Information services for the engineering community: explorations in the hybrid environment

LENA, Sam and RAMAKRISHNAN, Rama Ravikumar and VENKATACHALAM, Kannadasan (2013) Information services for the engineering community: explorations in the hybrid environment. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2013 - Singapore - Future Libraries: Infinite Possibilities in Session 152 - Reference and Information Services.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/135
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Language: English (Original)
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Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/135/1/152-sam-en.pdf

Abstract

Information services for the engineering community: explorations in the hybrid environment

Libraries are hybrid information environments which “draw together on-line and physical collections and services, presenting them to the user in a seamless and integrated manner (Currier, 2001). If we use the language of information architecture language to describe this hybrid environment: • Collections and information resources can be viewed as landmarks and nodes within the information space. • Discovery tools such as pathfinders, citations and sitemaps are navigator tools and pathways linking collections and resources to users within the information landscape. • Reference and information services become activity centres where information exchange happens, creating dynamic interstitial social spaces situated in this environment. The analogy is used to visualise libraries in transition from physical to hybrid collections and patterns in user behaviour which can guide librarians in creating responsive social and collaborative learning spaces. We also use this to organise discussion about explorations of hybrid information services at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Libraries; these are working examples from past events and on-going projects by NTU Engineering Library (ENGL). 1. Collections and information resources Thematic book exhibitions are regularly used to promote library print resources within the library but can also be an event in users’ community spaces. We describe an event accompanied by a hybrid book exhibition where e-books are ‘displayed’ alongside print books. 2. Discovery tools ENGL uses the Wordpress blog platform to create virtual subject rooms where both print, electronic and other media collections can be accessed by NTU’s engineering community. To improve content promotion and reach, ENGL is investigating the use of NTU Libraries Facebook platform. 3. Collaborative spaces We are currently investigating creating specialised custom content for a specific group of users so as to extend library information services into a community hybrid network where librarians and users can collaborate, interact and learn using the Wordpress blogs platform.

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