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Subject/Liaison Librarians changing roles, increasing value… Ellen Breen DCU Library.

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Presentation on theme: "Subject/Liaison Librarians changing roles, increasing value… Ellen Breen DCU Library."— Presentation transcript:

1 Subject/Liaison Librarians changing roles, increasing value… Ellen Breen DCU Library

2 Presentation Overview The great debate… What’s in a name? –Subject…Liaison…Learning…. What do Liaison Librarians do? Creating value What do users want, expect, value? The future?

3 Subject Librarians “ hard to justify in value-for-money terms at a time when the process of literature searches is substantially deskilled by online bibliographic resources” “technology is the most flexible answer to their (students) needs” “services must more closely match the increasing diverse working practices of their users” “Librarians under threat”, Times Higher Ed. Supplement, February 2005

4 Yet…. Dublin City University, Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, University of Limerick, NUIG, University College Cork, NUIM, University of Newcastle, University of Sheffield, University of Southampton, University of Warwick, University of Glasgow, University of Sydney, Monash University, Queensland University of Technology, University of Minnesota…. etc

5 What’s in a name? Subject Librarian, Faculty Liaison Librarian, School Liaison Librarian, Information Officer… Many changed the name and role emphasis…a little bit…? Team based approach (interdisciplinary nature of research and learning) Subject expertise vs Information expert Reflecting/supporting new organisational structures on campus

6 What do Subject/Liaison Librarians do? Diverse role Shifting priorities How do we maintain a balance Support? Role Liaison Information Literacy Collection Development Reference Support Other E-Learning Web

7 Value? What does the university value? What does it fund? –Funding requests and strategies need to clearly connect to the values and mission of the university –Visibility and engagement with research and learning –Favoured internal feedback over external comparative measures when assessing library “libraries that design responsive library services around highly valued institutional goals will increase their visibility and effectively demonstrate the library’s integral role in academia”

8 Value? DCU Learning Innovation Strategy Developing a distinct learning environment which will result in ….“students with a high level of information literacy” Development of VLE …. –KPI: Library resources embedded throughout VLE Support for new learners…. –KPI: Provision of online resources (tutorials etc) to develop study skills, information literacy etc

9 “creating services that add value to the customer takes precedence over all other drivers in determining organisational success in the 21 st century?” Kathryn J. Reiss, Innovation & Strategy…, Library Trends, 53,1, 2004

10 Value Innovation A leap into the blue ocean –Don’t compete or benchmark, create a leap in value… –Give users more of what they value and less of what they don’t…

11 Value Innovation Google’s Director of Technology said… “Information professionals are needed to help people articulate their information needs, to help form queries, and to engage in the back and forth dialogue that results in finding appropriate information. Searching in the future will require a greater role for discernment. There will be more information, but it will not necessarily all be good information”.

12 Value Innovation 4 questions - “the four action framework” What of the factors that our industry takes for granted should be eliminated? –Do our customers value them? Which factors should be reduced well below the industry standards? –What have we overdone?

13 Value Innovation Which factors should be raised above the industry standard? –What compromises have we forced users to make that we should not have? Which factors should be created that the industry has never offered? –What new value can we add for our users?

14 What do users want, expect, value? Academic staff / Researchers Do they value the role of the Subject Librarian? Some quotes: “state of the art university library with a dedicated business librarian” “great to have had a Librarian who was so pro-active and engaged in what we do ”

15 What do users want, expect, value? Academic staff / Researchers “you have opened so many opportunities for people to access information that they thought was inaccessible or didn’t know of its existence” “I think the Subject Librarian model works very well….in our case, I think the relationship with the subject librarian has worked especially well because of the librarian’s background in law…” “They are invaluable, I can not see a system working without them. I believe them to be the most effective and efficient part of the university infrastructure”

16 What do users want, expect, value? Academic staff / Researchers Important areas for future, new roles? –More IL training (for staff and students) see it expanding in relation to development of generic skills programmes for postgrads –Support with grant applications, deliver metrics required quickly!, as well as training –Continue work in relation to the Institutional Repository – don’t be afraid to nag people! –Meeting students where they are….VLE, using online forums to help evaluate resources etc “getting in the flow” –Blogs: bringing students and staff together…

17 What do users want, expect, value? Academic staff / Researchers CONUL Research Survey –70% would value having a dedicated research support Librarian –Generally aware of role of SL – less aware in the Sci/tech disciplines UK Study of Researcher’s use of Libraries and Services – future role of Libraries? –Custodian of print and digitized archives and special collections (core role 72%) –Managing Institutional Repositories (61% core role) –Subject based information expertise (46% core role, 33% ancillary, discipline variation) need to move outside of library

