ERIC Number: ED583484
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Reference Count: N/A
Research Library Issues. RLI 291
Baughman, M. Sue, Ed.
Association of Research Libraries
While not a new topic, many conversations are occurring about the roles of library staff and the changing nature of their work in support of research, teaching, and learning. Boundaries between specific functions or departments within the library continue to change as library employees grapple with issues of their roles in new service models. Staff are encouraged and expected to work more collaboratively and this is happening in a number of ways. In these conversations the word "holistic" is often used to describe what is intended in this changing work. According to the online Merriam-Webster dictionary, holistic means "relating to or concerned with wholes or with complete systems rather than with the analysis of, treatment of, or dissection into parts." The term "integrated" is also frequently used to express this vision for the current and future states of librarianship. Following an Editor's Note by M. Sue Baughman, three articles in this issue of "Research Library Issues" explore different models and approaches to holistic librarianship and the convergence among librarians in a variety of roles. These articles speak to how three different libraries are transforming what has traditionally been more fragmented or specialized service. The Cornell University Library uses a decentralized approach to scholarly communication that means library liaisons are often dealing with multiple and competing priorities. Realizing the challenge this model creates for advancing scholarly communication goals, library staff formed a Scholarly Communication Working Group charged to raise awareness of issues, tools, methods, and services for scholarly communication. In their article, "A Team- and Project-Based Approach to Advancing Scholarly Communication Initiatives across the Library," Ashley Shea, food and agriculture librarian, Gail Steinhart, scholarly communication librarian, and Jim DelRosso, digital projects coordinator, describe how the working group has facilitated the identification of projects and project teams in support of scholarly communication issues. The authors further describe a number of initiatives in which library staff engaged and discuss the lessons learned from the library's holistic approach to creating tangible results and improvements to scholarly communication goals. Judith Logan, user services librarian, and Lisa Gayhart, user experience librarian, from the University of Toronto Libraries, explore intrapreneurship as a model for fostering innovation. Calling this an organic approach that can work within existing structures and processes, the authors describe the benefits of this model to the organization, the librarian, and the end user in their article, "How Intrapreneurship Enhances Existing Organizational Structures: A Holistic Case Study from a Large Academic Library." Logan and Gayhart share the overhaul of the main library website as a study for implementing the intrapreneurship model. Short- and longer-term outcomes highlight a number of changes in roles and responsibilities as well as organizational changes. The authors offer advice on ways to use intrapreneurship to promote holistic librarianship. The third article, "Creating a Holistic Fabric of Services and Collections from the Inside Out: Exploring Convergence of Liaison and Special Collections Librarianship," considers the value of a holistic approach for liaison and special collections librarians in realizing a stronger model of service in support of research and teaching. From the University of Rochester, authors Kristen Totleben, modern languages and cultures librarian, and Jessica Lacher-Feldman, assistant dean, rare books and special collections, describe the challenges that perpetuate a divide between liaison and special collections librarians and offer strategies and approaches for building a different model. They emphasize the importance of creating an environment that is conducive to collaboration--through the organization's culture, internal personal communication, and staff engagement on projects--while moving away from fragmentation.
Descriptors: Research Libraries, Academic Libraries, Models, Holistic Approach, Librarians, Library Role, Communication Strategies, Library Services, Foreign Countries, Library Materials, Cooperation, Organizational Culture
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Publication Type: Collected Works - Serial; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: Association of Research Libraries
Identifiers - Location: New York; Canada (Toronto)