The Academic Services Division is concerned with building relationships with the Library's various user communities to help them to connect with information, support and their communities to enhance Warwick's learning, research and teaching. The Division is made up of seven key wings/areas of activity:
1) Academic Support (Teaching and Learning)
Led by the Academic Support Manager (Teaching and Learning), this team comprises the Library's Academic Support Librarians (ASLs) who are our main contact point with students and staff in the academic departments. The ASLs are highly valued by the academy and were commended in the University’s recent Institutional Teaching and Learning Review. The team liaises with academic colleagues over course developments, information support and resource provision. The ASLs provide information skills teaching and enquiry support both in person and (increasingly) virtually.
The team is working with academic staff to develop the 'Student as Researcher' programme and other approaches to further embed information and research skills into the curriculum in a relevant and consistent manner throughout the undergraduate lifecycle.
In the last few years the Library has adopted the Talis Aspire Reading List software. The team is working with academic departments to embed this in workflows to aid academic colleagues and improve the student experience.
A recent initiative led by the ASLs has been to develop a team of Library Associates, students who will provide us with a greater understanding of student needs in particular subject disciplines and help the Library to build targeted collections and services.
2) The Modern Records Centre
The Modern Records Centre ‐ or MRC ‐ is the University's archive. It holds world renowned collections related specifically to industrial relations and (more widely) modern British society. Its 14 km of stock includes the archives of the TUC and CBI as well as the papers of several prominent figures in trade union, industrial and political history.
The archive is consulted by scholars the world over, Warwick's research, teaching and undergraduate communities, as well as visitors from the general public interested in discovering their family history. The MRC supports embedded undergraduate programmes and Student as Researcher activities.
Over the last few years extensive work has been carried out to digitise collections. Some have been of international significance (including collections on the Spanish Civil War) whilst others have been digitized to enrich Warwick's teaching modules.
The Division hosts two Community Engagement teams. The teams work with specific communities to provide targeted services, including offerings around skills development, wellbeing support and initiatives to foster a greater sense of belonging.
3) Community Engagement (Postgraduate)
This team works closely with Warwick's postgraduate taught (PGT) and postgraduate research (PGR) communities, assisting students through the various stages of their lifecycle. Activities range from induction support (and helping diverse groups feel at home in Warwick), through to ‘On Track’, which has a focus on peer‐delivered support, but also brings agencies from across the campus together to support students in their progression. Recent initiatives include a PG mentoring scheme and ‘Postgrad Realities’, an online wellbeing tool aimed at our PhD students. Services are delivered virtually as well as face‐to‐face through the Wolfson Research Exchange and Postgrad Hub.
4) Community Engagement (Undergraduate & Teaching)
Growing out of work previously undertaken through the Library's four Learning Grids (the original Grid in University House; the BioMed Grid at Gibbet Hill; Learning Grid Leamington in Leamington Town Hall and Learning Grid Rootes in the Rootes Building on campus) and the Teaching Grid.
This team works to enhance the student experience by working with academic colleagues to support innovative teaching and by working directly with undergraduates themselves. The latter ranges from support with academic skills development (including peerto‐peer feedback on presentations and expert help with multimedia technologies) to assistance with wellbeing.
The team’s 'Study Happy' programme, which brings together the University’s support agencies to assist students along their student journey, has a national reputation and has appeared in the professional press and conference papers.
5) Academic Services Development
Supporting the work of all of these teams is the Academic Services Development wing. This is the 'research and development' unit of the Division. Staff work with colleagues across Academic Services to assess their service development needs, actively scan the environment for initiatives that we could usefully adopt, and develop services that can be rolled out across the Division to provide both new offerings and a greater consistency of service in an efficient manner.
6) Marketing & Communications
The Division is also the home of the Marketing and Communications Officer. This post covers the management of the Library's marketing functions, Library communications (including management of the Library's vibrant and growing social media presence) and the coordination of programmes and events, including hosting visits from professional colleagues across the globe who visit the Library to learn more about its spaces and services.
7) Widening Participation
The Library’s Outreach and Widening Participation Officer supports the MRC in its outreach programmes to Warwick students and staff, local organisations and the wider community. This role also coordinates Library and MRC widening participation activities, working with local schools and colleagues across the institution to help the University fulfill its strategic ambitions around inclusion.
The Division is managed by Ant Brewerton, Head of Academic Services.