Monash University Library Annual Report 2008

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2008 in review

Cathrine Harboe-Ree, University Librarian

2008 was a year of significant completions, commencements and consolidation. Monash University Library now combines traditional, highly valued roles with roles that extend its contribution to the University. The new roles include learning skills, institutional repository management, publishing and research data management coordination and support. Traditional roles have in many cases been transformed in response to technological, pedagogical and research changes and opportunities, so that collections are as likely to be licensed as acquired and learning spaces bear little resemblance to the original inflexible facilities.

Upgrading the Library's physical facilities remains one of our highest priorities. A major refurbishment of the CL Butchers Pharmacy Library at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences campus in Parkville was completed in 2008 as part of the ongoing strategy to improve the Library's physical facilities and learning spaces. Works to upgrade staff and learning spaces were undertaken at several other sites, and in some cases this included installation of new technologies to support videoconferencing between campuses for staff communication and student learning activities. Some of these works also contributed to the consolidation of the successful establishment of the Learning Skills Unit in the Library in 2007. Planning for several other major building projects is continuing.

For the last five years the Library has led the national ARROW (Australian Research Repositories Online to the World) project, which concluded at the end of 2008. The project's primary objective was to build a new repository management solution for Australian universities, and to make the research material stored in those repositories discoverable both nationally and internationally. The project oversaw the development of a software platform, tools, knowledge and advice on all aspects of managing digital research outputs. Counted among the successes of the project are the establishment of an active repository community and the development by the National Library of Australia of a national discovery service. ARROW has given way to the Australian National Data Service (ANDS), which is a major new, federally funded project whose goal is to deliver greater access to Australia's research data assets in forms that support easier and more effective data use and reuse. During 2008 Monash University led the ANDS Establishment Project, in collaboration with the Australian National University (ANU) and CSIRO, and is continuing its lead role as ANDS commences its activities.

The Monash University ePress was founded in 2003 as an initiative that would lead the way in using innovative information technology to publish scholarly material. A developmental review of the ePress was undertaken in 2008 and strategies to implement the recommendations will be developed in 2009 to ensure that the ePress continues to build its role in the University as a platform for scholarly communication.

Growth and development of the Library's collections was reflected by expenditure of over $16 million on resources, 56% of which was used in the acquisition of electronic resources. Use of physical and virtual resources increased following initiatives to extend systems, services and training provided by the Library as part of its Resource Discovery Framework strategy. This year over 3.6 million visits were made to the Library's branches and over 7 million transactions were logged on electronic resources.

The Library is playing an increasing role supporting the management of research data and the new Research Data Management Coordinator position in the Library, thought to be the first such appointment in an Australian library, is a key strategy in this area. Supporting this role, a new project was launched in which contact librarians and other specialist library staff are working with faculty and research teams to extend outreach associated with research data management, the ePress and the ARROW Repository.

Senior appointments in learning skills, information literacy, document delivery and branch management have contributed to continuing development and change in all Library areas. Workshops in values and behaviours, the establishment of a mentoring scheme and evolution of a professional development framework have been features of staff development during the year. Visits made by staff to and from the campuses in South Africa and Malaysia continued the support and development of staff and facilities at these important remote campuses in their formative years.

In presenting this report to Academic Board I would like to thank the University for its ongoing support of the Library, particularly its sustained commitment to the development of a strong collection, and Library staff for being consummate professionals and a joy to work with.

As well as this overview, the Annual Report contains full details of 2008 priorities and progress against the 2008 Strategic Plan, together with the following appendices:

  1. Statistics
  2. Key Performance Indicators
  3. Visitors
  4. Publications, presentations and memberships
  5. Library Comittees
  6. Selected new resources

Download the full report (PDF, 1.29 MB)