Engineering

The Engineering Community of Interest [COI] was launched in the fall of 2013.  The COI's purpose is to provide a forum for BLC member librarians to discuss issues related to their work in engineering disciplines and to implement best practices. COI Members focus on services and collections related to engineering as well as to adjunct fields such as any form of technology, applied mathematics or sciences, or engineering management; they may do so from the viewpoint of collections, resource management, or research and instruction support.   Many of us are also members of the engineering-related divisions of ALA, ASEE, and SLA but this CoI provides a unique discussion platform for issues particular to BLC members.

A primary initial focus concerns collections.  All BLC member-libraries face the usual constraints of staff, budget, time, and space.  The need for space for purposes other than collections requires the BLC libraries to rethink policies on new acquisitions and whether or where to keep current holdings.  Through the Engineering COI, the members have the opportunity to make thoughtful, long-term decisions within a group context and to seek opportunities for collaboration and cooperative retention.  COI members can also explore opportunities for preservation of rare and valuable engineering materials and for accessing components of the elusive grey literature which often are unavailable through interlibrary loan.

Membership

The current membership includes 10 of the BLC member libraries, but is open to anyone with an engineering focus who may wish to join. 

Meetings

As an initial step in determining the best areas of focus, the COI conducted a Qualtrics survey in the spring of 2014.  The survey indicated that major issues of interest are collections (including engineering-specific source types such as technical standards), instruction, publishers, and data management.  Based on the survey results, the COI expects to hold an official first meeting in late 2014 to establish goals for FY 15. All meetings will be posted on the BLC website.