Guest Post – Dawn Emsellem, Director of Library Services

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NewDirector

Greetings Salve Community,

When I was appointed library director in July, McKillop Library’s talented staff had already set a course for the coming year that incorporates what we believe are the most exciting developments on the horizon in academic libraries. These are our areas of focus for the coming year.

Information Literacy
Our students are constantly navigating a complex, dynamic information environment. New forms of media arise quickly and become major conveyors of information. While we recognize that faculty are the appropriate people to teach students the types of advanced research skills they need within their discipline, we at the library see ourselves as responsible for helping Salve Regina students develop the dispositions and habits of mind to function skillfully and ethically in this environment. This set of skills is what we call information literacy. One of our major goals is to work closely with faculty and other campus divisions to appropriately integrate information literacy into the life of the university, throughout the curriculum and student life. We look forward to working across campus in support of the university’s goal to improve the level of academic excellence at Salve Regina.

Advanced Collections and Search Tools
The purpose of McKillop Library’s collections is to support the curriculum, and we’re grateful to faculty members for continuing to request materials that support teaching and student research. Within the limits of the library budget, we seek out new resources and research tools to support our community’s research needs. We also monitor new developments in librarianship to offer our community the latest search tools and instruction on how to use them. Our new catalog is an example of this.

Digital Scholarship
Digital scholarship is a major area of growth on campuses nationwide, with libraries, faculty, and students developing collaborative projects that engage students in the scholarly conversation, create new modes of scholarly communication and interdisciplinary research, and showcase the intellectual production of their universities. The library is piloting several projects with faculty that we hope will develop into opportunities for faculty and students to share their research, creating spaces where others can access their ideas and data and develop new interpretations.

Civic Engagement
Libraries are traditionally spaces where citizens come together to investigate, debate, and discuss challenging ideas. We already serve as a major community space on campus, and we hope to develop more programs, events, and displays that provide space for fostering civic engagement.

I’m excited to take on the challenge of this new role at McKillop Library and looking forward to working with all of you.

Sincerely,
Dawn Emsellem

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