The UK newspaper Guardian occasionally have articles on academic libraries. Normally they’re not too favourable, but last week there was a really interesting article about how academic libraries are undergoing a quiet revolution.

The article talks about how the information environment is changing and with that the role of the academic librarian must adapt from one of a keeper of information to one of a marketer of services and teacher/trainer to help students (and academics) use the right services with the appropriate tools and techniques to get the best information.

The article features insights from academic librarians in the UK and gives examples of the sorts of activities and skills required for an academic librarian today. A lot of the article really resonates with me – I’ve always been a strong believer in improving communication and marketing services (I even plan to complete my MSc dissertation on this topic), and agree that even in the short space of time I’ve worked in UK University libraries the climate has changed. Particular interesting quotes from the article for me include:

people recruited to work in them have to be willing to embrace new technologies and customer service

tuition in research skills and how to use online library services is crucial

[f]lexibility and willingness to adapt to new ideas is key

It’s really worth a read for those already working in the profession, those considering entering it, and those who wonder what life as an academic librarian is really like!

I’ve been busy busy busy recently – academic librarians always seem to have so much they hope to achieve in summer and then you blink and suddenly it’s almost time for the students to return!

Anyway, just a short post to share some exciting news – my first peer reviewed article has been published in Program. 🙂

I mentioned a while ago that I had contributed to a paper for Bridging Worlds 2008 conference, and Program have run a special edition featuring selected papers from the conference. It seems like such a long time ago when I first wrote my contribution (almost a year ago now – just shows how long the publication process can take!) but it’s really exciting to have my name in print in such a great publication.

Brian Kelly from UKOLN was the main author of the paper, which examines the use of Library 2.0 in different types of libraries (national library, research library, and university library – my contribution) and outlines a risk management approach to minimise potential risks whilst gaining the benefits of Library 2.0 initiatives.

The full reference is:

Kelly, B., Bevan, P., Akerman, R., Alcock, J., and Fraser, J. (2009) Library 2.0: balancing the risks and benefits to maximise the dividends. Program: Electronic Library & Information Systems, 43 (3), pp. 311-327.

You can read a copy in Program, or you can view a copy at University of Bath’s repository.