Home Departments

At the beginning of the program, the Resident Librarian will select a home department aligns with the resident's career interests and the strategic needs of the library. The home department serves as the resident's base of operations for the three-year program, 

The 2017–2020 Resident Librarian will be able to choose one of three departments as their home department: Digital Scholarship and Initatives, Library Instruction, and Special Collections and University Archives. This page provides a description of each department, activities the resident may gain experience in while working in the department, and examples of potential capstone projects that can be supported by each department.

Digital Scholarship and Initiatives

The Digital Scholarship and Initiatives Department supports research, teaching, and learning by facilitating digital scholarship and providing open access to digital materials that embody the scholarly, cultural, and creative activities of Iowa State University. The department is composed of two units: Digital Initiatives Program and Scholarly Publishing Services. The Digital Initiatives Program enhances access to archives and cultural heritage materials held by the library, supports the development of digital scholarship projects, and manages the library's curated digital exhibits. Scholarly Publishing Services provides self-archiving support, online research profiles through an institutional repository, and leads library publishing services. Resident Librarians based in the department will gain extensive work experience in both units.

Typical activities of Resident Librarians who work with the department may include: outreach to the campus community, assessment of services and collections, development of digital scholarship projects, intellectual property rights clearance, digital collections selection and implementation, participation in digitization workflows, coordination with Special Collections and University Archives on physical/digital exhibits. Coursework in archival studies, scholarly communication, or digital libraries is useful, but not necessary, for placement in the department.

Potential capstone projects that can be completed in the department include: devising assessment toolkits, scripts, or codes that can benefit other libraries; creating a digital monograph that draws from the institutional repository and university archives; investigations of user experience or digital pedagogy; examining digital materiality and the Archive; exploring diversity and inclusion in scholarly communication; or social studies of science and technology.

Library Instruction

The University Library’s Instruction Department supports the library’s teaching and learning programs and initiatives. Major components include a high enrollment information literacy course that is a graduation requirement for all ISU undergraduates; instruction assessment; developing and teaching course-related instruction sessions; development of instruction materials including curriculum development, online interactive tutorials, and videos; outreach to distance learners; Course Reserves processing; and developing and teaching orientation programs and research workshops. Depending on interests, Resident Librarians based in the Instruction Department can expect to gain significant work experience in areas including teaching and student learning, instruction assessment, curriculum development, instructional design, and development of instructional materials.

Typical activities of Resident Librarians who work with the Instruction Department may include joining a team of instructors to teach sections of an information literacy course; participation in curriculum development; co-teaching course-related instruction sessions; participation in instruction assessment data reports to guide decision-making; developing online instruction tutorials or videos working collaboratively with others; developing and teaching research workshops or instruction sessions in areas of need and interest. 

Potential projects that can be completed in the Instruction Department include: developing a curriculum unit or module for use in an information literacy course; completing high quality online instruction materials for use by the ISU community; development and teaching of instructional sessions or workshops. In addition, residents will gain significant professional experience in Library teaching of information literacy and research skills.

Special Collections and University Archives

The Iowa State University Library Special Collections and University Archives collects, preserves, and shares documentation of the experiences, achievements, and memories of people and organizations reflecting the university's major research areas, namely life sciences, agriculture and rural life, and engineering, with a special commitment to documenting the history of the university. As a unit, SCUA acquires primary source collections and rare books and arranges and describes these materials, so that they are widely accessible to researchers locally, nationally, and worldwide. SCUA engages and encourages innovative research, interdisciplinary education, exploration, and discovery through research in the reading room and through investigation in a classroom or group setting. SCUA has an active outreach program that highlights its collection strengths through exhibitions, workshops, and special events. To promote the collections, SCUA has a consistent social media presence, consisting of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and the blog Cardinal Tales.

Typical activities of Resident Librarians who work with SCUA may include: processing archival and manuscript collections; participating in web archiving; managing the reading room during a reference desk shift; answering reference requests in-person and remotely via email; developing and teaching SCUA class sessions; assessing instruction and services; planning and participating in outreach activities and events; curating exhibitions; creating online exhibitions that correspond with SCUA physical exhibitions; writing blog posts for Cardinal Tales; and creating content for social media. Coursework in archival studies and special collections librarianship is recommended for this placement.

Potential capstone projects that can be completed in the department include: arranging and describing a collection and creating a finding aid for it; developing, planning, and executing an alumni or student-based event to highlight collections; assessing social media guidelines and use and creating content for those platforms; assessing, revising, and creating instructional tools for SCUA class orientation sessions; developing and teaching instructional session for grades 6–12; conducting research and participating in collection building; and curating exhibitions and planning and executing related programming.