Beyond the holy grail: why academic librarianship is more than just reference – Rebecca Parker – Swinburne UT

Tendency to focus on the largest, most visible users group – being the students. However they also serve the academics and corporate arms of the uni. Their multiple users groups mean they also have multiple support roles including teaching, learning and research. The strategic goals need to align with those of their uni and at Swinburne means a focus on research. However, it is difficult to quantify the value of the library. Libraries need to change and be more entrepreneurial and innovative. Libraries collaborate but universities dont.

Libraries are not dead, although many people see them as such. We need to be flexible adaptable, responsive and extensible to help change their minds. What do we need from libraries of the future? A new kind of grail?

Possible futures: diffuse libraries – dispersed,decentralised and distributed librarians into the workings of the university, diverse libraries – culturally, gender.

Cutting edge libraries are one step ahead – mission creep. Looking to engage with other activities in unis, particularly research.

Institutional repositories are not a new role, but an extension an existing one. Librarian skills are vital for this type of role. They catalogue, faciltate access to information and more.

So why arent people interested in working in repositories – Rebecca believes taht there is a problematic relationship with LIS education, that reference is held up as the ideal which leads to expectations and a cycle of conservatism.

We need to break own internal barriers within libraries if we are going to embrace the climate of change that we live in.

Question: which is the authorative version – would encourage users to use the published versions, as that has been peer reviewed.

Question: what experiences led you to the IR role, who works on it, what do you use etc. – ARROW project involvement was an advantage in setting up their infrastructure, they use Fedora and has took 18 months to publicly launch the repository. Now have 4 librarians working on it, but managed with just over 1 for a time.

1 comment

  1. Hi Michelle
    Thank you very much for blogging about my presentation. I really enjoyed NLS4; it was thought-provoking, encouraging and fun. I look forward to seeing what comes of it.

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