The ACRL Research Planning and Review Committee periodically identifies some of the top trends impacting academic libraries. One trend that may come as little surprise to those affiliated with academic libraries are staffing concerns. While it may not be an exciting topic of conversation, the reality is that there is tremendous pressure on academic libraries to be resourceful – both in the ways that they serve the academic community as well as from a financial perspective.
As the technology landscape is changing, so too are the demands placed on academic libraries. Students are relying less and less on traditional research avenues and technological innovation has made it extremely easy to find extremely unreliable information. So while some may question the degree of prominence that libraries warrant in the new digital age, people intimately familiar with the research process know that libraries will always play a critical role in the learning process.
With financial pressures looming, it is not uncommon for libraries to need to cut resources or databases to meet budgetary restrictions. With usage statistics not up to snuff or students relying more and more on their own independent, but often inadequate, research, it may be hard to justify expenditures. The same may go for staffing, as it may be hard to support as many librarians as may be ideal. But more easy accessibility to information does not necessarily mean that students are no longer in need of libraries and librarians – research competency often suffers from this increasing reliance on independence.
However, there is a way that you can help improve your students’ research literacy, see greater usage of your resources, and make certain that your staff’s time is most effectively utilized: a custom library-branded mobile app with Boopsie. As students utilize the handheld devices they already spend so much of their time on to access your library – they will be able to conduct effective scholarly research with greater ease. This will decrease research frustration, reduce the likelihood of research abandonment, and cause your usage statistics to skyrocket – all further solidifying your library’s role as a critical component of the academic institution.
Your students’ increased engagement with the campus library system can help draw them to the library more frequently and putting your library’s brand and features one icon tap away will keep you in the forefront of their mind. Furthermore, the simplicity of the app interface will enable your students to easily contact you via whatever email, call, text, or chat functions you can accomodate. This means that you can quickly field questions and move on to your next task. Not to mention – the improved user experience in the palm of your students’ hand means that conducting quality research will become so intuitive that many things that might have otherwise confused a student are now perfectly clear.
At the end of the day, a great mobile strategy is an excellent way to make sure that you’re getting the most bang for your buck with your subscriptions, most effectively serving your students, and maximizing the usefulness of your staff – all while increasing your library’s relevance. Contact Boopsie for more information about how a library-branded mobile app can help you be more efficient. Register for one of our academic library webinars here.