Thursday, December 6, 2012

Changes Coming to Library Technologies and Reference

Library Technologies is moving website development into an environment supported more by automation and programming while being driven by user experience and usability testing.  Programmers will use an agile software development approach to develop tools and services to be delivered through the website and to mobile devices. This approach requires co-location of the programmers with a process owner who manages the usability aspect of the work.  This activity will be centered in Digital Library Services under the direction of Eric WeigBeth Kraemer will serve as process owner and coordinate user experience and interface design.

With this change in web services, key aspects of research information management will return to public services to more closely integrate support with reference and library instruction. Rob Aken will be moving to be a part of the Reference Department.  Rob has supported these activities by closely monitoring issues of consistency and functionality with the links to electronic products and management of the Springshare LibGuides services. 

The number of reference requests that UK Libraries receives continues to remain steady, and Reference is being contacted in an increasing number of ways: via text and LibAnswers in addition to chat, email, phone, and in person. As librarians continue developing more collegial teaching relationships with UK faculty and working more with integrating information literacy skills into the curriculum, we will continue to see more students contacting UK Libraries for reference assistance or consultation.

Reference requires additional faculty support to help with this demand as well as to provide assistance in teaching information literacy instruction sessions and developing instructional materials. It is very beneficial to have an experienced, senior librarian assist with this expanding teaching role.   Rob is an excellent reference librarian and his experience with electronic resources and his role in launching and maintaining Lib Guides have all been very important.  Rob’s move to Reference will bolster reference service, provide greater support for information literacy efforts, as well as support the creation of Lib Guides and other tools to provide students access to UK Libraries collections.  

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