Better Understanding Librarians' Needs

© Springer

Springer Nature recently hosted a one-day workshop entitled “Understanding Librarians.” This event was facilitated by Michael Levine-Clark, a librarian who works with a consultancy that helps publishers and librarians navigate their commonalities and differences.

As a trusted partner with academic libraries around the world, Springer Nature remains focused on understanding how libraries function and how librarians make decisions. This event, held on October 1, 2015, allowed sales and marketing staff to learn directly from librarians about their day-to-day work, frustrations, expectations, and experiences.

The participants included four e-resources librarians, two heads of collection development, and an acquisitions librarian, who together were able to provide perspectives on high-level decision-making as well as the nitty-gritty of daily work. The day included several panel discussions about a range of topics, with two particularly engaging conversations about the use of library consortia in licensing and the evolving role of serials vendors. Breakout groups allowed for deeper discussion of e-resources management and selection and acquisition.

Following an initial presentation on common mistakes publishers make in dealing with libraries, there were discussions about workflow surrounding acquisitions processes, working with a knowledge base, managing record loads, and troubleshooting e-resources access problems. Together, these presentations provided an overview of the complexities of daily work for librarians, and led to a lively conversation.

At the close of the day Springer Nature staff had a greater understanding of how libraries function, why librarians make particular decisions, and most importantly, how to communicate with librarians across a range of functions.

Special thanks to:
Jeff Carroll, Columbia University
Nancy Egan, City University of New York
Erin Finnerty, Temple University Libraries
Rachel Fleming, Appalachian State University
Jenifer Holman, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
Bill Maltarich, New York University
John McDonald, USC Libraries

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