Trinity College Library

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1 Trinity College Library Strategic 2013/ /16 Introduction This document draws on discussions of the expanded unit heads group during the academic year 2012/2013. It combines the goals articulated for each unit with the broad strategic directions that the group identified for the Library. Several initiatives mentioned in the planning meetings are already in progress, while others still need to be developed. The purpose of this document is to help us mark our progress and to be a road-map for shaping our services, programs and spaces as part of Trinity College s mission and in response to the ubiquitous changes of the information environment. Content: Supporting student and faculty scholarship Current: Trinity College Library s collections have expanded exponentially with the availability of online resources in all formats (journals, books, images, videos, music, data-sets). Current information technology and dramatic changes in content acquisition models allow the Library to offer materials for study and research at a range and depth that was previously only accessible at larger research libraries. The Library now mostly purchases or subscribes to online collections based on format and content-type, such as the journal collections from JSTOR, the image collections from ArtStor, or the primary source collections of EEBO, ECCO, and NCCO. In addition, the Library supports rapid online access to content through a variety of services and on-demand purchase options. Traditional print collections are still developed and maintained in support of the curriculum. The Watkinson Library actively builds its special collections by acquiring printed and manuscript material for primary research. Trinity s digital repository has become a rich showcase of the College s history and scholarship, and it plays an important role in making Trinity faculty and student work more visible and accessible. Continue to identify and, as funding allows, acquire additional online content in support of teaching and learning at Trinity In collaboration with our CTW partners, expand the online availability of monographs while focusing print purchases more closely on curricular support

2 Continue to acquire unique printed and manuscript material for special collections and archives, and alter the focus of that collecting as necessary in light of newly available digital content Expand the Digital Repository into a more comprehensive exhibition of the creative and intellectual activities at Trinity Discovery: Providing Access to Our Collections Current: While the Library now provides access to an unprecedented range of information, search methods and discovery interfaces have become very complex due to differences in metadata schemes, record detail, and access provisions. As information silos with their own unique interfaces, our self-contained collections require users to search several of them separately when investigating a topic. The rapid increase of e-books from different providers poses further challenges to our discovery layers, and necessitates significant changes in staff workflow and responsibilities. The Library currently describes itself as a hybrid library where attention and resources are balanced between content presented in print and electronic formats. As the parameters of scholarly inquiry and research strategies evolve, additional attention needs to be paid to the relation between resources that are owned and those that are available either for free or through various fee-based access models. These developments require a move towards new models for information discovery. Evaluate metadata consistency, quality, and parity for all library content Facilitate access across information silos by implementing a discovery tool that allows searching through a single interface Aim to accommodate the full range of our users information-seeking strategies Work towards a unified full library experience by embedding library services and research help at the point-of-need Set cataloging priorities according to usage and curricular relevance Maintain user interfaces (web site, repository, catalog, etc.) that are clear in design, easy to engage with, and free of jargon Explore and implement ways to make primary source material in all formats more visible and accessible for student and faculty research Continue to assess and adapt the Library s discovery tools to serve our users in a rapidly shifting and competitive information environment

3 Education: Developing student research skills Current: The Library s educational programs engage students and faculty in a broad and collaborative learning process. They explore new ways to promote research in a complex, multi-modal information environment and expand opportunities for transformative interactions with library resources. The foundations of the Research Education Program are individual research consultations and classroom instruction for undergraduate and graduatelevel courses. A First-Year Librarian Program strengthens our connection with students in their First-Year seminars. Our current focus is to work with academic departments on articulating discipline-specific learning goals for the development of research skills. With the Research Associates Program, we offer students rich opportunities for service learning parallel to peer-tutoring programs in Trinity's Writing Center, Math Center, and the Educational Technology Department. We continue to collaborate with these and other campus partners to increase the relevance and reach of our educational programs. Our expanded Library Guides web site communicates with students about all aspects of the research process and incorporates the use of new technologies. The Instant Messaging service and Library Scheduler extend our availability beyond the physical library, while the Service Desk provides an important point of contact in the building. A program of assessment (see below) fosters a culture of quantitative and qualitative evaluation and continuous improvement. The Watkinson Library has followed a national trend among special collections libraries and archives of orienting itself more directly towards students. With increasing support from its Board and the office of College Advancement, the Watkinson has implemented a unique program of Creative Fellowships for undergraduates, awarded to at least five students per year to encourage a deeper engagement with rare source materials. In addition to traditional class presentations, the extensive teaching activities of the Head Curator draw an increasing number of students into hands-on experience and contextual understanding of Watkinson s resources. As part of course-work or employment, Trinity students are now involved in creating exhibitions, posting to our blogs, digitizing our material, compiling guides to and inventories of the collections, and helping us to market our programs and initiatives across campus. Directions Collaborate with individual academic departments to establish learning goals for the development of discipline-specific research skills Use new technologies to expand and create opportunities for student learning in the classroom, our research consultations, and online contexts Explore interactive models for engaging students with a complex and socially-networked information environment Provide professional development opportunities for librarians to gain proficiency with new technologies and methods for promoting student learning Continue to strengthen collaborative relationships with campus academic partners

