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What_is_the_“inside-out”_Librarian.pdf (278.12 kB)

What is the “inside-out” Librarian?

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posted on 2019-05-15, 00:21 authored by Shiobhan Smith, Joanne SimonsJoanne Simons
In his 2016 article “Library collections in the life of the user: two directions” Lorcan Dempsey outlines how library tools and services are being reshaped by new and emerging digital research environments. One shape that is taking form is the “inside-out Library” that “increasingly support the creation, curation and discoverability of institutional creations (research data, preprints, scholarly profiles, academic profiles, digitized special collections,…)”.

The inside-out Library is evolving to support the processes of research, not just the products, and those processes are increasingly digital. Does this signal a need for Librarians supporting researchers to also evolve their digital capabilities? What is the skill set of the inside-out Librarian, how can they acquire the necessary skills, and how much discipline specific knowledge do they really need to support the research process? This lightening talk, inspired by 2018 eResearch Australasia’s Bird of a Feather “Upskilling library staff: from zero to heroes”, aims to “ignite" this discussion at eResearch New Zealand and stimulate conversation between Librarians. It will be followed by an informal lunch time gathering of interested attendees who wish to continue the discussion.

Dempsey, L. (2016). Library collections in the life of the user: two directions. LIBER Quarterly, 26(4). doi:10.18352/lq.10170


Shiobhan Smith has over 10 years’ experience working in Libraries and Museums. Prior to being appointed as the University of Otago Library Research Support Unit Manager, Shiobhan was Subject Librarian to a number of Humanities departments including Sociology, Anthropology, Geography, and Theology. As Subject Librarian to the Centre for Sustainability, Shiobhan was involved in the development of the Otago Data Management Planning tool and has an interest in Research Data Management. Shiobhan also has knowledge and skills in Digital Humanities, Bibliometrics, and Information Literacy.

Jo Simons has worked for Libraries and Learning Services (LLS) at the University of Auckland for the past 5 years supporting students, researchers and academics in science and medical disciplines, including a secondment as the PBRF-specialist subject librarian for the Faculty of Science. Prior to her current work Jo received her doctorate in molecular biology, and had a career as a research scientist at the CRIs Plant & Food Research and ESR. Her current role is as one of the Team Leaders of the newly established Research Services group within LLS, and she is interested in establishing effective research support services, and in skills development for the Research advisers and other staff in LLS.


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