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Dean’s Update: Students Impact the Libraries’ Continuing Transformations

April 4, 2018

Business and popular literature refer to the status quo of constant and rapid changes facing organizations—we are frequently reminded of the oxymoron that “change is a constant.”  Even the future of libraries periodically appears as an example of a long-established institution that is challenged in responding to a predicted future that will be radically different from what it is today.

At Drexel, in addition to innovating around what we do to adjust to changes, the Libraries also explores ways to enhance and organize its human capacity to make it happen. We strategically face changes in higher education costs, changes in opportunities for accessing scholarship, changes in optimizing systems to discover research output, and changes in designing environments that feature engagement with experts and inspiration to learn.

In Circulation readers have learned of our initiatives to draw upon the experiences, interests and energies of Drexel faculty and staff in new ways, and we are now exploring new roles for Drexel students in building operational networks. How can we engage students not just as customers of library services or our educational mission, but also as partners in modeling the organization? This is the question we address as we work with students to leverage the ceaseless changes we face in shaping a future in which the Libraries, as a vital part of the University, prepares people to affordably become life-long learners.

In this issue of In Circulation, our featured articles highlight some of the different ways in which Drexel students are having an impact on the Libraries. We look at the new Library Explorers program, which explores how students help to better communicate the Libraries’ support for the quest for learning. This month’s featured interview touches on one staff member’s personal journey from undergraduate student worker to full-time employee and the inspiration he gained in working in the Libraries. We’re also announcing a new student event, which came about in response to student feedback collected at the winter ScholarSnack event held in March 2018. Libraries staff reflect on their discussions and meetings with others in their profession, both locally and around the world.

We look forward to growing these student programs, and we hope you enjoy thinking with us about how students might make a library more relevant to their growth.    

Danuta A. Nitecki, PhD
Dean of Libraries

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