Transforming Library Identity: Challenges and Boundaries of Supporting New Services Birds-of-a-Feather




Guzman, Allyssa
Chapman Tripp, Hannah

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Texas Digital Library


Academic libraries have consistently confronted a perceived need to change and ‘stay relevant’ in a fast-paced and rapidly transforming academic world. Over the past 15 years, we have seen service models change drastically from staffing a traditional reference point to only offering one-on-one consultation with researchers. Today library research support services are engaged in a plethora of lifecycle support models including grants support, data management and curation, and digital humanities, that are expanding the scope of traditional librarian roles and requiring staff to develop new expertise and technical skills. One of the questions that we have been grappling with in undertaking this new work is - how do we undertake this new work and adapt to the needs of our users without straying too far from our identity as a library? How do we avoid overextending ourselves in the drive to fill campus needs? Are there some needs that go too far? In this session, we hope to bring together practitioners to discuss this push and pull between supporting the research ecosystem and staying rooted in what it means to be a library. This discussion will focus on librarian identity and responsibility, constituent expectations, and limited bandwidth.


TCDL 2024 Session 1A, Tuesday, 5/21/2024, 3:45 pm to 4:45 pm | Moderated by Jeremy Thompson, University of Texas at Austin | Birds-of-a-Feather | Scholarly Communications