Fostering engagement with academic communities of practice: a new role for librarians

Cattlin, Joann; Mercieca, Paul

National 2016 Conference, 29 August-2 September 2016 Adelaide: Engage Create Lead.
[Peer reviewed] This conference paper explores how academic librarians are under pressure to continually adapt services and resources to meet the changing needs of academic staff and students and respond to the wider availability of unmediated digital information (Jaguszewski & Williams, 2013). Many university libraries are responding by pursuing new methods of client engagement by providing more targeted and personalised library services (Tiffen & England, 2011). This paper presents findings from a small study of the information seeking approaches of 13 academics teaching mathematics in a range of Australian universities. It finds that while academics have direct access to more information than ever before, they are also time poor, face many challenges as teachers and are under increasing pressure to change their approaches to teaching. Findings suggest that communities of practice could be effective in supporting access to information about teaching. Librarians have the opportunity to foster such communities and to support the information gathering and sharing of the communities of practice. 

Deakin, ACT : Australian Library and Information Association