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KPI library: looking into the future


Засідання стратегічної робочої групи

Libraries at modern universities haven’t been just book storages for a long time. All leading universities around the world are developing their libraries as intellectual centers. The library at KPI after I. Sikorsky can and should be similar to all those libraries.

We’ve been working on developing strategy for our library during last six months. We try to change its activities in a proper way according to every person’s needs and university standards through innovative solutions and modern technologies.

Strategy implementation involves a radical rethinking of the library existence and its activities, its transformation into process-oriented intellectual, communicational, innovation center which may be recognized by academic and professional communities and which is able to respond to all new costumers needs and expectations flexibly.

To achieve these goals, we need to consider and focus on global trends that can influence on libraries development in years to come: open science, open education and the key role in implementation of all ideas; intensive development and information technology spreading; the vast majority of library costumers are Digital Natives and digital citizens.

education and science have been actively reforming in recent years in Ukraine and KPI is actively involved in this process. It is worth noting a few main items which are important for us as a university library, university autonomy; training based on research; introduction of innovative research into business, production etc.; academic integrity and its key role in the educational and scientific processes of the University.

With all these circumstances, we have formulated our mission: to integrate KPI in the global scientific and educational space to create and develop the university community environment that promotes research, teaching and learning through quality information support, service and comfortable physical and virtual space.

Therefore, the main strategic goals, which the library is going to work on during next five years, were set including the improvement of research, teaching and learning quality at the university. Today, research is the basis of modern science and university education. The library, being in the center of scientific communication university, may be included in all research stages and help organize the work of teachers, graduate students, doctoral candidates and students and what is more they may reach high results with minimal resources.

It needs of coarse lots of efforts or even mountain of effort. Because there were no significant changes in the library activity. So we face with a plenty of challenges to deal with.

Nowadays library requires modern components. The information space (physical and virtual), information technology and librarians are the main components in any library. So all those components need to be modern.

Today our collection of information resources isn’t widely used in teaching and researching process. Just 10% of all printed books were published after 2010. So we need to develop the current library collection in various media, involving the formation of the department. However, the share of electronic resources is going to increase continually. These are commercial scientific databases and our own electronic library. The introduction of new modern library IT systems will allow our clients to get relevant information when they need it in different locations. We’re talking about the search engine and delivering to simultaneous search of both external scientific and educational electronic resources (subscription and open access) and what is more, in electronic resources created by us (e-catalog, e-library, e-archive) and remote authorized access to e-resources which may be used not only in the university network, but at home, in dormitory or from another country trough Internet.

The library has an excellent separate building but after opening in 1979 there have been no capital repairs. We need to create a comfortable physical environment for our clients and librarians. Design should reflect a modern library philosophy: openness, transparency, convenience, friendliness. The first steps in this direction have already been made due to the support of the University administration experts from resource-efficient and cleaner production center who help us develop our project related to resource and energy conservation.

About 20 years the library has been automating its processes by using world-class software ALEPH 500 (the same system works in the library of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology). But we do not use all the opportunities. Now we work actively on the development of ALEPH 500 functions and offer new services. So e-catalog service for remote electronic literature ordering has been working twenty-four-hour and it is available for all registered clients. Unfortunately, we critically lack technology and equipment and those we have, have been obsolete. Our network infrastructure needs to be expanded and updated. And these are problems we work on to meet modern requirements. We are going to develop a comfortable virtual space offer our services for remote using. The library has to become a creative environment where new ideas will appear. We move actively in this direction. This spring, our library became one of the locations for nationwide student hackathon SpinOffHack. Recently we have opened in one of our student halls the space "Belka" - an open platform for individual and teamwork. The team that has implemented the project - Dmitri Drozd, Valentine Chetverikov and Konstantin Levitsky - became our partner and a good friend. This is a good example that encourages us to attract people for creating positions in order to update and expand our services.

About 20 years the library has been automating its processes by using world-class software ALEPH 500 (the same system works in the library of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology). But we do not use all the opportunities. Now we work actively on the development of ALEPH 500 functions and offer new services. So e-catalog service for remote electronic literature ordering has been working twenty-four-hour and it is available for all registered clients. Unfortunately, we critically lack technology and equipment and those we have, have been obsolete. Our network infrastructure needs to be expanded and updated. And these are problems we work on to meet modern requirements. We are going to develop a comfortable virtual space offer our services for remote using. The library has to become a creative environment where new ideas will appear. We move actively in this direction. This spring, our library became one of the locations for nationwide student hackathon SpinOffHack. Recently we have opened in one of our student halls the space "Belka" - an open platform for individual and teamwork. The team that has implemented the project - Dmitri Drozd, Valentine Chetverikov and Konstantin Levitsky - became our partner and a good friend. This is a good example that encourages us to attract people for creating positions in order to update and expand our services.

Over the last years, library professionals have been engaged in the support and maintenance of scientific journals and ElAKPI project – an electronic archive was opened at KPI. We are going to develop these projects and work on the integration of the University into the international scientific and educational space. By the next April in the library will be established Training and Consultation Centre for Education and Research as a separate unit. The staff will conduct monitoring and analysis of performance scientometric research activities of the University, and carry out counseling and education (seminars, trainings, etc.) for the organization of research and the dissemination of their results.

People are the most important and critical component on which depends whether we can realize our ideas and plans. Today the library has sufficient staff but new services which we are going to perform require new knowledge and skills that we do not have for now. That is why we work on a system of training which may ensure growth and continuous improvement of employees’ professional competence. We build our library as an organization that is learning and improving constantly. This is probably the most difficult task but we have already begun this process. There is a lot of paid and free educational programs, online courses with a help of with library staff may be trained. Over the past six months, our librarians have been training on several certified programs including refresher course on Thomson Reuters Information resources for research and training program at the Kyiv-Mohyla Business School "Development Strategy for librarians”. In November we are going to hold training program on critical thinking for library staff.

The implementation of our plans requires significant financial costs. Library budget should be increased up to the level of covering all operations and innovations. Therefore, in addition to university donations, we plan to attract external resources from grant projects, benefactors and sponsors.

September 30 is the day of Ukrainian libraries and our professional holiday. We have prepared a special program for anyone who would like to see the "other side" of our library and we also invite to the presentation of our development strategy those people who want to contribute to building a new KPI library.

Of course, we understand that it won’t be easy to provide such dramatic changes in the library. But we have the most important thing - library staff who is ready to change the situation. That is why we are destined for success.

Oksana Bruy,
Director of STL at I. Sikorsky KPI

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