New Researcher and Student Services Departments

The library is preparing to introduce two new departments — Researcher Services and Student Services — in Fall 2019, which will take the place of our current Research Support Services department. 

The goal of the reorganization is to continue to provide excellent research support while increasing our support for undergraduate education across disciplines and at scale — strengthening our focus on two of the top priorities highlighted in the UC Davis Strategic Plan.

To learn more, read our blog post and the FAQ below. More information will be added to this page over the coming months; check back in Summer/Fall 2019 for more details.

What is changing?

In the past, Research Support Services librarians were assigned to several academic units such as departments, centers or schools, and were responsible for meeting all research and instructional support needs in the subject areas for those academic units. Under the new structure, these same librarians will specialize in either research support or student support, drawing on their own disciplinary expertise — a move that will enable the library to better support the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of academic research, a strength of UC Davis.

What is not changing?

All of the services we currently provide will remain available, from one-on-one research consultations to instructional support. In addition, all librarians in the current Research Support Services department will become part of one of the two new departments. To meet the research and instructional needs of all campus academic units, each department includes librarians with deep expertise in humanities, social science and STEM fields. Librarians will hold interdepartmental, discipline-focused meetings regularly to ensure that we can continue to provide comprehensive and holistic disciplinary support.

As a faculty member, scholarly author or researcher, what does this change mean for me?

The same suite of services you are accustomed to from the library will remain available; the difference is that, instead of having the same person who assists you with a research question also present to your introductory lecture class about how to use library resources, you may interact with a team of experts who specialize in research and instructional support, as well as scholarly publishing and data management. We’ll help you to locate the expertise you need quickly and efficiently.

What does this change mean for students?

Students will continue to receive all the support from our librarians that they do today: classroom instruction on how to do library research, librarians who are available to provide one-on-one assistance with research questions, and guides available in Canvas and on the library website to navigate library resources. We will also focus on offering more outreach and support to traditionally underserved, transfer and first-generation students. We’re here to help students reach their academic goals.

Who will I contact if I need research support? …if I need instructional support?

Contact information for the new departments will be published on the library’s website this summer. If you already work closely with one of our librarians, you can also continue to reach out to them as you always have, and they will work with you to help or connect you with the appropriate resources, as needed.

Does this change affect the library’s collections?

Stewardship of the library’s collections has been led by a team of librarians in our Collection Strategies department since 2014. This team consults with our research librarians on discipline-specific purchasing decisions and will continue to do so. As we fill vacant positions in this department, some collection responsibilities will continue to transition to Collection Strategies, allowing librarians in the two new departments to focus on their respective user communities.  

Why is this change happening?

UC Davis is large and growing steadily, both in population and diversity of disciplines. Research and science are changing, becoming larger in scale, more complex and interdisciplinary. The library is restructuring to meet those changing needs. In particular, the new structure will ensure greater librarian support dedicated to undergraduate student success, which is a strategic campus priority.

Is there an opportunity for me to offer input as these new departments are being developed?

Yes. Over the coming months, the library will invite your input on how we can improve and expand our research and student support. The UC Davis Library Survey, which is open for responses until May 15, is the first of those opportunities for input. The heads of the new departments, for which recruitments are now underway, will continue to explore new possibilities together with our library staff and users.

Who can I contact if I have other questions?

If you have additional questions, please contact Beth Callahan, associate university librarian for research and learning, at bacallahan@ucdavis.edu.