A ground-breaking book which examines the world of digital librarianship has been edited by two senior members of the Edge Hill Learning Services team.
Alison Mackenzie and Lindsey Martin, Dean and Assistant Head of Learning Services, have collected chapters from thought leaders across the world which look at how the digital environment has impacted on the role of the librarian in Mastering Digital Librarianship, Strategy, networking and discovery in academic libraries.
The book, which includes the use of social media and digital identities, also features a chapter by the University’s Academic Liaison Officer Rachel Bury and Customer Services Manager Helen Jamieson about how digital technology is shaping organisational change.
Alison was initially approached by Facet Publishing to put together the book after spotting a blog by her on the Guardian Higher Education Network. She knew immediately that Lindsey should jointly edit the book as between them they have high profiles within the professional sector and both are involved in relevant committees and projects.
Alison explained, “Edge Hill library has a good reputation within the profession and we are known for doing things quickly and ahead of the curve. One of the big changes within the last two years has been the increased use of internet on mobile phones and tablets. That has been a big game changer and we have had to get staff comfortable with this technology and encourage them to engage with our customers and have meaningful discussions with them.
“The subject matter of the book is moving into new territory for us and the people we were writing with, but has the advantage that we are able to collect the best practice examples from experts across the world and use them here at Edge Hill to stay up to date with new developments.”
The concept of the digital library is not new, but a book featuring a collection of articles from experts specifically about the implications for librarians is thought to be the first of its kind. The book includes examination of digital identities, communications and marketing and mobilisation of libraries within the digital environment.
It also looks at global perspectives and the different tactics people are using to tackle these challenges within academic libraries.
Lindsey added: “The role of the librarian now is more about relationship management and having conversations with our customers, but also the conversations our customers are having in their own communities about our resources and how to use our services. It’s less about people coming to us in person and asking about books.”
Based on the experience of their first book, the pair has now started work on a follow up which examines how to demonstrate value and impact of the digital librarianship approach and methods for measuring success in a cultural and political context.