From the University Librarian
Reinventing the UCI Libraries
At the UCI Libraries, we are embracing the changes brought on by the information revolution by transforming our collections, services, and facilities to best meet the needs of our users. Here are just some of the ways we are reinventing the Libraries:
Expanding Digital Collections
The Libraries’ collections are the foundation of UCI's excellence in research and teaching. As you might expect, the Libraries is no longer simply a repository for physical books. Each year we are rapidly increasing the number of e-books and electronic journals in our general collections so they may be accessed by computer, tablet or smartphone anywhere, anytime.
In the same way, Special Collections and Archive is implementing new initiatives to digitize many of their collections so they are accessible to researchers throughout the world. This involves scanning material and adding descriptive information to facilitate their discovery and access online. Please click here to read about an exciting new digital project.
Innovative Reference Services
Our librarians investigate and implement new technologies to connect our users to information in innovative ways. For many years, our students have had access to reference help 24 hours a day, seven day a week, through in-person, email, live chat, and texting sources. Recently, we have implemented Google+ Hangouts that allows librarians to share computer screens with students in remote locations to help them find the information and answers they need more quickly and conveniently. Please read more about this new service here.
21st Century Learning Centers
Academic research libraries across the nation are being reinvented to support new ways of learning where collaborative work is increasingly the norm. At UCI, we are renovating library spaces to leverage new technologies that enhance the learning experience and facilitate group work. You can read more about such renovations here.
While technology allows virtual access to library collections, our students, faculty, staff, and community users continue to come into our four facilities in significant numbers, with over 1.8 million visits last year. We average 5,400 visitors a day so we are like Grand Central Station—or maybe we should call ourselves “Information Central”. Clearly, the Libraries is still very much a vital community space for contemplative study and collaborative work.
Last but not least, the Libraries support the entire research lifecycle, from the initial point of helping identify a research topic to the end point of publishing and disseminating the scholarly research output. Today, most scholarship is in digital form or “born digital.” In response, the Libraries have created many new services, including UCIspace @ the Libraries, data management plans, a web archiving service, and UC eScholarship, to help faculty and students publish, manage, and preserve their digital scholarship.
As you can see, we are reinventing our collections, services and facilities for today’s sophisticated users. Many of these examples are just the beginning of the fascinating changes going on at the UCI Libraries. We invite you to learn more and find out how you can be a part of these exciting developments.
Our partnerships with our supporters and friends are a wonderful opportunity to create together a 21st century research library at UCI; one that is constantly transforming and adding value to the information and cultural resources we provide to the campus and community.
Please join us!