • 5 University Libraries (but not 11 College Libraries!) • 3 Museum Collections • 4 Designated Collections of National/International importance • Learning, Access and Community Engagement Team And recently • Copyright • Open Access Publishing • Research Data Management • Durham World Heritage Site • Cultural Engagement inc University Art Collections
  5. 5. ∂ Why have Libraries expanded their role beyond ‘Core’ Are we ‘the home of lost causes’? • The cynical view – unexploded grenade syndrome! • The institutional view – Librarians are good managers • The professional view – ‘Give us the tools and we can finish the job’ – professional competence • The stakeholder view – a supportive, neutral, engaged front facing student/academic service • The personal view – indispensability: redefining ‘core activities’, our skills base, our ‘value’ and our future
  6. 6. ∂ RAE: An acronym to remember R = Relevance A = Alignment E = Engagement
  7. 7. ∂ Relevance? • Involved in core delivery of academic services • Recognition as an academic service / professional support service • Direct involvement in the student experience -teaching • Active partner in research support • Contributor to institutional reputation • Provider of core services to stakeholders (however defined) • Institutional expertise in e resources, virtual learning environments, learning spaces, information/digital literacy, employability skills development • Value addedness of what library and information professionals do • Content management
  8. 8. ∂ Alignment Ensuring • Complete alignment with institutional/strategic planning • Especially with developments in teaching and learning - Pedagogy • Service development (RBL) (SBL) (FIFO) • Alignment with student and staff needs/wants • Leading from the front (institution aligning with the Library) OA / RDM • Strategic positioning (Risk) • Making choices • Strategic partnerships (Computing, DARO, Research Office, Estates)
  9. 9. ∂ Engagement “ A University is just a group of buildings gathered around a Library” (Shelby Foote) • On or off the institutional radar – does it matter ? Question? • Partnership roles – FE/HE, JISC, SCONUL, COLRIC, • Involvement in projects (internal and external) • Shared Services • Academic/subject liaison (The Library ‘evangelical stormtroopers’) • Internal / External validation – QAA, ‘Critical Friends’ • Academic writing • Externality – CILIP, Conferences, SCONUL • Benchmarking
  10. 10. ∂ Making Choices STOP STARTING AND START STOPPING
  11. 11. ∂ Futureproofing: some techniques • SWOT Analyses - plot your way forward • Benchmarking – rank against competitor/exemplar libraries • Institutional Visits – beg, steal and borrow ideas, innovations • Scenario Planning – year zero to infinity approach • Use your collective Knowledge, Experience and Skills – be unafraid • Take (bounded) risks – you have to go to some very unknown places • Ongoing need for service development – there is no going back! • Use external facilitation (COLRIC), Institutional Review, critical mates • CPD/ASR – professional awareness and updating – ‘Library Schools’ • Professional involvement – engagement with the profession • Process Review – Lean and other techniques to drive change
  12. 12. ∂ 2014 2018 20252020 Stop Continue/Start More likely to happen Less likely to happen
  13. 13.
  14. 14.
  15. 15. ∂ Some concluding thoughts The best way to predict the future is to invent it (Alan Curtis Kay)
  16. 16. ∂ And more • We have to prove that we are indispensable, it doesn’t just happen! • Nobody else could do what we do • Or be trusted to do what we do • Doing the same (the status quo) is not an option • The need for agility, responsiveness, creativity and innovation • Libraries have changed out of all recognition: the process will continue • Are we leaders and change agents or content to be followers • Skills Analysis – what are we lacking and need to rectify yesterday! • It’s a great time to be a Librarian in academic libraries
  17. 17. ∂ Thank You Questions?
  18. 18. ∂ View of Durham City from the train station

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