International Association of Scientific and Technological University Libraries

IATUL News Alerts

Archive September 2015

Using and Experiencing the Academic Library: A Multisite Observational Study of Space and Place

Wednesday, 30 September 2015 3:05:45 p.m.

This study examines how students are using academic library spaces and the role these spaces are playing in the campus community. Data were collected on five campuses (two community colleges, two undergradu­ate universities, and one technical institute) via observational seating sweeps and questionnaires. The study found remarkably similar usage patterns across all library types. Academic pursuits remain the most common activities, despite perceptions of the modern library as a social space. The library as a place to study is shown to be a complex topic, with noise, need, and personal preference influencing experience. The research provides libraries with evidence to demonstrate their support of student learning and engagement within their institutions.

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Talent Management for Academic Libraries

Wednesday, 30 September 2015 3:04:36 p.m.

When library deans and directors make public statements, they invariably acknowledge staff as the library’s most important asset. It seems that this platitude is becoming increasingly relevant as academic and research libraries make the transition from collections-centred to services-centred organizations. The staff line is the largest budget line in most library budgets, and staff will determine the success of the 21st century library. Now is the time to consider the ways in which we think about new and better ways of recruiting, training, and retaining staff.

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Guidelines for implementing open access

Wednesday, 30 September 2015 3:03:04 p.m.

Practical steps your institution can take to make progress on the open access journey. Produced in association with: ARMA, RLUK, SCONUL and UKCoRR.

Open access (OA) to research publications brings with it significant benefits for UK institutions, researchers and research funders.

After several years of concerted effort to implement OA in the UK, following the Finch report in 2012, we have learned, and continue to learn, a great deal about what works well, and what works less well.

Levels of open access implementation

This varies from institution to institution. To reflect this, this document aims to provide ‘something for everyone’ offering potential activities to those at the very beginning of their OA journey as well as those who are more advanced.

Notably, the steps outlined here are a deliberate mix of interventions, some of which are wide ranging necessitating high levels of planning and resource, and some smaller incremental changes in order to offer potential solutions to all institutions, no matter how far along with OA implementation they find themselves.

Who is this guide for?

For anyone who is involved in open access implementation or who has an interest in OA more generally.

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Data, Technology, and the Great Unbundling of Higher Education

Wednesday, 30 September 2015 3:01:04 p.m.

Colleges and universities must address several critical issues in the years ahead in order to prepare for the next seismic change: the unbundling of higher education.

American colleges and universities continue to navigate by the stars of rankings from U.S. News & World Report and other sources. These rankings are primarily derived from easy-to-measure inputs such as student selectivity, faculty resources (e.g., class size and student-to-faculty ratio), spending per student, library holdings, and research productivity. Not surprisingly, the country's elite colleges and universities (those with the highest admissions standards) consistently rank at the top of these lists. The result? Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Secretary-General at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), notes: "No one in the United States tries to figure out what a great university is; they just look at the Ivy League."


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Success Criteria for the Development and Sustainable Operation of Virtual Research Environments

Wednesday, 30 September 2015 2:59:20 p.m.

In many areas of research, virtual research environments (VREs) have become an essential part of modern research processes. The providers of VREs need to respond to this growing importance with functioning and efficient processes for the development, operation and quality assurance of VREs. We have developed a life-cycle model for VREs, which focuses in particular on the success-critical points for the transition to a VRE's sustainable operation. Furthermore, we discuss a set of success criteria that enables all involved in the VRE (operators, funding bodies, users) to identify which aspects will be relevant to their specific needs prior to the creation of a new VRE. In light of the heterogeneity of VREs, this set of criteria is supplemented in individual cases by discipline-specific criteria.

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The Process of Discovery: The CLIR Postdoctoral Fellowship Program and the Future of the Academy

Wednesday, 30 September 2015 2:56:55 p.m.

This volume celebrates the first decade of CLIR’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program by bringing together 20 past and present CLIR postdoctoral fellows to share their thoughts on their experiences and, more broadly, on the direction of academia. Each essay is a look into the working conditions associated with creating a new profession of expertise and responsibilities in response to emerging forms of scholarly communication and pedagogy.

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Bridging the Librarian-Faculty Gap in the Academic Library

Wednesday, 30 September 2015 2:47:00 p.m.

In this age of outcomes measurement, many academic librarians are focused—and rightly so—on making sure they best serve students. Yet students are not the only population of end users on an academic campus. Faculty, too, are conduits not only to students but to library users in their own right. As well, studies of faculty attitudes such as Ithaka’s often show that, even as faculty increasingly depend on library-brokered online access to expensive databases and electronic journals, the off-site availability of modern resources may leave many faculty members less aware of the crucial role of the library in their and their students’ workflow.

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