Posted by: bluesyemre | August 23, 2022

Redefining Space, Access, and Formats in Academic Libraries: Libraries as a Service

COVID-19 forever altered the academic library. Classes moved online. Quick fixes like mailing services or web chat emerged. Librarians poured their budgets into digital resources—ebooks, audio content, streaming video—and even began to invest in textbooks to alleviate student costs. Now, libraries face a strange intermediacy; we aren’t past the pandemic, but students have returned to campus, mask policies have lifted, and in-person services have resumed. In response, librarians must meet the task of choosing which “pandemic policies” to discard and which to keep. How will library spaces, access, and resources be redefined moving forward?

In this four-part series, our guests look ahead to future institutional and acquisition policies. We bring together divergent perspectives—academic librarians, a university press worker, and a vendor—to reflect on the current and forthcoming environment. First, we have Tracy Holtman, Associate Director of Access & Collection Services at Tarleton State University, and Susanna Smith, Acquisitions Librarian at Georgia Highlands College, who each provide the context around their libraries’ innovative and mobile decision-making. For the university press perspective, Paige Clunie, Digital Partnerships Manager at Princeton University Press, offers insight into how the rise in digital impacts publishing practices. Last, Steven Rosato, General Manager at OverDrive Academic, shares his observations on academic market trends in recent years.

In this first episode, each guest describes how their respective institutions adjusted to the pandemic. For Tracy, she reflects on the surprising (but not unwelcome!) rise in enrollment at Tarleton, stressing the library not as a physical space, but as a service. Susanna describes the challenges her library faced in serving multiple campuses, and their AIM initiative—asynchronous, interactive learning modules that faculty can direct students to for questions on citation practices and information literacy skills. Next, Paige walks through current initiatives at the Press to better serve librarians, including updated metadata, multiuser ebook pricing, and textbook availability. Last, Steven surfaces the flexibility publishers offered to libraries in response to the pandemic, spotlighting in particular the benefits of perpetual access.


About the guests:

Tracy Holtman
Associate Director of Access & Collection Services
Tarleton State University

Susanna Smith
Acquisitions Librarian
Georgia Highlands  College

Paige Clunie
Digital Partnerships Manager
Princeton University Press

Steven Rosato
General Manager
OverDrive Academic


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