The inaugural issue of Pennsylvania Libraries: Research & Practice (PaLRaP)has been published. Click here to access Volume 1, No. 1.
The journal is an open access, peer reviewed publication sharing information about the research and practices at or of interest to Pennsylvania’s academic libraries. PaLRap is run by a volunteer staff of CRD members, each with two year terms in various journal management positions, and it is published by the University Library System (ULS), University of Pittsburgh, through its E-Journal Publishing Program.
A recent article by Gay Helen Perkins and Amy J.W. Slowik entitled “The Value of Research in Academic Libraries” and published in College & Research Libraries (March 2013, v. 74, issue 2, pp. 143-157) examines the value of academic librarians’ research to themselves, to their own libraries, to their parent institutions, and to the profession. This prompted me to contemplate my own research work and consider its value in a different light. We regularly applaud the value of research in the undergraduate experience, and the value of research for faculty development is implicit, but how often do we reflect on ways that our own research can add to the value of libraries? As the ACRL has deemed the demonstration of value to the parent institution as one of the ten most important trends for academic libraries (http://crln.acrl.org/content/73/6/311.full.pdf+html), librarians should take advantage of multiple means of demonstrating value – professional research publications and presentations are one such avenue.
Perkins and Slowik found, through their telephone survey with twenty-three library administrators, that there are numerous advantages inherent in librarians’ research. These can be designated in four categories, given below, along with some examples of those benefits.
1. Benefits to the librarian
- Cross-disciplinary and collaborative partnerships with faculty that can stem from research ventures
- Richer relationships with faculty members
- Professional development and growth
- Stronger awareness of broader trends in libraries and the professional literature
2. Benefits to the library
- Highly applicable changes resulting from studies (i.e. enhancements to services or programs offered, tailoring services or collections to student or faculty preferences, special collections development, and greater understanding of study patterns and needs)
- Increased marketing for the library
- Grant funding that can be connected to research projects
3. Benefits to the college or university
- Recognition for the college or university garnered from publications
- “End products” resulting from research (i.e. new information literacy delivery programs, creation of digital repositories, and enhancement of teaching and instruction programs)
- Collaborative research that strengthens programs and moves toward institutional goals
- Grant proceeds connected to research projects
4. Benefits to the profession
- Enhancements to the profession through information and idea sharing (i.e. publications and presentations at conferences)
- Development of partnerships and consortia
- Exploration of services delivery
With all of these potential benefits, to ourselves, to our libraries, to our colleges and universities, and to our profession, are we giving our own research sufficient time, energy, and resources? It may be at least partially selfish motivation, but Perkins and Slowik have prompted me to think that perhaps this aspect of our jobs is worth additional consideration and time. If we want to promote a culture of perpetual intellectual curiosity, we should lead by example, always striving to explore the world of libraries and sharing what we find with the broader community.
The Northeast Chapter is looking forward to hosting “Tweet a Pin in the Cloud: Answering Your Questions on Emerging Technology” on Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at The University of Scranton in the DeNaples Center.
Our keynote speaker, Nicole Engard, MLIS & Director of Open Source Education at ByWater Solutions, will help to “demystify” new and emerging technologies and help you to better understand what they are and how you can start using them in your library.
We are excited for the inaugural Pecha Kucha event which will have between six to ten different presenters covering everything from crowdfunding to Pinterest.
There will also be breakout sessions on “Open: From Open Access to Open Source” presented by George Aulisio, The University of Scranton; “Technology from Children to Teens” presented by Elizabeth Davis, Lackawanna County Children’s Library; “Mobile Librarianship” presented by Kristen Yarmey, The University of Scranton; and “Knowledge Commons and Maker Spaces” presented by Leslie Christianson and Julie Watson, Marywood University.
Directions to The University of Scranton can be found here: http://www.scranton.edu/admissions/visit-info/directions-to-campus.shtml. On the PDF of the campus map, the DeNaples Center is building #38 and the parking pavilion is #17. Please park on level 4 of the roof.
You can register online at www.palibraries.org. We look forward to seeing you at the workshop!
Due to the slate of wonderful programs that organizations around the state have requested funding for, the LSTA funds are currently all designated for this funding cycle. Organizations can still request funding for the next year (events taking place after Oct. 1, 2013). Thank you to everyone who requested and a special thanks for the folks that worked with us to make the new funding rubric a success.
It’s National Library Week, and this year’s theme is Communities Matter @ Your Library. While at first glance this may seem like something geared more toward public libraries, it is just as important to academic libraries because people from diverse communities to come together to form our blended campus community. It is also important to remember that many academic libraries exist within a geographical community and we should not be isolating ourselves from the public outside our campus, especially if we are a campus that provides resources for the general public or if we are a campus that hosts various summer camps. As someone who has spent the bulk of my career in academic libraries, I have to admit that it’s easy to forget the community outside of the campus because our primary responsibilities are to the campus community. However academic libraries are in a great position to form partnerships with school and public libraries; I’ve always thought this, but I’ve recently been viewing webinars to learn more about the Common Core and I now believe more than ever that academic libraries should be forming partnerships to help patrons develop necessary critical thinking and information literacy skills. The Common Core essentially places the critical thinking and information skills librarians have always taught at the forefront of the English Language Arts and Literacy (ELA) Standards, and all types of libraries should be working together to help patrons develop these skills from childhood through adulthood. Thus I think this year’s theme makes National Library Week the perfect time to reflect on how we as academic libraries serve various communities both on and off-campus and how we can team with off-campus communities and public and school libraries to benefit communities.
What are your thoughts? Please share your examples of National Library Week activities or your examples of partnerships.
The inaugural issue of Pennsylvania Libraries: Research & Practice (PaLRaP), the peer-reviewed, open access journal sponsored by CRD, will soon be available. Although the original goal was to have the first issue published in March, we encountered a steeper learning curve than expected when it came to using the online publication software. We now expect to publish the first issue within the next few weeks. We are very happy to have had such enthusiasm for and interested in this journal, and the first issue will have research and practice articles as well as commentary and news articles; overall there are 11 articles slated for our first issue of PaLRaP. Once the journal is published, we will be sure to let you know. Thank you all for your patience and your support.
Call for Presenters: Webinar Series on Creative Solutions in Academic Libraries
Library Juice Academy is starting a webinar series on “Creative Solutions in Academic Libraries,” and this is a call for presenters.
There is no shortage of discussion about “problems faced by academic libraries” at the big scale, regarding trends in higher education and technology, where the approach to these problems is mainly a question of strategic planning. There is less attention to the small scale problems that academic librarians solve in the process of adapting services and processes to a changing environment or to new plans. These solutions to small scale problems can be in the realm of technological kludges or hacks, organizational adjustments, creative ideas in outreach, procedural changes, questioning and revision of “the way we do things,” recognition of areas where “what didn’t work before” can work now, time management strategies, and others.
We are looking for presenters for a series of monthly webinars where academic librarians will share a creative solution that may be helpful to librarians in other institutions. These hour-long webinars will likely include two 20-minute presentations and a period for discussion, with presentations grouped by theme. Presentations may be by individuals or groups. There will be monetary compensation for presenters based on the number of paying attendees.
If you have an idea for a presentation that would fit this webinar series, contact Rory Litwin at firstname.lastname@example.org.