In early 2007, staff from the University of Minnesota Libraries and the Office of the Vice President for Research began a collaboration to present a workshop covering grant resources. The session introduced faculty, staff, and graduate students to four key databases of external granting opportunities as well as intramural funding sources. We explain the context, development, and implementation of this ongoing, popular workshop; mention extensions of the workshop effort; and hope to inspire fellow librarians to identify and explore routes to broad institutional engagement.
Thirty-seven colleges and universities in North Carolina offer advanced degrees, and most require a thesis or dissertation. The websites of thirteen (35%) indicate they accept or require electronic submission of dissertations and/or theses (ETD). How do these institutions handle the interdepartmental communication and collaboration needs of ETD programs? To begin answering this question, this study examines current practices among ETD administrators in North Carolina and in current national literature, paying special attention to communication, collaboration, workflows, and divisions of labor. The literature review surveys current (since 2003) library and higher education articles on topics related to collaboration, workflows, and divisions of labor in ETD programs. Then the authors use a brief web survey (sixteen questions) that was emailed to twenty-three individuals identified on institutional websites as being involved in the ETD program. Fifty percent of recipients completed the survey, and the results tend to support common themes found in the literature: ETD depositories require a great variety of skill sets and thus will involve multiple departments; libraries and graduate schools are primary players, but not exclusively, in ETD workflows; and communication and collaboration between departments are important from start to finish.
Traditional views of librarianship, and of academic libraries, have focused on the library’s role as a collector of external resources for student and faculty use. As this role is increasingly challenged by the explosion of openly available online content, however, academic libraries must move beyond this limited perception of our utility and expand our role to become partners in a broader range of scholarly activities at our institutions. At Pacific University (Oregon), the University Library has developed a series of partnerships and services (many supported by our institutional repository platform) that extend the Library’s reach and that lend needed support to our faculty and students’ scholarly pursuits. In taking on a much more active role in the creation, dissemination and preservation of internally produced scholarship, the Library has demonstrated its value to faculty and administrators and has opened the door to new partnerships which will not only strengthen the University, but also the Library’s place within it.
Why would we want to think about library partnerships at times like this? When we have decreasing resources concurrent with increasing demand, when community expectations for greater efficiency and cooperation continue to grow, and when we are facing questions about the relevance of the library, it’s more important than ever to reach out to other organizations and individuals to align with the needs of our community.
During this economic crisis, libraries will need to collaborate more than ever to save money and to deliver services more efficiently with less staff. Rick Lugg, Partner at R2 Consulting, has several years of experience with Yankee Book Peddler and consultant to academic and research libraries, library consortia and other library organizations. R2 has had a significant impact throughout the library world in helping libraries and related organizations improve service performance and adapt to an ever-changing environment.
The interview discusses the context and basic assertions of the book, "Working Together: Collaborative Information Practices for Organizational Learning" by Mary Somerville.
Barbara Pope reviews "Academic Library Outreach: Beyond the Campus Walls." This collection of essays, written by academic librarians, explores academic library outreach from several different perspectives.
Mitchell Davis was invited by Collaborative Librarianship to contribute through a regular column. As an innovator and motivator in the field of library and non-library collaboration, Mitchell offers unique perspectives on future developments in libraries that capitalize on their resources and specializations.