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School Library Representatives: role and responsibilities

Each School has a nominated Library Representative(s) who acts as a formal link between the School and the University Library Service (ULS) via their designated Subject Librarian.  

There are three principal elements to the role of Library Representative:

1. Strategy

The University Library Service's purpose is to deliver to the University what it needs in its pursuit of excellence in research and learning and teaching.  As such, it is essential the ULS is aware of the strategic needs of every School so that its library services and information resource provision can be aligned accordingly.  

A key function of the Library Representative, therefore, is to ensure s/he is aware of the strategic needs of the School (and its associated research groups and centres) and to fully represent those needs to the ULS via the School's designated Subject Librarian.  

2. Communication

The communication function of the Library Representative is to:

i. Ascertain library-related requirements from the School community and to ensure that those requirements are represented to the ULS via their Subject Librarian

ii. Disseminate information from the Subject Librarian or ULS regarding library services and information resource provision in a timely manner

iii. Discuss with their Subject Librarian major developments and innovations within the School which will require collaboration between the School and the library and/or will impact on demand for library services and information resources.  Examples include: new courses or modules, new areas of research and grant applications

iv. Work in partnership with the Subject Librarian to represent library matters at relevant School Committees on behalf of or alongside the designated Subject Librarian.

3. Consultation

The third main element to the role of the Library Representative is to act as a point of consultation for the Subject Librarian concerning the management and development of the collections and library services provided for the School in accordance with the available library budget.  

Key responsibilities include:

  • Providing input into the School's biennial Collection Management and Development Agreement. This document is developed by the Subject Librarian in consultation with the School and outlines the respective responsibilities of the Library Representative and Subject Librarian, sets down principles regarding how the collection is managed and identifies areas for future collection development
  • Assisting with reviews of subscription commitments
  • Advising on School priorities in relation to the library budget.