Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Library and Faculty Research

An interesting comment turned up recently in the LibQual+ survey:

Non support of faculty research in library budget is unacceptable.

This is something we hear from time to time from faculty, particularly faculty who are newer to the University, and it is a comment that concerns us greatly. Of course, we do everything we can within our resources to support faculty research. Research is an important component of the requirements faculty must meet for tenure and promotion. Faculty research is also an important part of the teaching mission of the university. A faculty member who is not engaged in the research of his or her discipline is going to be challenged to teach students effectively.

That being said, however, we cannot support faculty research at the same level that a large research library does. Carmichael Library's mission is to support the University's curriculum. (Our mission statement can be found here:

Supporting faculty research is part of that of our mission, but it is not our primary focus. With limited resources, difficult choices have to be made. If we are evaluating a book for purchase, a journal title for subscription, or a database for licensing, we have to consider the audience that resource will serve. We will generally select those resources that we feel will be useful to both students and faculty. Since we cannot get everything our faculty need, we try to use services like Interlibrary Loan and consortial agreements to find what they need in a timely way.

I will gladly meet with any individual faculty memeber to discuss his or her particular research concerns.

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