18 What do users want, expect, value? Academic staff / Researchers UK Study – Future role of Libraries –Teacher (42% core role) would value training beyond the basics, need for a “sharper focus on the specialist needs and practices of researchers in different disciplines” –Manager of datasets generated by e-research and grid-based projects (over 1/3 see it as a core role, 27% ancillary = 62%!) –Technology specialist (34% core role) e-access to resources

19 How do we successfully deliver the value added services required? Subject/Liaison Librarian….change is the only constant…. –Impact on CPD, recruitment etc Diverse role – where do we concentrate efforts? Support structures How can we change the model to better deliver the services required? Does one-size fit all??

20 How do we successfully deliver the value added services required? –Less specialised? more specialised? –undergraduate focus –International focus –research focus –Information literacy focus –E-learning focus –Other focus…? –Collaborative teams across depts/units The “tranformational” library (Brewer et al 2004) –Depends upon the ability of the academic library to work collaboratively with other stakeholders on campus –Collaborative teams across institutions??

21 How do we successfully deliver the services required? Collaborative venture for QUT Library: 1 –Two new posts created, which add another specialist level to the Subject Specialist Librarians –Created the post “Information Manager” in collaboration with their new Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI) Funded three ways, based in IHBI –Provides library reference services and specialist value-added information services –Focus on building a collaborative culture – sharing knowledge – member of team developing a web based research knowledge database –IHBI Service team – includes info manager, faculty librarians and other staff with research support roles (IT)

22 How do we successfully deliver the services required? Collaborative venture for QUT Library: 2 –“eResearch Acess Coordinator” Works across faculties, research institutes and other departments within the Division of Tech, Info and Learning Support Role to enable QUT researchers’ uptake of eResearch opportunities –Investigate and develop systems for the organisation and curation of research datasets –Broker access to external datasets –Also responsibilties relating to their IR and promoting open access publishing

23 ...Academic Libraries have the opportunity to demonstrate leadership in their institutions and across the HE and library sectors by identifying the immediate and future needs of our clients, recognising the expertise the Library has to offer and positioning the Library so it can move into new areas and develop new service models Judy Stokker, Director, Library Services, QUT

24 Bibliography Kim, Chan W, Mauborgne, Renee, Value Innovation: A leap into the Blue Ocean. Journal of Business Strategy, Vol. 26. No. 4, pp.22-28, 2005 Dale, Penny, Holland, Matt, Matthews Marian. Subject Librarians: Engaging with the Learning and Teaching Environment. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006 Deiss, Kathryn J. Innovation and Strategy: Risk and Choice in Shaping User-Centered Libraries. Library Trends, Vol. 53, No.1, 2004 Hardy, G. Corrall, S. Revisiting the Subject Librarian: a study of English, Law and Chemistry. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 39, 2, pp.79-91, 2007 The Academic Librarian: Dinosaur or Phoenix?die or fly in library change management. Conference held in Hong Kong, April 11-12, 2007 (found a number of really useful papers including one from Judy Stokker, QUT and John Rodwell & Linden Fairbairn, University of Sydney)The Academic Librarian: Dinosaur or Phoenix?die or fly in library change management. Conference held in Hong Kong, April 11-12, 2007

25 Useful References… Research Information Network (RIN) & Consortium of Research Libraries (CURL). Researchers’ use of Academic Libraries and their Services. April 2007Research Information Network (RIN) & Consortium of Research Libraries (CURL). Researchers’ use of Academic Libraries and their Services. April 2007 CONUL. Research Support Survey, 2005 Dale, Penny, Holland, Matt, Matthews Marian. Subject Librarians: Engaging with the Learning and Teaching Environment. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006 Deiss, Kathryn J. Innovation and Strategy: Risk and Choice in Shaping User-Centered Libraries. Library Trends, Vol. 53, No.1, 2004 Hardy, G. Corrall, S. Revisiting the Subject Librarian: a study of English, Law and Chemistry. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 39, 2, pp.79-91, 2007 The Academic Librarian: Dinosaur or Phoenix?die or fly in library change management. Conference held in Hong Kong, April 11-12, 2007 (found a number of really useful papers including one from Judy Stokker, QUT John Rodwell & Linden Fairbairn, University of Sydney and Irene Doskatsch, University of South Australia)The Academic Librarian: Dinosaur or Phoenix?die or fly in library change management. Conference held in Hong Kong, April 11-12, 2007


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