by Steven Bell, Associate University Librarian
On Tuesday, August 8, 2017, 24 Temple University Libraries staff members made their way to Newark, Delaware for a visit to the University of Delaware Morris Library. The annual summer library visit is somewhat of a Temple Libraries tradition and this was our seventh visit since we first traveled to Rutgers Library in 2008. We were greeted at Morris Library with a variety of food and beverage before settling in for a welcome from Library Dean Trevor Dawes.
Our colleagues at UD have experienced considerable change in the last few years, from a series of renovations to multiple retirements and quite a few recent new hires. They recently created a new strategic plan based on four pillars: student success and learning; research, scholarship, and discovery; library as place; and inclusive excellence.
The morning session was organized around these four pillars. We heard from multiple library staff sharing brief updates on library developments. One area in which the Morris Library excels is multimedia services. It is designed to help faculty develop assignments and support student use of the technology. It also lends over 200 pieces of equipment. The Student Success and First-Year Experience Librarian described a research project to determine the impact of flipped information literacy learning on students in an English course.
Special Collections is offering many more instruction sessions and working with students using primary research materials. A major project in special collections is the Colored Convention Project, which collects and digitizes artifacts from 19th century conventions organized and held by free African Americans. They currently have information on some 150 conventions.
Morris Library is planning a major renovation that would feature the addition of a new section. We learned about the features of the renovation and the improvements it would deliver, such as a new special collections space and a new entrance. Finally we heard about the Library’s diversity programming which has been in place for many years and contributes to an overall inclusion program at University of Delaware.
Both staffs then broke up into two discussion groups to delve deeper into the four pillars. This was a great opportunity for information exchange. After lunch, Temple Libraries staff were taken on general tours of the Morris Library followed by special tours of the Multimedia Center, Special Collections, or the Lasner Collection.
Overall, it was an informative day where staff had the opportunity to meet and mingle with their counterparts from Morris Library.