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Dean's Update - Recognizing Libraries' Staff

For over fifty years, the American Library Association has sponsored observance of National Library Week during the month of April. This week celebrates the contributions of the nation’s libraries and promotes their use. This month at Drexel, we focus on library staff, including librarians, archivists, support staff and professionals with diverse expertise in such areas as technologies, communications and fiscal controls. In this issue, we invite you to learn more about the recent training, recognition and realignment of our organizational structure, all of which aim to improve experiences in finding authoritative information, connecting to scholarship and becoming better skilled and confident in navigating new information formats and managing personal data.

Libraries’ staff has engaged in several activities over the past month, building skills to manage operations and lead innovative responses to changing demands for information and guidance. A quarterly “all staff” meeting engaged staff from across the Libraries to review the campus 5-year strategic initiatives and identify individual and library contributions. In addition, staff envisioned ways the Libraries can advance campus ambitions for improving the student experience, academic quality and innovative research. Discussions among librarians and professional staff followed to help identify threats and opportunities facing the University and its libraries while envisioning initiatives to address them. Managers across the Libraries also engaged in a half-day training session to strengthen leadership skills across the organization.

Later this month, the Libraries will recognize staff accomplishments through the fourth annual Libraries Celebration Awards, an event that honors staff who demonstrate the Libraries' value through contributions beyond their daily work. The breakfast event also recognizes outstanding student employees whose commitment to service and hard work illustrate the value of Drexel students as cherished by Jane Bryan, the former director, after whom the student award is named. We also celebrate colleagues who have left or will soon leave the University and colleagues who received external awards and recognition. Read the article titled Recent Libraries Staff Accomplishments and Awards for more details.

Finally, we applaud the individuals who have worked through our recent realignment of organizational units to strengthen our capacity to efficiently and purposefully support the multitude of demands for information and expert guidance. This past term, we consolidated Interlibrary Loan Services between sites and divided responsibilities for access services [circulation, reserves and management of collections] for all Drexel faculty, staff and students, regardless of their college, school or proximity to a physical library site.

This is not an issue that boasts of our work, but rather an offer of a different perspective for our colleagues, clients and friends to understand what an academic library can do and how that is achieved through its dedicated staff.

- Danuta A. Nitecki, Ph.D., Dean of Libraries

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