Curriculum design, technology, and a special project called “Vínculo Académico”. These are some of the subjects discussed in our second Librarian Perspectives interview, with Erik Alonso García Arellano, Collection Development Coordinator at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey), Santa Fe Campus, in Mexico City. Erik also answered the question posed on our last interview by Angela María Mejía Gutiérrez, Library System Director, at University of the Andes (Universidad de los Andes), in Bogotá, Colombia.


Q: What is the role of libraries in your country? 

A: The role of libraries in Mexico is to provide sufficient and necessary information services to the communities they serve. I consider it to be of utmost importance: not to limit what is present in a library, but to look instead for more content options, business models, partnerships, infrastructure, that is to be aware of updates and the forefront of the librarian field.

Can you imagine a doctor that is not up to date? Would you trust him/her? They may exist, but they will not have the same impact in their hospital or their environment. The same happens with librarians. Success will depend on the development of their own abilities and/or knowledge, as well as the adequate use of technology.


Q: How does a typical work day look for you?

A: I usually work updating database content and interfaces. I also track any purchase orders within the library. Also planning and designing the Research class for International Baccalaureate, considering research as an added value outside the library, and fomenting its use within the classroom. The Research class goes hand in hand with librarianship, considering the experience, theory and documentation needed for the subject, and merging it with technological application, innovation and pedagogy.


Q: Does your library have a special Project you want to talk about?

A: I am managing the automation of ebook purchases and direct acquisition at the system level with aggregators and publishers. We will thus avoid unnecessary and slow first instance paperwork for purchases. It is an inverse process of what we used to do until now, it would help a lot if we could manage purchases through Cambridge Core.

[Good news, Erik, we are proud to say Cambridge Core can help with that. You can learn more about that functionality here

On the other, hand, we participated on the second stage of a regional Project called “Vínculo Académico” (Academic Link), which contemplates three campus in the Mexico City region. At the Santa Fe campus, we are currently focused on the LibGuides portals. The first stage was destined to identify the informational needs to determine the design of the teacher’s class, ensuring access to all of the content. LibGuides, is a product of Springshare, which allows librarians in the management and curation of resources, with the advantage of sharing information. It is a resource that will allow us to increase the use of library resources through an ergonomic design that makes access easier for library users. The design will take professors as the main promoters of the resources.


Q: What do you think will be the role of your library in the next 10 years?

A: I believe our role will involve applying the most current technology to better services, space, and content.


Q: What do you do in your day to day to transform the realities from your tasks/work?  

A: Recognizing your own community, identifying your own their priorities and informational needs. For university libraries, teachers are our core to deliver knowledge to students, and we base on them to know the ways in which the library can support and contribute in their classes. A live example are the professor and class specific portals, through LibGuides, where we work on the selection of relevant material (such as books, magazines, papers in journals, case studies, data bases, videos, etc.) Julián Marquina highlights certain habilities within “Info doc” that are inserted in the work of thematic guides, of which I will mention only some: data analyst, content architect, cataloguer, community manager, content manager, and researcher. Working with these abilities (as an example, but this is not limitative), we can transform day to day realities in the library.


Q: What would you like to ask the next librarian we interview?

A: Can you imagine a library without bookshelves? (Yes or no, and why)


Don’t miss our next interview with Shirley Ainsworth, head of UNAM’S Institute of Biotechnology Library, in Cuernavaca, Mexico.

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