New Year, New Vision

Welcome from the FAU Libraries to the spring semester, 2017, at Florida Atlantic University.

The Libraries are in the midst of reinventing themselves. The changes will be gradual and may not always be immediately apparent but they will reflect a renewed focus on our students and the faculty who teach and mentor them. We are in the process of realigning our organizational structure and services to position us more strategically and effectively to support the current and future needs of Florida Atlantic University’s students, faculty, and the broader community.

On November 17-18, 2016, all the faculty and staff of the FAU Libraries participated in a strategic planning retreat where we reached consensus on a new Mission statement and nine strategic goals to guide us moving forward. The new Mission statement reflects our commitment to being actively engaged with students and faculty across the various campuses and reads:

As leaders at Florida Atlantic University, we connect people to knowledge and global communities of learning across time and space. Reimagining services and spaces, we enable users to explore, collaborate, educate, and create in their journey toward academic excellence and lifelong learning.

You can learn more about the strategic planning by checking into the Google site dedicated to the effort at: https://sites.google.com/a/faulibs.com/committees/working-groups/strategic-planning

The Libraries’ physical and virtual spaces are also being reinvented. A new website design  will be rolled out in 2017, with an emphasis on ease of finding information quickly and avoiding library jargon. Space utilization is a major area of emphasis, especially in the main Wimberly Library on the Boca Raton campus. In 2016, we opened a new Graduate Student Study Lounge, redesigned the main lobby with FAU branding and new furnishings, and upgraded one of the Wimberly Library’s three computer labs.

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A current project is underway to open up the fifth floor as a multi-purpose study and presentation space, adding 100 more study spaces and also providing new opportunities for students and faculty to present their research in a welcoming environment to their colleagues.

Internally, we are rethinking many of our traditional services to enable us to provide new types of services and programs. Interlibrary Loan (ILL) will be offering several exciting new services this semester to increase  ILL use by undergraduates and also to make it easier for faculty to obtain materials they need. The Interlibrary Loan Department’s Owl Express offers delivery service for Boca Raton faculty to their College’s main office. Deliveries will be made every weekday, excluding holiday closings.

We are also recruiting for an Assistant Dean for Research and Collections to provide strategic vision, policy and program development, and leadership as the Libraries redefine their collections and support for research in the context of emerging trends in scholarly communication, changing formats and access models, shared collections, and new definitions of research collections. The Assistant Dean will contribute to Libraries-wide leadership for innovative program and content development in support of the University’s mission through developing and maintaining strong, user-focused collections (print and electronic) in support of the University’s academic programs at all campuses; strengthening support for and the reliability of Interlibrary Loan services; reviewing and enhancing the role of Government Documents in support of research and academic programs; building, strengthening, and increasing the use of and support for all Special Collections including: Jaffe Center for Book Arts, Recorded Sound Archives, Print Music Collection, Marvin & Sybil Weiner Spirit of America Collection, and University Archives.

There are many more changes underway that are designed to make the Libraries the true heart of Florida Atlantic University. As Dean, I welcome your suggestions and feedback. Drop me a line anytime at hixson@fau.edu

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