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Faculty use of the campus library

Libraries making case for usefulness to faculty, in both teaching and scholarship
University Business, October 2016
Incorporating the local: A four-story atrium in Salisbury University’s 224,000-square-foot, $117 million library features a grand staircase with the silhouette of Chesapeake Bay crabs that was designed to echo colors of the nearby ocean.
Incorporating the local: A four-story atrium in Salisbury University’s 224,000-square-foot, $117 million library features a grand staircase with the silhouette of Chesapeake Bay crabs that was designed to echo colors of the nearby ocean.

While 98 percent of librarians in a 2015 Gale/Library Journal survey wished for better communication with faculty, only 45 percent of faculty expressed the same wish.

This gap presents both a challenge and an opportunity for libraries to make a case for their usefulness to faculty, in both their teaching and scholarship.

To promote faculty use of the library, Salisbury University in Maryland created a dedicated Faculty Center, including comfortable spaces and conference rooms to foster interaction among professors and instructors across disciplines.

At the University of Notre Dame, the Center for Digital Scholarship supports digital humanities work by giving faculty access to technology and expertise.

Despite the disconnect over communications, libraries still see faculty coming “in droves,” says Julie Todaro, president of the American Library Association.

In her library at Austin Community College in Texas, professors frequently meet with students, book small meeting rooms and use high-end technology to teach all or part of class.

“Faculty are often teaching or working remotely, so they appreciate a location where they can get access to a great deal of technology and meet with their students in one stop,” Todaro says. “We just don’t see that going away.”

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