UW Libraries Blog

February 2, 2019

A team-based approach to supporting UW research and learning needs

Chelle Batchelor

Research & Learning Services staff discuss Libraries Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan discussions at the Research and Learning Services All-Staff meeting, September 13, 2018

To enhance our support for faculty and student research, teaching, and learning, UW Libraries Research & Learning Services embarked in 2018 on a significant restructuring of staff reporting relationships. Directly aligned with the Libraries strategic goal of transforming working practices to enable collaboration and efficiency, the portfolio now functions across 5 departments:

  • Responsible for circulation services, library accounts, interlibrary loan and document delivery, Access Services now also directly involves branch libraries staff to share in the staffing and operations at the Art, Built Environments, Drama, Engineering, Foster Business, Music, and Math Libraries. The move has expanded opportunities for branch staff to gain experience in other libraries, to collaborate across campus, and to share the work of scheduling, training, and communication.
  • With the newly defined Research Services department, the Seattle upper-campus humanities, social sciences, and sciences librarians now convene in teams to improve collections and services that align with interdisciplinary needs. The newly defined department also encompasses physical and virtual information and reference services, Friday Harbor Library, Government Publications, Maps, Microforms and Newspapers, the Media Arcade, and the Research Commons.
  • Learning Services brings together the Libraries’ student success endeavors, curricular instruction and basic research-help functions, instructional design and outreach for professional and continuing education programs, and Odegaard Undergraduate Library’s access and building services.
  • With nearly two years in operation, Scholarly Communication & Publishing is responsible for copyright, electronic theses and dissertations, open access initiatives, research data, digital scholarship, and outreach to Libraries staff and the University on matters relating to scholarly publishing.
  • The form and function of Information Technology Services & Digital Strategies hasn’t changed as a result of the recent reorganization, but the department has embarked on key priority projects that will establish more predictability and sustainability for delivering IT support and facilitating Libraries projects.

While the new RLS structure has been in place for some time, we still feel like we are in the early stages, getting acclimated to new reporting relationships and refocusing on new and emerging student and faculty needs. Through these new ways of working, we aim to expand our support for student learning, emerging forms of scholarship, and researcher workflows.