Library Support for Research in a University Context

Garner, Imogen
January 2006
IATUL Annual Conference Proceedings;2006, Vol. 16, p36
Conference Proceeding
An increased focus on research within Australian universities, driven by the federal government's research agenda, has heightened interest in the services and resources provided by academic libraries to enhance research within higher education institutions. While academic libraries have always had as part of their mission support for research within the university, what constitutes this support has changed over time. This paper looks at library support for research in the university environment over the past 10-15 years. In evaluating the changing functions of this support for research, examples from Australian university library websites are used to identify current activities. Questions are raised as to whether these activities reflect the evolving functions of traditional libraries or whether fundamental new innovative roles are emerging. Times of change lead to changes in organizational structures and at Curtin University of Technology Library and Information Service (LIS) the Research Services Unit was established in 2005 to drive library support for research within the university. The purpose of the Research Services Unit is to: Proactively support the growth and development of research activities at Curtin University by providing high quality resources, supporting research processes, facilitating scholarly communication and promoting research output. The paper will discuss the main functions of this new unit and how its introduction has strengthened the partnership between the LIS and the academic community. Plans to further this role in support of research are also considered in the context of a higher education landscape where research is becoming a collaborative global activity enabled by the Internet.


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