A Framework for Articulating New Library Roles Karen Williams, Associate University Librarian for Academic Programs, University of Minnesota Libraries In the last decade, new technologies have fueled fundamental shifts in the behavior and expectations of students and faculty. Digital content abounds and new forms of information access are evolving, giving rise to changes in the ways scholars communicate and disseminate their research. Libraries, traditionally focused on the products of scholarship, are now prompted to understand and support the processes of scholarship. The University of Minnesota Libraries have been a player in this paradigm shift, and are deeply engaged in the teaching, learning, and research processes. Over the past several years, themes of engagement, of “getting in the flow of users,”1 whether in virtual or physical contexts, have shaped the University of Minnesota Libraries’ planning and activity. During this time, a shift in our vision and mission statements reflects the changing paradigm. Our current mission affirms that the library is no longer the center of the information universe rather, its strategic advantage comes from a broader portfolio of assets: our expertise and value-added services have become paramount. The University Libraries have two roles: as leader in areas such as information literacy, copyright, and authors’ rights and as provider of extraordinary information experiences that is, engaging fundamentally in the lives of students, scholars, and citizens to improve individual productivity and the achievement of their goals.2 T hinking at the system level is always important, but it becomes critical during times of significant change. Moving from a collection-centered model to an engagement-centered one does not happen overnight. Systems thinking affects how we revise goals and priorities and how we reevaluate the infrastructure in place. We cannot look at parts of the organization in isolation but must examine how the pieces support and reinforce each other. Systems thinking helps us to keep department goals and RLI 265 3 AUGUST 2009 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
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