Subtheme 1. New and expanding roles for positive change

  1. Librarians as activists
  2. Learning new things/ building new skillsets
  3. Daring to embrace new tasks and relationships
  4. Cutting out or down on redundant activities and tasks

The academic library has often been in an in-between position of not belonging to a single department and neither in the administration. We have been a satellite orbiting around the university globe. That position may have contributed to our mission of giving service without engaging fully – a neutral service partner that doesn’t step on toes or make its own mark on the university agenda.

In this subtheme we want to explore how we can embrace new roles and acquire new skillsets, how we can build more meaningful relationships and what we can stop doing. Should we be more engaged in academic writing? Should we put more effort in teaching our own credit-bearing classes? Is it ok to have controversial topics for our events? Should we take a firmer stance on social issues?

Subtheme 2. Power structures in our landscape

  1. Who we are dealing with
  2. Understanding implicit power structures
  3. What we can do to level the playing field
  4. Activism and team structure
  5. Activism and power

Academia can be inherently hierarchical, and some would even say it is a caste system. This hierachy can create an imbalance of power that suppresses collaborations and inhibits innovation. Whether we like it or not, the power structures in our landscape matter. Who decides how we can teach and when? Who decides what services we should provide for patrons? Who decides what the library space should look like? Who decides how we develop our collections?

Many libraries have been under-funded for years, and as a consequence they have often been under-staffed – something that naturally leads to less time to develop new services and collaborations etc. The continual use of the one-shot in teaching has led us to be transactional rather than relational, said Pagowsky (2020).

In this subtheme we are looking for contributions that help us understand who the power brokers are, what we can do to level the playing field, and how we can use activism in various forms to shed light on these issues and help us build a better, more equal library for all.

Subtheme 3. Diversity: walking the talk

  1. Building a more inclusive profession
  2. Activism and changing cultures
  3. Naming the beast
  4. Embracing the diversity for a better, more creative and inclusive library and/or information service

Diversity is a core value in most library associations, frameworks and manifestos in Europe. Diversity is considered essential for inclusion and empowerment for participation in the society. Diversity is about identity, including race, religious beliefs, cultural backgrounds, disability, ethnicity, gender, class and sexual identity. Our patrons are diverse, but the library profession is (in)famous for being white, middle class and a  the majority of staff are women. 

In this subtheme, we are looking for contributions that address issues on diversity both within the library (like staff development etc.) and for our patrons. How can we be more explicit and address our own prejudices and biases (“naming the beast”)? How can we build more inclusive services for our patrons? How can we show solidarity and be a safe place for our patrons? How can we be more value-driven and support staff and patrons as whole human beings? Saying that we value diversity is not enough. How do we intend to change our practice?

Subtheme 4. Open learning in physical and digital libraries

  1. Changing cultures and implementing change
  2. New mindsets and new collaborations
  3. Learning in new ways
  4. Upscaling teaching and support through digital learning materials?

In this subtheme, topics such as changing cultures and implementing change, new mindsets and new collaboration, learning in new ways e.g. through digital learning materials is what we are looking for.

Can you describe an interesting new role where you as an academic librarian are actively engaged and collaborate with faculty or researchers related to the research process? Do you have some interesting partnerships along with challenges where you explore the new librarian role within the higher education context? Do you have any interesting best practices for creating a supportive environment and developing instructional content for e-learners? You are very welcome to share your experiences on these as well as other questions relevant to this subtheme.

Subtheme 5. Visibility and impact (of the health library)

  1. Researching our own field and publishing
  2. Improving relationships with faculty
  3. Working in a multidisciplinary environment
  4. Supporting others while developing our practice

Many health librarians work in a specialised environment, contributing to the extremely publishing-oriented medical and health sciences research and/or to the evidence-based work of health professionals. In developing our practice, we often rely on experience and peer learning. To communicate better with our users, it can be helpful to have experience doing research, writing for publication, or doing peer-review and editing.

In this subtheme, we are looking for contributions that discuss how to research and publish in our field and support our users while developing our practice. In addition, examples of increasing the library’s visibility to improve relationships with faculty and working in multidisciplinary environments can be included in the theme. Submissions can cover all fields of librarianship, from collection management to research data services and from library space to remote/online services.

Subtheme 6. UN Sustainable development goals/ Sustainability issues

  1. Sustainable library spaces
  2. UN’s 17 sustainable development goals and how they relate to our libraries/information services

The library has a history of sustainable thinking. Traditionally this has been done by lending out books and other medias, thus reusing material, and to provide users with information. Now is the time to innovate further. In what ways can libraries, librarians and information specialists utilize the UN Sustainability Development Goals, or be a partner on supporting others in their work with the Sustainability Development Goals?

For the EAHIL 2023 workshop, we are looking for contributions on, among others, the making of sustainable library spaces and how to lower the libraries’ecological footprint, how to work with the Sustainability Development Goals in teaching information literacy and research methodology? What about open science, collection management and literature searches, and professional development (for instance on whether to travel or not)? What did the pandemic show us on new ways to sustainably collaborate? How can librarians be radical positive change agents for a more sustainable library space and library service?