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Academic Engagement: Home


For academic engagement contact details, please see our list of contacts by faculty group, under the Contact Us section of our Welcome Guide.

Selecting books

Academic Engagement Librarians work in partnership with academic staff to purchase and develop the print, electronic and audio visual collections. 

The form of partnership will differ. For some disciplines our librarians have an active role in ordering and updating stock, in others the majority of selection is carried out by academic staff. Partnership extends to monitoring, where the Academic Engagement Librarians monitor the budget allocation in collaboration with academic staff.

In all cases the Library provides:

  • Advice on locating references
  • Pre-order checking and reporting
  • Ordering and receipting
  • Cataloguing, classifying and processing
  • Early alerts on heavily used stock
  • Ordering for second-hand dealers' lists
  • Advice on applying for funds from the Library Strategic Fund
  • Monitoring reports on expenditure
  • Books on approval (ONLY at the National Oceanographic Library).

Maintaining a balanced budget and a balanced collection is a challenge. Purchasing policy should take into account:

  • Start-up requirements for new programmes and developing research interests
  • Maintaining a balanced collection between teaching and research material, and different subject areas
  • Interdisciplinary links 
  • The number of copies likely to be required
  • The loan period, either long loan, 1 week or Course Collection (overnight)

To speed up the ordering service we ask you to send any orders to It takes on average 4 weeks for us to receive items and therefore to avoid disappointment we need orders as early as possible.

Communication and feedback

Communication and feedback

The Library has designated Academic Engagement Librarians who work in partnership with academic staff to develop services in support of learning and teaching. For larger academic units or faculties there may be more than one Academic Engagement Librarian, each having a specific responsibility for a cross-disciplinary area or a particular discipline or set of programmes. 

The Academic Engagement Librarians are the primary contact for the Academic Units or Faculties; they provide:

  • Advice and support for the development of the collections, printed and electronic
  • Advice and support for the design and development of services to support students and staff
  • Pre-planning for the resource implications of new programmes
  • Support for budget monitoring
  • Information skills programmes for students, including induction, Skills for Success workshops, group and one-to-one tutorial support
  • Support for external audits and quality assurance
  • A link with other services within the Library

The Library is keen to encourage integration of the Academic Engagement Librarians within  Academic Units or Faculties through representation on appropriate committees and working groups and informal contacts. A good understanding of strategic plans, programme development and research focus is particularly valuable.

Site and collection support services

With the exception of the Hartley Library, each of the four site libraries has a site manager who is responsible for the development of services.  At the Hartley Library there are managers responsible for different service areas, some of which cover the whole Library. Representatives are welcome to contact any of these staff as appropriate. The Library operates as an interlinking network and we are happy to take responsibility for moving any query to an appropriate person. The Librarian and Deputy Librarian are part of this network.


The Library always values feedback on its services. We collect feedback through a variety of sources:

  • Individual feedback from the feedback webpage link and from suggestion slips (
  • University surveys
  • Unit and programme evaluations, audits, academic feedback from working parties and committees, and strategic reviews

We are keen to respond promptly by resolving problems and incorporating improvements into working practice. In some cases the issues raised are more complex, and may require changes in policy or additional resources to bring about improvements. In these cases we will review options as part of our strategic and operational planning process.

Information skills training and subject support

Information skills training and subject support

Information skills cover the whole range of activities associated with searching for, and retrieving information.  Experience shows that joint working between the Library and academic staff in designing and delivering skills training as part of the curriculum is valued both by students and staff.

Topics include:

  • Using and evaluating electronic databases and journals
  • Searching the Web for quality resources
  • Keeping up-to-date with the latest information
  • Use of bibliographic software
  • Citation searching
  • Advanced database searching

Library staff can offer a range of approaches:

  • Induction and orientation
  • Self-guided tours and quizzes
  • Introductory skills sessions for new students
  • Advance sessions for dissertation preparation
  • Workshops within the Gradschool programme
  • New staff/staff refresher sessions, either individually or in groups
  • Self-paced learning packages and links to electronic resource guides

Your Academic Engagement Librarian will be pleased to discuss how we can best contribute our experience and knowledge to support your students' learning.