Our latest team journal club considered “The promise of academic libraries: turning outward to transform campus libraries” by Kranich, Lotts and Springs.
I picked this paper as it looks at how someone has been seeking to develop their liaison model through community engagement. The team involved have clearly been exploring in a period of change and in some ways this paper felt like them reaffirming publicly some of the results.
We were very interested in the way they piggy backed on groups set up for other projects to have “community conversations”. These gave space for senior staff of the institution to get together to talk about a wide range of questions across the scope of the institution. While the links to library drivers were interesting it was the whole picture of the objectives and issues in play for the institution that was most useful. The fruits of these discussions were then fed back to the library teams to give them a much stronger picture of the priorities and direction of travel of the university. Similar conversation sessions were also held with library teams building internal understanding of work in progress and direction of travel. Use was made of the ideas from the Harwood Institute and these look helpful as a framework.
Areas around impact were weaker. Some of the measures proposed sound very hard to assess with any accuracy.
Generally it was a positive paper as a statement of intent and helped drive a good discussion.