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Involving the community - engaging students in taking academic libraries forward

Call for Papers

Abstract Deadline: 5 August 2019

Guest Editors

Olaf Eigenbrodt, State and University Library Hamburg, Germany

Karen Latimer, formerly Queen’s University Belfast, UK

New Review of Academic Librarianship

The New Review of Academic Librarianship publishes reviews, research, critiques and exemplar case studies on substantive topics relevant to those providing library and information services to academic communities.

Language: en-US

Publisher: tandf

Visit Journal

Since the 1990s digitisation and associated rapid changes in library resources, services, spaces, and infrastructures have led to a new focus on users’ needs and wishes with libraries adopting a more demand-oriented perspective.  User surveys and interviews as tools for establishing users’ needs have existed for a long time and these have gradually been complemented by ethnographic and other anthropological methods.  Observing and surveying users remain the most common ways of establishing what they need and are useful methods in looking at library services and design from a user perspective.  Such an approach produces helpful information about current services but is less helpful in predicting future demands.

During the last decade librarians have learned from other fields (such as IT, design, architecture, and urban planning) that involving the community in the design of new services, spaces, and infrastructures requires new ways of interaction.  First adopted by public libraries, user driven design and participatory or co-design are becoming increasingly popular among academic libraries worldwide. This is  part of a wider strategic plan to encourage innovation through involving students and faculty as well as achieving goals relating to enhancing usability, designing new services and resources, and planning library buildings and spaces.

The themed issue will focus on developments in student engagement for organisational change as well as services, infrastructures, and spaces in academic libraries. Proposed papers could be reports of empirical investigations, reviews of emergent practices, academic contributions, or reflective single or multi-site case studies. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Methodology;
  • Students and faculty as collaborators;
  • Community engagement;
  • Participatory design / co-design;
  • Institutional challenges in student engagement in a HE-context;
  • Library spaces reflecting student engagement;
  • Trends in engaging students;
  • Critique of student engagement as a marketing tool.

Submission guidelines

The deadline for abstract submission is 5 August 2019.

Proposals should be submitted as extended abstracts of around 500 words (excluding references) and cover the background and purpose of the innovation or initiative, the approach used to investigate the subject (e.g., survey, case-study report), a brief description of the innovation, and the key findings and insights gained, highlighting learning points for academic libraries. Please send your abstract as an email attachment to olaf.eigenbrodt@sub.uni-hamburg.de.

Abstracts will be evaluated by members of the Editorial Board against the following criteria:

  • connection and relevance to the issue theme
  • originality and significance of the innovation described
  • explanation of the rationale for the innovation
  • potential impact on professional thinking and practice
  • clarity and coherence of the written submission

Proposers will be sent feedback by mid-September 2019. Authors of accepted abstracts will be expected to submit full papers (5,000-7,000 words) by Monday, January 6, 2020.