Cambridge Asia Librarians’ Day 2017
Creating Connections – Building Bridges was the theme of the sixth Cambridge Asia Librarians’ day held on Monday 16th January 2017 and hosted by the Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta.
The Day was attended by upwards of seventy librarians from across Indonesia plus twenty members of the Cambridge Asia Librarians’ Advisory Board [CALAB], and covered key topics such as the promotion of eresources to students, the changing role of the library, and the relationship between the publisher and the library.
How has the role of the librarian and the function of the library changed?
One of the initial topics covered was The Changing Role of the Library with contributions from Fuad Gani, the Head Librarian at the University of Indonesia, and Mr Beau Case, Head of the Arts & Humanities team at the University of Michigan (USA). Pak Gani addressed the changing role of today’s librarian and the need to demonstrate great versatility, and be able to fulfil a diverse number of roles, from supporting the University’s overall strategy to promoting dynamic ITC development.
Mr Case instead looked at how the library he worked in has changed, highlighting recent areas of growth and change at the University of Michigan such as building new data services; making different use of library space; engaging with digital scholarship and digital education; facilitating engaged learning; and continuing to enhance the Library’s collections.
How can the librarian help promote eresources to students?
The importance of the library in making access to resources easier for the user was addressed by Ms Victoria Caplan, from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), and Mr Foster Zhang, from the Chinese University of Hong Kong Library (Shenzhen campus).
Excellent service is the ‘number one marketing tool’ suggested Ms Caplan, and went on to explain how library resources are introduced to users via LibGuides, face-to-face and blended library instruction. A key part of the Library’s work is make sure that the faculty knows which resources are available. Publishers have an important role to play too with events such as ‘E-Discovery Weeks’ where publishers and vendors collaborate with the Library to deliver instruction sessions.
Mr Zhang echoed these priorities highlighting the Library’s mission is to promote interactive and creative learning experiences. Every attempt is made to turn the Library into a ‘home from home’ and to use the learning space to prepare students for academic and personal success.
The question of library budgets
Transparency from publishers when setting prices was agreed to be a major priority for the CLD participants, as well as the invaluable part played by analytics in determining whether resources deliver value for money. Librarians want to know who is using the resources, what they are looking at and how it is being used, not just the basic information, although it was acknowledged that data protection can limit the amount of information publishers can provide.
The Relationship between the Publisher and the Library.
Ms Louise Jones, from CUHK (main campus) suggested that the Library often occupies the ‘squeezed middle’ ground between the academic and the publisher. To manage the relationship with academics, each department at CUHK has a library chairperson and a named liaison librarian, responsible for reviewing content provision, selecting resources and interpreting library’s licenses. She concluded that only a symbiotic relationship can succeed between publisher and library.
The 2017 event was one of the best-attended Cambridge Librarians’ Days to date, and certainly attracted a very lively and engaged audience.
CUP is extremely grateful to the Universitas Indonesia both for being such a generous host and for aiding in the recruitment of such a large and distinguished group of Indonesian librarian guests.