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Dean’s Update: October 2012

I write this update in October, just after the first meeting of the Library Advisory Group (LAG) for this academic year.   Once again we are fortunate to have a diverse set of perspectives and wonderful channel of communication through the service of 16 faculty, students and staff representing the Colleges and Schools, student groups, and several departments with which the Libraries partners in advancing the University’s mission. For this group, library administrators offered a brief orientation to the Libraries and were delighted to share copies of the 2011-2012 Annual Report, hot off the press. I invite you to review the summary of the year’s events online.   We also highlighted what staff has done during the summer and speculated on topics to raise with the LAG this coming year.  It was a full agenda.

In this issue, we feature some of our work done in the last third of “summer.”  This includes initiatives to prepare young scholars for their upcoming research and studies, improvements to simplify access to authoritative resources critical for coursework, and opportunities for faculty and students to explore creating and utilizing audio forms of information.  You can read more about instruction for STAR Scholars and students preparing for Fulbright visits abroad.  We expect that implementation of new Ares course reserve software and renegotiation of licensing for use of articles in the Harvard Business Review will be valued improvements for Drexel students and faculty in identifying and retrieving reading materials important for coursework.  The launch of an oral history program is an exciting way to not only document Drexel history by capturing “tales of the Dragon” but also to offer facility for students and faculty to include audio information in their work.

In October, we are pursuing a few other innovations within our strategic directions.    I’ll name a few as previews of future articles in our newsletter.  We are reconfiguring a few library rooms to experiment with environments for collaborative partnerships among campus units helping students master their DSLP [Drexel Student Learning Priorities] and to foster “research conversations.”  A group of faculty and staff experts are helping us consider providing equipment and support for students to explore 3-D scanning and printing, independent of faculty research or a curriculum where these information formats are already fully used on campus.  The Libraries are working with others to create a system and service to help faculty manage their information about their academic work and to enable them and administrators to tell the story of Drexel research and creativity with comparative data about other university output.

Enjoy my favorite month and the colorful transformations around us as October unfolds.

Danuta A. Nitecki
Dean of Libraries

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