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Dean’s Update: The Libraries Helps Drexel Shape Future Scholarship

December 6, 2017

Managing access to research data and other digital content offers unprecedented opportunities to transform the Drexel Libraries into a modern research library. 

The Libraries’ refreshed strategic plan for 2017 – 2022 gives center stage to its unique contributions toward meeting Drexel’s ambition to become a comprehensive research university. Through improving ways to discover and access Drexel-generated research output and scholarship, the Libraries will extend its traditional role of supporting undergraduate student academic success to include enabling greater research impact among its faculty, staff and graduate students.  

Commitment to the creation of new knowledge and scholarship is a distinguishing university mission. University, government, foundation and industry investments in higher education have long enabled research and the growth of intellectual capital to benefit society. The value of these institutional assets increases through their use in future research. Information technologies and networked information resources offer both powerful flexibility and ease to express and share new knowledge, but also require changes in the way academics manage the preservation, dissemination and rights to research data and scholarship.  Universities are increasingly assuming responsibilities to help manage access to the research output their communities generate both locally and globally.

To help resolve these new challenges, librarians apply their experience and expertise with scholarly publications, with organization and metadata descriptions of knowledge, and with system design and service delivery to efficiently discover and access information resources. 

Their traditions of understanding variations in behaviors across disciplines and working in collaborative and networked environments provide approaches to help leverage campus resources and share the exploration and development of new tools, procedures and policies. Strengthening higher education’s infrastructures to address the responsibility of disseminating new knowledge will improve value of our collective contributions to scholarship. Locally, improved global discovery and access to Drexel-generated research output will position the University to shape future research.

This issue of In Circulation features some of our current initiatives to contribute to improving Drexel’s capacity to influence future scholarship. Read about upcoming work to redesign the Libraries’ management system used to discover and access information resources through our investment in the Alma Library Services Platform. And the article on IDEA clarifies the importance of repositories and available services offered by the Drexel Libraries.

The use of research output—through assisting students to find, read and apply knowledge disseminated in published scholarship—is an important component of our efforts to embed the value of research and inspire the life-long quest for learning. The EAC article applauds Drexel students who have maintained the University’s #1 ranking in the country for quickly and effectively finding information in the Elsevier annual challenge—and doing so with great fun in the W. W. Hagerty Library. Our update on this quarter’s ScholarSnack event also reports on how students come to the library to explore how to find information and to take ownership of their learning habits in our informal learning environments.

We are ending the year with exciting momentum as we unfold our refreshed strategic plan and hope you will enjoy reading about what we are doing at the Drexel Libraries.  

Best wishes for a very festive and happy holiday season.

Danuta A. Nitecki, PhD
Dean of Libraries

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