Visit to University of Warwick Library: Researcher Support – Diane
Like Frodo, I packed my rucksack and took water and lembas bread for my trip to University of Warwick Library at Gibbet Hill. Before my voyage, I did my research and discovered I was headed to Coventry rather than Warwick. I was brave and fearless and even managed to use the local bus service to the campus and back.
Like many other Universities, Warwick University Library was restructured into 3 divisions (Client Services, Academic Services and Digital Services) in 2009. Client Services supports general enquiries, roaming and customer service; Academic Services supports teaching & learning, learning spaces, subjects and research and Digital includes Archives, e-access and cataloguing and the Institutional repository (WRAP). WRAP is 5 years old, large and has 53,000 items, 8,200 of which are full text. The entries in WRAP are quality control checked by Library staff to make them as accurate as possible. A good thing about Academic Services is that they have research & development staff with technical skills who design amazing module templates for Academic Services staff to use, this is easier than trying to make Moodle look good yourself. .
The Library webpages have recently been redesigned http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/library
The Library research staff pages cover 3 main areas: Disseminate (open access), Collaborate (Research Exchange, Research Match etc) , Consult (getting published) http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/staff/research/
Warwick has learning spaces called grids eg the Teaching grid which is a collaborative space for academics and researchers who teach and Learning Grids which are flexible group study spaces on different sites with advisers. The Library manages these spaces and Library staff sometimes work in them.
The Research Exchange is a research community and network for Postgraduate and Early Career Researchers.
The Postgraduate Hub is a new work and study facility for all postgraduate taught and research students. is a new work and study facility for all postgraduate taught and research students.
Research Match (Currently being relaunched) enables researchers to find University of Warwick researchers with similar research interests, and start new interdisciplinary collaborations.
These booths are apparently the students’ favourite furniture.
Library Researcher Development takes place within the context of the wider University and the Library is willing to collaborate with other departments such as Careers & Skills and the Graduate School to have a presence in their skills programmes.
Some of my experiences (in no particular order) were: Different spaces with branding in different places both online and physical seem to be successful at Warwick. The strong branding and identities seem to enable the formation of communities. The Library spaces outreach into areas such as the Leamington campus, some spaces are multi-purpose, Library space during term time, conference and exhibition space in the summer. The University benefits from having an Arts’ Centre where events can be held. It’s great to meet colleagues in other Universities and see what other institutions are doing and I’ve found colleagues to be really friendly and helpful. Other things of note: there is a shop in Coventry that sells roasted pig’s ears and I have now been on a pendolino train.