4 Develop new programmatic opportunities for students to engage with collaborative learning and peer mentoring Outreach: Collaborating and Increasing Our Visibility Current: The Library has recently become more intentional in its outreach to students and its collaborations with other campus partners. In our outreach, we are focusing on specific student populations, in particular the growing cohort of international students. We are offering introductory information sessions, participate in social events, and market our services and resources in a variety of ways. A prominently displayed whiteboard on the Library s main floor collects informal student feedback on a different question each week. Comments received there have already resulted in the development of a leisure reading collection and other student-centered steps. Of great popularity are our end-of-semester study breaks where during a time of high pressure students can informally connect with librarians over a slice of pizza. Feedback gathered during these interactions and through a joint faculty-librarian course project about the Library s role on campus points to classroom instruction and peer communication as primary channels for students to learn about our services and tools. Our campus collaborations have established a new satellite of the Writing Center in the Library and have integrated Library participation in events of the First-Year Student Orientation, the Office of International Programs, Educational Technology, and Career Development. Every semester, a library newsletter updates the campus community and our external associates on our most recent developments and initiatives. To help us spread news to students, we use the Library blog and other social media. Also, we have begun to solicit more student-produced marketing for the Library, as in a recent video contest and the inclusion of the Library Research Associates in our outreach activities. Support regular conversations with students and faculty through a variety of channels to share information, gather feedback, and continuously improve our library services Expand the visibility of our services and programs with creative marketing, presentations, and informational material, both on-line and in print Continue to cultivate partnerships with other academic and social services on campus

5 Systems and Operations: Supporting our Services Current: The Library s systems are well built to manage our physical collections, and our hardware and equipment are regularly updated. However, there is a growing need to provide additional tools for the management and delivery of content. For that, several core systems have to be supplemented or replaced to better support our non-print and growing number of digital collections. We also constantly need to improve our public web pages and interfaces. Implement new software to manage budgeting, licensing, and renewal information for our electronic resource subscriptions Investigate whether the time is right to replace our core integrated library system Identify and implement new software tools to improve the cataloging, processing, and discovery of non-print material in special collections, including the College Archives Look at tools and alternate workflows that would improve turnaround time for document delivery and interlibrary loan Work with the College s ITS staff to continue the strong collaboration between our departments on infrastructure, programming, and user support issues of common interest Space: Enhancing Student Learning Environments Current: Even with most of our collections transitioning from physical to online, students continue to value the Library as a favorite space for studying. As we observe the use of our spaces and listen to student comments about them, we strive to make the Library a welcoming, secure, functional, and state-of-the-art environment for learning and research. Recent improvements include the expansion of the 24 hour study zone, the purchase of more comfortable and adjustable chairs for the Level A computer tables, and the conversion of an office into a consultation space with a wall-mounted large screen monitor. Recognizing current trends in pedagogy and student learning, we continue to explore additional spaces that can be modified to support the production of knowledge with flexible furniture, suitable technology, and designs conducive to collaboration and creative interaction. We also explore the potential of virtual spaces for connecting with students who are off-campus. Identify and equip more spaces to foster collaborative learning and knowledge creation Design spaces with greater flexibility to accommodate different learning styles and preferences Evaluate usage patterns and student feedback to inform the reconfiguration of spaces and maximize their functionality Develop the use of virtual spaces for collaboration and connection to Library resources

6 Assessment: Improving Our Impact Current: Trinity College Library has long been committed to evaluating and improving its programs, collections, processes, spaces and services to ensure they align with institutional goals and promote the academic success of our students. Recently, the Outreach and Research Education Programs have developed a systematic assessment plan that engages students, faculty and staff in dialog about the Library s role in student learning and faculty scholarship. The plan is designed both to strengthen our connection to the Trinity College community and to provide a data-driven basis for improving the Library s effectiveness. To-date, the following qualitative and quantitative measures of the assessment plan have been implemented: a first-year information-literacy pre-post assessment, a satisfaction survey for research consultation appointments, a research-education advisory group composed of faculty, students, and staff; and a capstone assessment program. Under development are a program of outreach to individual departments, a First-Year library research tutorial, and classroom quick polls to measure student research proficiency. Directions Continue to build on the assessment plan with additional components Explore new methods and tools for collecting and evaluating data Integrate assessment results into our services and programs Engage in campus-wide assessment discussion and planning Administration: Managing Budgets and Staff Current: To maintain and enhance the level of content, programs and services that position Trinity College Library competitively among its peers, at minimum requires a stable budget, adjusted for inflation, and an engaged staff, willing to learn and apply new skills, explore new technologies and approaches, and creatively contribute to the Library s mission. Over the past five years, the Library s materials budget has been reduced by $90,000. Further cuts to the budget resulted in the loss of two professional positions. New ways to offer content and a re-grouping of staff assignments have made it possible to absorb these reductions. However, further cuts would seriously jeopardize the Library s ability to meet the expectations of Trinity s students and faculty. An area that requires additional funding are infrastructure costs for our electronic resources and their discovery systems. To maintain a high quality library staff, support and funding for training and professional development continue to be a high priority. Also, the College needs

7 to budget for the upkeep, structural preservation and improvements of a multi-functional library building that is in constant high use during the academic year. Increase the Library s budget to match the cost of inflation and infrastructure expenses Invest in staff training and professional development Foster a culture of service orientation, collaboration, and engagement Encourage open communication, exchange of ideas, and innovation Work with the College on the Library s physical maintenance and upgrades

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