Rationale for this book
There are many books on reference services, how to support research and learning, and related initiatives such as data services, digital humanities support and data management. However, there are few, if any, that provide illustrative examples of these varied services in one volume, viewing them as correlated, emerging models of research support.
Higher education and academic libraries are in a period of rapid evolution. Technology, pedagogical shifts and programmatic changes in education mean that libraries must continually evaluate and adjust their services to meet new needs. Research and learning across institutions is becoming more teambased, crossing disciplines and dependent on increasingly sophisticated and varied data. To provide valuable services in this shifting, diverse environment, libraries must think about new ways to support research on their campuses, including collaborating across library and departmental boundaries.
This book is intended to enrich and expand your vision of research support in academic libraries by:• inspiring you to think creatively about new services• sparking ideas of potential collaborations within and outside the library, increasing awareness of functional areas that are potential key partners• providing specific examples of new services, as well as the decision making and implementation process• providing a broad array of examples across different kinds of institutions• shifting from a mindset of research and instruction services, metadata creation, data services, etc., as separate initiatives, toward a broad view of ‘research support.’
This volume is not intended as a checklist of ‘must-haves’ for every academic library. Each institution, and each library, serves a different group of students, faculty, and staff, and varies by mission, size, academic focus and more. Thus, there is no ‘one size fits all’ service model. Instead, these projects and support models are presented to inspire initiatives that fit your specific institution's needs and mission.
‘Research support’ as defined in this book
As implied above, the phrase ‘research support’ in this book encompasses more than the traditional academic library definition of ‘reference’ or ‘research and instructional services.’