CONUL Strategy 2020-2022

Introduction

Allison Kavanagh Chair, CONUL Head of Library Services, TU Dublin – City Centre Campus

It gives me great pleasure to introduce the CONUL strategy for the next three years for Ireland’s major research libraries.

CONUL is the Consortium of National and University Libraries and is the representative body of research libraries in Ireland and Northern Ireland. CONUL is at the heart of Ireland’s global advance in new research, excellence in scholarship and teaching, digital depth and cultural breadth.

In developing this strategy, the directors of the CONUL libraries’ objective is to build on the progress already made through implementing the 2016-2019 strategy towards achieving CONUL’s vision of Irish research libraries preserving Ireland’s memory and advancing Irish discovery.

The strategy was developed following consultation with CONUL’s Strategic Implementation Group, which began with an engaging and productive Strategy Day in September 2019. Five strategic themes were identified: Open Scholarship, Policy, Teaching and Learning, Accessibility, and Responsible Use and Preservation, in conjunction with an overarching theme of engagement with international initiatives and activities.

Having helped to bring the strategy to completion, the Strategy Implementation Group are tasked with implementing it over the coming years. On behalf of the CONUL Board, I would like to thank members of the group for their continuing commitment and contribution to CONUL. I would also like to thank my fellow board members for their help and support in bringing the strategy to completion.

The CONUL strategy was completed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic which caused all of our member institutions’ library buildings to close for an extended period of time. During this challenging time, CONUL’s values, including openness, collaboration, creativity, collegiality and proactivity, have become more important than ever. Our member institutions’ response to the pandemic has helped to demonstrate how our people, leadership, skills, collections, shared vision and shared values will combine to enable implementation of our strategy.

I am confident that, with our collective pool of talent, energy, and resilience, CONUL can successfully deliver this strategy.

Mapping the CONUL Strategy

Each CONUL Committee sets out how their key actions strategically support the central themes of CONUL Strategy 2020 - 2022: Accessibility, Open Scholarship, Policy, Responsible Use and Preservation, Teaching and Learning

Collections

Open Scholarship – identify the key issues and challenges for open scholarship and provide
guidance to CONUL libraries, facilitating the sharing of best practice, integration and
embedding of OS throughout the libraries at all levels and enable open access to digital
collections
Policy – develop Open Scholarship policies and influence national policy
Responsible Use and Preservation – formulate preservation actions that covers all formats
including digital

Communication & Outreach

Policy – Assisting in the development and dissemination of CONUL policies to members and external partners. Regularly communicate CONUL ethos and disseminate any high-level policy changes

Teaching and Learning – Enabling communications among communities of practice in an online landscape. Help communicate new trends, communication and distillation of the work of the groups and the latest developments in this field via our channels 

Accessibility – Promote CONUL collections and access to them. Ensure CONUL website adheres to principles as set out in the strategy e.g. inclusion and accessibility 

Customer Services

Policy, Responsible Use & Preservation – Lead on environment sustainability in our library by initiatives such as Green campus

Accessibility – Review accessibility policies taking all users into consideration

Teaching & Learning, Accessibility – Enhance staff development programmes to ensure the provision of excellent customer services to all users from all backgrounds

 

Regulatory Affairs

Policy

Producing reference and guidance documentation on copyright, particularly implications for private research, course development and library operations;

Communicating know-how and best practice to CONUL and its membership through liaison events;

Advocating for research library interests through direct , co-ordinated input into future iterations of the ICLA higher education licence.

 

Research

Open Scholarship –  identify the key issues and challenges for open scholarship and provide guidance to CONUL libraries, facilitating the sharing of best practice, integration and embedding of OS throughout the libraries at all levels and enable open access to digital collections

Policy – develop Open Scholarship policies and influence national policy

Responsible Use and Preservation – formulate preservation actions that covers all formats including digital

 

Teaching & Learning

Provide representation on Irish open access initiatives related to information literacy as part of a European collaborative project on open access in libraries

Develop a toolkit of openly-accessible resources on best practice in teaching & learning 

Continue to provide continuing professional development opportunities for library professionals, including our annual seminar 

 

 

Training & Development

Identify international best practice for staff training and development, which will enable staff to respond to the current and future strategic direction of the CONUL Libraries, including proactively engaging with the CONUL Strategic Implementation Group and CONUL Groups to identify training needs.

Provide opportunities for staff skills development, in support of CONUL’s strategic objectives, through the biennial Library Assistant and Research Awards and develop and promote a programme of training events to ensure that CONUL staff are equipped with the skillsets required to deliver on CONUL’s strategic priorities in collaboration with CONUL groups.

Connect nationally and internationally with relevant organisations and groups, e.g. LIBER, ERASMUS, JISC, in relation to staff training and development and seek to develop these to the mutual benefit of our staff.

Unique and Distinct Collections

Accessibility – Update and develop content on CONUL UDC website

Accessibility/Responsible Use & Preservation – For future pandemics/epidemics identify strategies to aid UDC service delivery

Responsible Use & Preservation – Design a second iteration of the UDC survey, complete in 2020/2021 and identify potential collaborative projects