You may or may not be familiar with the acronym DSLP, which stands for the Drexel Student Learning Priorities, the framework that guides student growth at Drexel. The DSLP identify core intellectual and practical skills, including information literacy, communications, critical thinking, ethical reasoning, and technology use. In the Libraries, we foster connections among services, resources and experts to coach students to become better learners while mastering these and other learning priorities.
The library as a physical destination has been on my mind for some time.
The possibility of violent acts occurring in public places haunts anyone who manages a facility where people gather. The recent tragedy in Santa Monica emphasized that libraries, iconic places for peaceful reflection and nurturing the life of the mind, are not exempt from worry about security.
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.
A short week ago we were all worried about the wrath of Sandy, and unfortunately many of our readers and staff were addressing power outages, fallen trees, and flooding. I hope none of you, your families, and homes were severely affected by the storm, and that we all are back to our routines by now. This storm set precedent for the Libraries as an “essential” service during a campus emergency.
We have been encouraged this past month by other votes of confidence in the Libraries' contributions to advance the University’s mission. The first solicitation letter sent to select alumni identified a “matching gift” opportunity made by Michael Hagerty and his family, requesting support of the renovation of the W. W. Hagerty Library building, named in honor of his father, the late President of Drexel University. Response has been encouraging as we prepare for the launch of the design phase meeting on November 9 with the architects awarded the contract.
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.