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Doing it together: effective collaboration in scientific and technological university libraries

By Nikki Crowster, Karin de Jager and Mary Nassimbeni


The authors were approached by CHEC with a request to design and facilitate a learning event for the Consortium, consisting of a programme that would expose mid-career librarians to the principles and practice of research librarianship. It had to be specifically intended to enhance librarians’ understanding of the research process and to encourage their willingness and ability to support research in their own libraries. In planning the intervention, the aim was to maintain a balance between theoretical input and opportunities for workshop activities, taking into account both inputs from specialists in the higher education sector and the research landscape, and authorities on the LIS sector with knowledge of the trends and programmes in the field of research librarianship. A particular concern was to create opportunities for participants\u27 interaction and active engagement in research activities, to encourage inter-library networking with a view to creating collaborative spaces for the participants, and to break down existing silos between the different institutions. National higher education experts, library directors at research universities and senior members of the NRF agreed to participate. The programme was conducted with 25 participants in July 2012 and focused on the research landscape and scholarly communication in South Africa, and on an understanding of the challenges inherent in the world of the researcher. The skills sets required of research librarians were identified, and opportunities were provided for participants to understand the link between problem solving in the library and framing their own research projects. Participants’ feedback was requested after each presentation and an exit survey was mounted online, which participants completed in their own time shortly after the programme. This presentation will discuss the programme and its evaluation in an attempt to illustrate that it is indeed possible to mount a manageable intervention that could enhance collaboration between librarians and researchers, make a real difference to the research support provided by librarians and potentially benefit the research output at South African higher education institutions

Topics: Library and Information Science
Publisher: Purdue University
Year: 2013
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Purdue E-Pubs

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