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Dean's Update: Connection is Core to Libraries

March 7, 2018

Connecting—presenting collections of associated literature, organizing knowledge, integrating discovery tools and systems, fostering communities, celebrating institutional connections to scholarship —is core to libraries.  Though librarians evolve diverse sources of connections and the mechanics by which they are forged, the commitment to making, preserving, maintaining and sharing relationships of associated information and people is a defining, recurring character of libraries. 

This issue of In Circulation highlights a few recent activities that the Drexel University Libraries has undertaken that illustrate the practice of connecting. 

The annual Celebrating Drexel Authors event recognized authors and editors of books published in 2017, as well as authors of highly-cited journal articles and conference papers. By sharing results of research through such publications, authors engage in the global exchange of scholarship. In turn, other researchers around the world discover and build upon Drexel-generated contributions to create and share new knowledge. Citations – formal recognition of published research in the scholarly communications cycle – are indicators of the extent of making connections. Read more about how the Libraries, in conjunction with the Provost’s Office, bring the campus community together to applaud those authors who have quickly risen to high global impact last year with their publications in journals and conference proceedings.  

These days, connections are also made through social media.  This past month librarians and the Libraries’ communications manager engaged in Love Data Week to share Drexel activities with finding, using and managing data, particularly for research.

Another article in this issue of In Circulation highlights how librarians are improving their skills to connect with faculty and graduate students to better understand their research habits and management of research output. Read an update about Drexel’s participation in a grant funded by the National Library of Medicine that will strengthen librarians’ ability to foster connections both among people involved in research and with the data and publication outputs they generate. 

I write this month’s Dean’s Update as Philadelphia is preparing for another Nor’easter that Mother Nature is sending our way with a reminder that it is still winter. Drexel joins other universities in the city to suspend activities and cancel classes, recognizing the safety risks and transportation challenges that major storms pose to staff. However, on a reduced schedule, staff enable the Libraries’ facilities and cyberspace reference and e-resource access services to be available primarily for on-site students to connect with information resources, their peers and information expert guidance, and as many note, within an environment to focus on making their own connections.

This year’s March lion will surely be followed by the lambs of spring.

Danuta A. Nitecki, PhD
Dean of Libraries