Beyond Collections: The place of the academic library in the university research agenda

Academic libraries are facing enormous pressures that require them to respond and adapt in order to remain relevant. The academic library is no longer just a repository, a collection of services, or a place for study: it is all these things. Rapidly-evolving technologies, new modes of scholarly publishing and communication, the proposed development of a new national research engagement and impact assessment, requirements for research data management, increasing interest in digital literacies, and changing higher education pedagogies are altering user expectations.

What value do researchers and their universities attach to academic libraries services? How do libraries demonstrate their value as active partners in university business: improving research, learning and teaching workflows? Where should academic libraries be focussing their priorities right now? What are the emerging trends?

In response to current trends, academic libraries need to develop new resources and services, while balancing core and established service areas. Additionally, academic libraries are being challenged to anticipate future needs and to develop creative and innovative initiatives to meet those needs. No library can respond to every new trend in the field, nor should they. Decisions to prioritise and allocate resources should be aligned with the mission and goals of the university.

Our panel will draw on their experience and unique perspectives and examine the contributions and value of the academic library to research and research performance, and highlight opportunities for enhancement, collaborations and partnerships.

Welcome & introduction: Professor Julie Willis (PVC Research Capability) Panel Chair:: Mr Philip Kent (University Librarian & Executive Director, Collections) Panel Members: Professor Liz Sonenberg (PVC,Research Collaboration & Infrastructure); ​Professor Ginny Barbour (Exec. Director, Australian Open Access Strategy Group) , Dr David McInnis (Gerry Higgins Lecturer in Shakespeare Studies, School of Culture & Communications, Faculty of Arts) and Dr Jason Thompson (Senior Research Fellow, Urban Transport and Public Health, Melbourne School of Design).