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Drexel Libraries Launches New Fellows Program

February 7, 2018

Faculty expertise, enthusiasm and support of the Libraries will be tapped in a new way through the Drexel Libraries Fellows program. This year, Fellows will participate in developing the Libraries’ support services to ensure access to authoritative information, with a focus on Research Data Management and Open Access to publications.

The program arose while looking for alternate ways to extend the Libraries’ human capacity to advance its refreshed strategic initiatives. In a period of shrinking budgets and scarcity of new positions, the Provost offered the Dean of Libraries one-time funds to support graduate students or faculty while implementing these ambitious initiatives.

Drexel faculty repeatedly voice their “love of the library,” and many work closely with liaison librarians and administrators to address pedagogy and research needs. This pilot program will be another way for faculty to contribute their expertise and energy to the Libraries in exchange for a recognized opportunity to serve and learn experientially—core Drexel traits.

A small compensation will be given to Fellows, who were selected through a process that began with a low-key call for expressions of interest in January 2018. Within a month, the Libraries received several amazing responses to the call. Four faculty were selected to each serve for a fixed duration during the remainder of this fiscal year. Details are being finalized around specific deliverables and the amount of time each Fellow can contribute, roughly averaging around 80 hours. Projects will address the following areas:

  1. Improve research data management plan design and implementation among Drexel researchers.
  2. Develop an extracurricular course or other form of training to build competitiveness for young scholars through effective dissemination of research.
  3. Lower Drexel student textbook expenditures by guiding faculty to adopt open textbooks and the Libraries’ licensed resources in courses. 
  4. Recommend future improvements in moving toward electronic archiving of theses and dissertations.

The selected Fellows for this first cohort are a microcosm of Drexel faculty, representing diverse disciplines—engineering, informatics, history and education.  They reflect different types of faculty appointments – tenure track as well as teaching faculty; and even different primary work locations – residing in Philadelphia, working through teleconferencing from North Carolina and commuting from upstate New York.  

We look forward to partnering with this exciting group of colleagues and testing this approach to engage more closely with our terrific faculty.   Updates about their contributions will be featured in future issues of In Circulation.

For more details on the program, contact Danuta A. Nitecki, PhD, Dean of Libraries.