Casting a net to provide customized research services for faculty and students
USF – Tampa. Faculty research suite – serves faculty and grad students. “Only thing constant about academic libraries is that they’re always changing.” Now under academic services rather than being a stand-alone service. Research services and collections, reference.
FSU – Florida State U. Scholars commons. (Like the name! MB) Serves faculty and graduate students. Didn’t like sharing research space with undergrads. (!)
Brainstorm sessions with assigned questions….Our question: Given the number of electronic resources available in academic libraries today, how important is library as place for faculty members and researchers? Of course, this is of particular interest to me, having one of the only virtual academic libraries in the country. Jen felt strongly that place is no longer important. Jamie felt it was important. I think that a physical space is important as a gathering space, a collaborative space, a reflective space.
Q: How can librarians learn more about their faculty and support their research? From the audience: Ask the students; task force to look at future of scholarship; gather stats to see what they’re actually asking. From the panel: FSU: listen. Talk to faculty, develop relationships. Interviews and focus groups to determine research, preferences and needs. SFU: environmental scan of research and curriculum. Looked at degree programs, explored research interests of faculty. Investigated research grants that have been awarded and conducted curriculum scans for existing and new degree programs. Bibliometrics – gathered data on faculty publications. Helps librarians focus collections.
Q: What types of new and customized services can library leaders develop to support student/faculty research? Audience: institutional repositories. Letting faculty and grad students know what’s available, especially in dissertations (ETDs). Comment that term “institutional repository” is outdated and library speak. Panel: take services to researchers – on site office hours, faculty delivery service. Collaborate to create course-specifi content in course management systems. USF: used blogging to do outreach – The EdLib Report. Conducted specialized workshops related to faculty research. Partnered with the Center for Excellence in Teaching to do so. “Beyond the Basics” workshops for deeper research. Created digital repositories and supported scholarly communications.
Q: Given the number of electronic resources available in academic libraries today, how important is library as place for faculty members and researchers? Audience: Comfort with technology does not equal skill with technology. They may know how to Google but may not know if you add one more word, you narrow the search. (Great comment! – MB) Faculty knowing they can go to a place to get what they need. Browsing for physical volumes is essential to research; the faculty loves it most. How is that duplicated in a virtual world? Hard to introduce that serendipity. Panel: USF: library is largest game in town in large metropolitan area. Focused on undergrads. Needed to make the distiction between what the librarians percieved and what was actually true. Perception that since “everything is online” that faculty no longer need to come to the library. Conducted surveys and focus groups. Found that faculty wanted quiet space in the library. They wanted to be away from the undergraduate-focused Information Commons. (Again! – MB) Wished for meeting rooms and comfortable seating. Created the USF Faculty/Graduate Research Suite. FSU: library is in center of campus, vibrant area. Scholars Commons – quiet area. Main floor is for undergrads and is pretty noisy. Faculty and grad students prefer the quiet area. No cell phones. Librarian offices adjacent to the Scholars Commons; allows easy access.
Q: What new roles can librarians play to bring library collections and services to the table with researchers? Audience: Grant writing, research assistance, data services. Pages with RSS feeds. Panel: library as publisher – now publishing monographic series. Teaching credit courses. Forge innovative campus parterships. Collaborative collection development projects with faculty. Get administrative support in getting the message out.