Week 11 – Why Removing Academic Support From Libraries Is A Horrible Mistake

This week’s Twitter chat was an interesting one, one I happened to be one of the myraid to Twitter chat champions for. For this week, I’ll be discussing the idea that the focus on academic research support is compromising libraries’ support when it comes to teaching and learning.

What sort of argument is THAT meant to be?!

Research fulfils both learning and teaching – learning by reading from previously published literature, and teaching by coming to new conclusions. In that regard, Kylie’s tweet regarding research support is apt here, as she states that research support is important as universities benefit from better research through the help of librarians. If research support was removed from, say, QUT’s Library, exactly where would all our major project researcher students and staff go when they need help with search queries and the like? Lisa follows up with this by saying that researchers can very much benefit from librarians’ skills in finding information. That right there is already enough evidence to tell you that this ‘argument’, that research support is compromising the ideals of teaching and learning, is UTTER GARBAGE.

Further debunking this ridiculous excuse of a ‘topic’ is Jasmine’s tweet. Now, she does say that many specialised librarians were originally academics and researchers, but I still feel that her point is apt here. Librarians, specialised or not, are still ver much capable of not hampering, but encouraging learning and teaching by guiding researchers onto the right path when they carry out their projects. The last post I would like to point out here is Heidi’s post, in which she says that ready access to librarians could grant more people PhDs, which further enforces the idea that research support will only serve to enhance the knowledge bases of the people who libraries are supposed to help.

Really, this was an easy one to argue against – removing research support would not only severely hurt the idea of libraries, it would put us even further behind the times!

Comments 1

  • I think that it’s a bit rich to try to huddle all librarians under one umbrella. It’s a little like saying all nurses perform similar duties. There’s a niche for everyone – it’s important to follow that passion. Stepping into the library arena right now is so exciting because there literally are hundreds of pathways to explore. Research, data management, academic learning support, research management, liaison, information literacy education and database instruction are just a few of the options available.
    I agree, Paul, that removing research librarians from academic library would leave somewhat of a void as their expertise in accessing and retrieving specialist information would be sorely missed by researchers and early career librarians.
    We’re in the business of learning, teaching, guiding and instructing internal and external stakeholders in the pursuit of knowledge and we’re also under pressure to provide information services that people want, when they want it. The foundational knowledge of experienced information professionals, such as research librarians, helps to make this all possible.

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