Information Day 2015: Transforming library roles for impact

Info Day 2015 - Image 1On Saturday 17 October 2015, Library staff from the Sunway and Johor Bahru campuses participated in the Library and Learning Commons’ Information Day 2015.

Initiated last September 2014 the “LLC Strategic Retreat”, focused on the Library’s 3 year-strategic plan and directions. The second edition of LLC annual staff retreat took a broader approach – mirroring Information Day at Monash University Australia Library (MUAL) - to provide staff with an interactive forum to foster collaboration with MUAL, discuss challenges and opportunities associated with the library changing roles, and showcase work and projects with academic staff and colleagues within the Library.

In continuity with the Library strategic plan, the theme of Information Day 2015 revolved around change management and initiatives. Once again this year, the Library was privileged to have Prof. Helen Bartlett, Monash Malaysia’s PVC and President, deliver Information Day’s opening remarks. Her encouragement and appreciation for the Library's increased visibility and contribution to the campus goals were a concrete indication of what LLC staff has achieved as this point of the journey.

The full-day event brought together library leaders from Australia, Singapore and Malaysia who explored the dimensions of change in their unique contexts, and highlighted how they have been engaging staff in this journey of transformative change.

Info day 2015 - Image 2Invited speakers included MUA University Librarian, Cathrine Harboe-Ree (represented by Janette Burke, Director-Resources), SMU (Singapore Management University) University Librarian, Gulcin Cribb; MUAL Applications Librarian, Megan Lee, and Monash University Malaysia’s Liaison Librarians, Sara Kuhn and Hien Tran.

Echoing PVC’s opening remarks that “Change is a journey in which all campus stakeholders have embarked on”, Cribb shared her perspective that academic libraries are one of the many global players competing for resources and influence, and that “change does not happen on our own, nor does it happen in a silo”. She invited academic librarians to abandon library processes and practices that are no longer effective, to rethink their roles and implement creative service delivery models, and to provide meaningful experiential learning to students.

Janette Burke presented MUA Library’s contribution to the University’s Better Teaching, Better Learning agenda, highlighting the importance of providing evidence based case studies to the University, to tell the story beyond numbers. Janette discussed opportunities for collaboration with MUAL and LLC to build capacity and an understanding of future roles for librarians.

The Monash Malaysia’s Liaisons team shared their views and contribution to change in the Malaysian context. They invited LLC colleagues to draw on the Library’s existing expertise, and to experiment with innovative approaches to teaching in order to build effective partnerships with academic staff. They concluded their presentation by an interactive quiz to demonstrate the impact of delivery on student engagement.

Info Day 2015 - Image 3Finally Megan Lee presented MUAL’s ambitious “Library Performance Metrics” project to “move beyond counting things and resources to demonstrate impact”. This project, initiated in February 2015 was established to demonstrate the contribution the Library makes to the University and the academic community in the key areas of scholarly information, research and learning skills development, research infrastructure and research and learning environments. A number of models have been tested and the Balanced scorecard model has been customized for the Library, building examples and case studies. Lee’s presentation was followed by a facilitated “Library Performance Metrics” exercise where LLC staff picked one LLC strategic initiative, and had to develop an action and hypothesis of success to measure their progress in achieving the objective.

Debrief sessions in teams took place in the days that followed the event, providing staff with an opportunity to reflect on where they see themselves in the change paradigm, what skills they may contribute and most importantly, how they can foster collaboration and embrace new cross-functional roles for success and impact.

To access Information Day 2015's presentations, click below:

Isabelle Eula, Janette Burke
26 October 2015