IL2007: Insights from Purdue

Strategic approaches to the new Academic Library

(I hate powerpoint.)
(URL in packet for presentation link)

New Purdue strategic plan included information literacy across the curriculum; also building new collaborative relationships across libraries, technology, departments, schools.

Definition of user: those who seek them out or are in their spaces. The user sits on top of our services and resources, and we can no longer afford to assume anything about who they are or what they want.

Purdue: 12 libraries, some consolidation happening – hoping for 4 core libraries. (HAH. People will love that, if people = librarians. Users actually will like it.) Will assist in leveraging services across campus.

3 principles: discovery and interdisciplinary research, information literacy, enhanced quality of life. (interesting to think about these from an IT-Libraries collaboration perspective; I know how to think about all of these as a librarian, but how to integrate IT into that? Is it possible as a librarian to think about discovery, research, infolit, and student quality of life without considering the IT implications, any more?)

Strategies: Moving quickly, movingquicklymovingquickly. Staff transformation “I’ll show you a slide about the amount of change my staff has endured”. Evaluation of foundational services to make them more responsive “We’ve combined technology and technical services staff together to focus on contemporary ‘hot items’ that need to be addressed” (Hah. Hee. LMAO. As. If. Next up on my learning curve: How to diminish staff hostility to “the other”). Transforming library spaces – condensing facilities, modernizing, meeting new user needs. And, moving quickly.

Quote of the day:

“I don’t do reference.”
“What do you do?”
“Just watch.”

Consolidated clerical positions into professional positions to accommodate strong need for transformation and planning, with more limited clerical support. Also, grad assistants pulled from the schools the library needs to serve. No faculty librarians on the reference desk – one coordinator who trains the Grad Assistants. (“My coworkers are screaming right now. They don’t know why, but they can sense that I’m hearing this.”)

Talk to your constituents. Find out what they need, not what you need to do what you’ve always done. Then transform your organization in response – Service, service, service. Embedded librarianship and collaborative group work. Learning, on the ground, about what they do, how they think, what they need. (Hysterical example about meat. Ag college. Not, um, widely applicable?)

Down to 4000 linear feet of materials. ALL OTHER SPACE for student work. “Amazing things can happen when you put the word out” – including if you move all your periodicals out because of a windows crisis – what if you don’t bring them back? What then?

Need all options – they don’t come for the resources. They come for collaborative space, they come for quiet space, they come for seeing and being seen, and they come for their own purposes. We have to support all those purposes if we want to reach all the students.


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