Across the Miles: Engagement Across Distance
Walz, Anita R.
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This professional practice session covers expansion and redefinition of student and faculty-focused library services between Virginia Tech’s main campus in Blacksburg and the National Capital Region, located five hours away and in an entirely different context. A team of collaborators in a recently realigned department discuss their model for planning and initiating for change. In the Summer of 2014, Virginia Tech libraries were strategically realigned to better meet strategic directions and aspirations as documented in VT Libraries 2012-2018 Strategic Plan. One of these shifts included development of a new unit “Planning and Branch Operations” which includes many library operational duties, oversight of three branches, a research commons, and “planning and assessing the Libraries’ presence in the National Capital Region.” In line with the President’s “Strategic Plan: A Plan for a New Horizon. Envisioning Virginia Tech 2012-2018” http://www.president.vt.edu/strategic-plan/2012-plan/2012-strategic-plan.pdf library faculty and staff began to meet to discuss extending, enhancing, envisioning, and expanding library services within the National Capital Region. This resulted in a process to simultaneously gather information, improve problematic services with immediate impact, and plan mid- and long- term directions for extension and expansion of library services in the National Capital Region. This presentation tells the story of how a team of several individuals from Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg and National Capital Region-Falls Church campuses, in partnership with colleagues at various sites in the National Capital Region expanded offerings of the NCR-Resource Center, leveraged a new strategic focus on institutional expansion in Northern Virginia, partnered to provide multiple service-types from afar, and customized these services to address the unique needs of Virginia Tech faculty, staff, and students in the National Capital Region. Services developed and expanded as a result of this collaboration include, but are not limited to: improved collection circulation systems and procedures, establishment, extension and expansion of onsite or remotely-provided services (event capture, statistical consulting, data management training/planning . . . ), and increased collaboration with initiatives unique to the needs of VT faculty, staff, and students affiliated with the seven locations in Northern Virginia.