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Library and the University on the Example of University of Tartu Toomas Liivamägi Łódź 2004.

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Presentation on theme: "Library and the University on the Example of University of Tartu Toomas Liivamägi Łódź 2004."— Presentation transcript:

1 Library and the University on the Example of University of Tartu Toomas Liivamägi Łódź 2004

2 Changes occuring in higher education in general Changes directly caused by technology – study materials are accessible independent of time and place; the same can be said about the relations between the student and the professor The amount of available information is enormous and it is growing rapidly The number of students has grown and it is still growing; the composition of the student body becomes more diverse; there is combining of working and studying leads to life-long learning; the students behave more and more as consumers Last but not least - the education budget (i.e. library budget) is under pressure, more and more money has to be spent on different items And the list is still not complete

3 How does all this concern the library; how we can manage? I would want to point out four aspects: first, the creation of virtual (or electronic, or digital) library; second, the explosive growth of information together with the fact that information literacy has become one of the most important key words; third, relations between the library and university faculties; and fourth, relations between the physical and virtual study environment i.e. library

4 Background The late 1990s was a hard time for all Estonian research libraries The lack of scientific information necessary for the researchers and lecturers brought about sharp criticism concerning research libraries It was generally thought that the libraries were not competent enough to meet the needs of the academic community Thus, it was quite difficult to convince the university members that the librarians have mastered the situation, they are familiar with the work organisation and services offered by many European and American university libraries, and they know the best opportunities open for modern university libraries It was trust that was absent – the university did not trust its library

5 A well-known market researcher C. Grönroos points out two components that form the basis for a customers satisfaction with the services offered: Technical quality (i.e. the service offered) Functional quality (i.e. how the service was offered). But he also emphasises the importance of the reputation of the service provider (i.e. imago of the library) in the perception of quality by the customer The library drew a conclusion that all three components of quality have to be considered in the further planning of library activities

6 At Tartu University Libray, we have formulated our general goals as follows: The first goal of a university library is to guarantee access to information relevant for research and study A practically as important goal is to create a favourable work environment (both physical and virtual environment) for students, lecturers and researchers.

7 The first development path and task – the making of information accessible to library users There is no need to repeat the fact that modern scientific information is disseminated mostly in the electronic format A large amount of texts and study materials in the fields of the humanities and social sciences is, however, still available on paper, and will remain so in the future

8 In the recent years, we have concentrated on the making of electronic scientific databases accessible to our users The results have been achieved through international and domestic co-operation We were able to guarantee the allotting of finances for the joint purchases of electronic materials for Estonian research libraries from the budget of the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research The total number of journal and database titles acquired individually and in packages amounts to 11 000,

9 11 000 is a considerable number, but in fact, it resembles the seeming abundance of goods in supermarkets, where it is difficult to find the things suitable for specific needs These specific needs have to be met by special purchases that may cost a lot of additional money The most important task in such situation is to guarantee that all the potential customers of scientific information would know what resources are accessible in reality, and that they would know how to use them Fact, how actively is the library engaged in the teaching of information literacy, information sources and search methods, can be considered the indicator of the librarys success and strength at the university

10 The most important and largest project in the library in the past year – the reorganisation of open collections into subject area reading-rooms for the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences and medicine – was undertaken with the same aim - making library materials better accessible The electronic face of the library – its web page – will undergo major changes this year We shall rebuild the web page in the form of subject area portals, in such a way we can increase the functionality and user-friendliness of search opportunities We strive to make the library as accessible via the electronic media as it is accessible physically. The accessibility of library collections and services has to be guaranteed via both the computer network and on site Less complicated services and news can be offered also through other communication channels

11 Even at the end of the 1990s, the majority of our researchers, lecturers and postgraduate students – library users – said that when they needed to go to the library or get a necessary journal article, they had to go to Helsinki or Uppsala libraries, or ask a favour from their colleagues abroad Now, it seems that an important breakthrough has been reached – they perform their first search in local collections or use the library web page, and only then turn to next sources

12 The second development path – the developing of work and study environment. Role of library changeing Nowadays, when the students do not spend as much time together in the lecture halls as they used to do earlier, the library aspires to be the place, where they can work and study together, but also, where they can socialise and spend time together

13 Since the majority of library users are the students, we felt that when planning our changes, it is very important to consider their specific needs, and we asked for their ideas and suggestions The students were very enthusiastic and gave us numerous suggestions, starting from rather fantastic ones up to applicable practical ideas, and pointed out several shortcomings that need instant remedying

14 A good and comfortable work and study environment is required to offer: Opportunities for individual work in a quiet environment. The quiet and separate work places among the shelves and behind the corners are always taken Places for group work. Our users have been very clever in finding such places, areas and opportunities in our library. Whenever possible, we have supplied these places with tables, chairs, computers, etc. Computer workplaces. The shortage of computer workplaces is one of the greatest problems at our library up to the beginning of this academic year. Now we can offer about 100 computer workplaces to our users. People still have to queue up for the computers, but the situation is not critical any more

15 Places for using laptop computers. Wireless Internet can be used practically all over the library. But not all students have laptops, and sometimes it is more comfortable to work with texts near the bookshelves, where one can easily pick up necessary materials. In the beginning of this year we received a gift of laptops from the IBM and decided to start a loaning laptops in our library About twenty laptops are in constant use all the time. This service proved to be one of the best received new ideas for a long time, much praised by the students

16 The creation of subject area reading-rooms and increasing the amount of books on open shelving Traditionally, our library had separate collections of textbooks and scientific literature and provided the respective reading-rooms Considering the building and the spatial conditions in the library, the acquisition opportunities, the needs of the students, and also the optimisation of staff workload, continuing in the old way was ineffectual As a result of the reorganisation, now, we have the subject area reading- rooms for the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences and medicine. The concentration of all materials from one and the same subject field into one and the same location makes the materials much easier to access

17 The long-standing wish of our students has been that during the exam period, the library would be open for a longer time (usually, the library closes at 21.00) Since the architectural lay-out of the library does not allow the separation of a smaller area with different opening hours from the rest of the library, an option was to experiment with the project of the so-called Night Library. The project was much supported and aided by the Students Representation of the University of Tartu (inc. financial support) The first night library opened in January 2003. We tried out several variants, e.g. the periods of late hours for one week, two and four weeks, and the opening hours up to 24.00, 02.00 and even the period of 24 hours By now we have reached the most effective solution – the night library is active for two weeks and open until 24.00 on the working days. Started as project the Nihgt Libray is now a part of the library routine

18 Other projects Since the beginning of 2004, all the full texts masters and doctoral theses, defended at the University of Tartu, have been accessible via our library web page The solving of related legal problems took us about two years, but now the library has all the rights of an electronic publisher In the future, we plan to apply a similar scheme in creating electronic study materials in co-operation with Estonian e-university project etc

















35 Library must be flexible All areas of the library should be flexible enough to be used for different purposes While critically evaluating the renovation plan we were rather surprised to find that the physical structure of our library building, which was planned in the 1970s according to the library ideology of the 1960s and built in the 1980s, would easily allow reconstruction of sensible cost Let us quote Mr. Arnold Matteus, the Tartu town architect from the 1930s up to the 1970s, who said in the early 1990s that the building of Tartu University Library is one of the three most non-Soviet buildings erected in Estonia during the Soviet period

36 Thank you for your attention

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