Monica Crump - Head of Information Access and Learning Services 
NUI Galway 

Title; Stepping Outside Of The Library Walls – Broadening our Role in Supporting Academic Skills 


Abstract Stepping beyond the traditional boundaries of Library responsibility can be scary:  Do I have the skills and knowledge to pull this off? Whose toes am I treading on?  Am I biting off more than I can chew?  Am I mad when I’ve so much else to do?

All of these thoughts have crossed this librarian’s mind while undertaking a study of cross-campus academic skills support at NUI Galway.  I was driven on through these doubts by a belief that providing excellent, well-funded, coherent and easily accessible supports for the core academic skills of study skills, information literacy, academic writing, computer skills and mathematics would greatly enhance the student experience and aid student retention.  An additional driver was a concern to ensure that the library’s role as an essential part of academic skills support is strengthened and potentially increased. This case study will focus on the trials and tribulations of stepping outside traditional boundaries.  It will examine the reasons why broadening our boundaries is essential in a rapidly shrinking information chain.  This study is still underway and at the point of writing it is unclear whether it will succeed in improving delivery of academic skills support and strengthening the library’s role in that delivery.  The outcome whether positive or negative and the journey to that outcome will offer a point of learning for other libraries on what happens when you dare to step outside the traditional library walls!