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Journal cover: Reference Services Review

Reference Services Review

ISSN: 0090-7324

Online from: 1973

Subject Area: Library and Information Studies

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Changing roles of reference librarians: the case of the HKUST Institutional Repository


Document Information:
Title:Changing roles of reference librarians: the case of the HKUST Institutional Repository
Author(s):Diana L.H. Chan, (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Library, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong), Catherine S.Y. Kwok, (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Library, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong), Steve K.F. Yip, (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Library, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong)
Citation:Diana L.H. Chan, Catherine S.Y. Kwok, Steve K.F. Yip, (2005) "Changing roles of reference librarians: the case of the HKUST Institutional Repository", Reference Services Review, Vol. 33 Iss: 3, pp.268 - 282
Keywords:Academic libraries, Archiving, Electronic publishing, Knowledge management, Librarians, Reference services
Article type:Case study
DOI:10.1108/00907320510611302 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Abstract:

Purpose – This paper proposes describing how reference librarians in an academic library recruit content for its institutional repository, and how their roles have been changed in the process.

Design/methodology/approach – This paper describes the background on how institutional repositories have developed in response to the open access movement. The case of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) Institutional Repository is described in detail, showing different strategies that reference librarians employed in recruiting content. The strategies include encouraging researchers to self-archive papers, scanning web sites, capturing pre-existing collections of grey literature, and downloading from open access sources.

Findings – The paper illustrates how the roles of reference librarians are changed in the process of building the institutional repository. There are extensions of existing roles in terms of system evaluation, advocacy and reference services. Brand new roles include content recruitment and interpreting publishers' policies. It also points out possible directions which can make the repository sustainable.

Practical implications – The paper provides a very useful case study to which other academic libraries may refer when they plan to develop their own institutional repositories.

Originality/value – This paper provides in-depth descriptions on the changing roles of reference librarians not covered in previous literature. Discussions on policies, strategies, barriers and challenges will have reference value for academic libraries who want to embark on a similar project.



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