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Friday, October 10, 2014

The changing role of the University Library

The role of the Library is changing, especially at a University Level.

Many are undergoing a lot of re-structuring to focus more on academic research rather than just information provision. New buildings are being built, research institutions are being created and consequently the role of the library and librarians are changing. It is a pivotal time in the growth of many universities.

If we look at the ACU Library in Melbourne, the Raheen Library is an academic lending library which gives access to 80,000 physical items, 470,000 physical items Australia wide via it’s Inter Campus Loan (ICL) system and access to over 300,000 online resources.

Mission of the library is:

to enable and enrich the teaching, learning and research endeavours of the University by delivering flexible access to extensive and relevant information resources and by providing quality services and facilities. 

Objectives are measurable and include:

  • resource provision and access, 
  • strong partnerships with the teaching/learning/research community, 
  • librarians are focused on meeting the needs of clients, 
  • quality management practice and operations, and 
  • technology and physical infrastructure to support these objectives.

Faculties supported by the Raheen Library are Theology, Education, Arts, Business Studies, Law and Health Sciences. Library deals with a lot of non-traditional resources; kits, testing equipment and learning tools. Their Library catalogue (Aleph) has a discovery layer (Primo) which searches all the universities collections; the document management system for online readings (Equella) and every subscribed database.

Students can also access subject guides which guide them to specific subject resources.

One of the challenges that the Library has, is the global “one library” approach. Sometimes a policy decision made might have different ramifications for smaller or larger libraries throughout the organisation even though each library has an equal voice at the management level.

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