Changing Landscapes: New Roles for Academic Librarians

NITECKI, Danuta A. and DAVIS, Mary Ellen K. (2017) Changing Landscapes: New Roles for Academic Librarians. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2017 – Wrocław, Poland – Libraries. Solidarity. Society. in Session 187 - Library Theory and Research with New Professionals Special Interest Group.

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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.


Changing Landscapes: New Roles for Academic Librarians

Both sides of the Atlantic forecast new roles for librarians in response to changes affecting research and scholarship in higher education1. They share observations that academic librarians are positioning themselves to advance the mission of their institution in new ways. Changing landscapes bring new challenges for librarians to address, such as requiring data to be curated and shared, teaching digital literacy, and leveraging technologies and organizational structures to improve researcher productivity. In response, librarians are redefining their roles as leaders and partners with faculty, administrators, and students. This paper will focus on the evolving role of the academic librarian in the research life cycle to illustrate how U.S. academic institutions embrace these changes. The experiences of one mid-size U.S. university will highlight how becoming effective leaders and true partners require librarians to understand the changing requirements and practices facing researchers and students throughout the research lifecycle. Librarians are bringing their information expertise, organization skills, and professional values to innovative organizational settings that strengthen campus research infrastructures. The presenters will explore how the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), a national library organization, leverages the effort of the professional community to offer education and support for these transitions. The paper will conclude with ACRL’s strategies to prepare librarians to demonstrate its vision that “academic and research library workforce effectively navigates change in higher education environments.”

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