It’s been a whirlwind here at MPOW. While we’re part of a major research university, in many respects we’re a start-up. This presents us with myriad possibilities, and with myriad issues, as well.
I met with my colleagues on the Big Campus this week, and it was terrific to touch base and get to know my peeps. They were all interested in what’s happening on our campus and were very forthcoming in offering assistance, which I gratefully and eagerly accepted. There were also instances of genuine surprise and slight dismay when a few of them realized just what sorts of things we would be needing here – like an automation system. (!)
As I’ve mentioned, we’re the first new campus for the university in 50 or 60 years. In the cases of the other campuses, they were assumed into the university as existing schools with existing libraries.
Things have changed a bit in 50 or 60 years, both in higher education and in the library world. The campuses and their libraries changed as they needed, adopting library automation, adding online databases, offering 2.0 services. Now we come along and need everything in one fell swoop.
Think of it this way – I hand you a key to a building and tell you, “Build a library. Go.” What do you need? Where do you get it? Who will you need to help you? How do you interact with your patrons? What technologies are needed for the students? The researchers? What are the things that would be nice to have and what are the gotta haves?
I’m still sorting through the possibilities.
In the meantime, I’m trying to get as involved as possible. I’m attending meetings and becoming a part of the team. It’s a wonderful opportunity to have the library as an integral part of the design of a curriculum, not just as an afterthought. I’m relishing the planning and the discussion, and am delighted that library services are being considered as essential to the success of the institution.
Stay tuned. Things are getting really fun.