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.
How does space, beyond classrooms and labs, influence learning? Measuring and explaining this has been the challenge our leadership team faces as we attempt to determine how the Libraries can gauge its contribution to the University’s strategic plan, specifically in the areas of academic excellence and improvement of the student experience.
This is a challenging question for which no commonly accepted practices or standards apply.
In partnership with the IP & Science business of Thomson Reuters, Drexel University is developing “Faculty Portfolios” to allow faculty and administrators to identify, manage and promote faculty research and academic work. The project uses two Thomson Reuters research analytics tools—Research In View and InCites—and will provide service support from the Libraries. Faculty will be able to build and maintain profiles of their publications, service, creative expressions, teaching, and research grants, for example, through a comprehensive database under development.
A project team under the sponsorship of the Provost, with administrative leadership from Vice Provost Jan Biros is working to prepare the system for an expected launch in early 2013. Mary Quigley, Director of Academic Information Systems is leading the programming effort needed to configure the system for Drexel. Danuta A. Nitecki, Dean of Libraries, working with a group of faculty representing different disciplines, is orchestrating the communications plan and engaging users with the design of the system.
The city and campus prepared well over the weekend for Hurricane Sandy that arrived in Philadelphia on Monday, October 29, 2012. This was a storm that affirmed an important role of the Libraries on Drexel’s campus.
The Provost requested that the Libraries serves as an essential service during the University's closing on Monday and Tuesday. Several staff were asked to work and provide skeletal services for over 25 hours during the two days when classes and campus activities were cancelled. They did so fearlessly and with service commitment beyond the normal expectations of their jobs. Here is what was provided to the thousands of students staying on campus during the storm, along with the opening of the Daskalakis Athletic Center [DAC] across Market Street from the W.W. Hagerty Library.
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.
One of the Libraries’ key strategic directions is to build connections, especially between members of Drexel’s community and scholarship. As summarized in our 2012 - 2017 Strategic Directions, the Libraries’ staff strives to strengthen these important links. In this issue of In Circulation, you will find details about a few new initiatives underway to support this objective.
The Libraries’ staff brings a wealth of expertise and experience to assist students in their exploration of ideas, as well as seasoned researchers in their creation of new knowledge and with the organization of data and publishing results. To introduce these librarians, archivists, information professionals and service staff, the Libraries has launched new biography pages. and I invite you to visit them to learn more about our staff. You can also check out this year's staff celebration recipients who exemplify the Libraries' staff collaboration, innovation and dedicated service improvements.
Four key directions will shape the future of Drexel University Libraries as a vibrant learning enterprise advancing the University’s investment in academic excellence, improvement of the student experience, creative research, growing enrollment and enhanced global impact.
“I am pleased to share the Libraries’ Strategic Plan and am grateful to its many contributors,” said Danuta A. Nitecki, dean of Libraries.
Over 60 individuals energetically engaged in the planning process at a July 2011 Future Search Conference, which explored how the Libraries can advance the University's transformation. Since then, many individuals have helped to shape and articulate the plan to identify the four directions, tagged as; access, environments, connections and organization
Drexel University's Library Learning Terrace and embedded libraries concept was featured in a series entitled "Power to the Librarian," compiled by Elsevier's Library Connect.
One of the strategic directions the Libraries is pursuing is to build and nurture communities. We do so by exploring topics of shared interest among Drexel students, faculty, staff, as well as alumni, colleagues and friends beyond campus. In this issue, you will read about recent efforts to bring together alumni and students interested in Drexel’s football program, triggered by an exhibit from the Archives, as well as seeking ways to encourage the preservation and celebration of the University’s memories and legacy of its athletic program. In another venue, we were delighted to host an opportunity for students to explore the use of typography to express the purpose of the Library Learning Terrace and to share their creations with others who will view the selected designs that will be used to embellish the aesthetics of this learning environment.
Five Drexel students were recognized at a reception on Tuesday, January 17th, for their designs which will be prominently featured on the fabric screens of the Hub at the Library Learning Terrace. The moveable signs are part of the furniture, designed by Herman Miller, and offer a flexible way to create privacy for consultations.
Designs from Lauren Poole, Soha Qadir, Gerre Mae Barcebal, Danielle Rowan and Seth Fowler, all sophomores in the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design, were selected from over 100 projects submitted by Typography I students.