When Lene Moeller Jensen began her job as the Head of Information Management and Library at KLU in March 2011, she faced the special task of turning an empty room into a library. “Librarians rarely have an opportunity like that. Most libraries already have a collection of materials,” said Lene Moeller Jensen to describe the unique challenge.
KLU now has a modern, specialized library where service is the primary focus. “My team and I have relied on digital media from the very beginning. If a publication is available in e-format, we consistently decide in favor of this variant,” she added. “The advantages are obvious. We can always provide our students and faculty with access to the most up-to-date research. The majority of the works are always available – 24 hours a day.”
The emphasis on digital media also saves lots of space that can be used to provide roomy workstations in the library on the third floor of the KLU campus. The people who are doing research here can take advantage of computer workstations, a cozy reading lounge and a quiet working zone – depending on their individual needs. “Most of our users access our collection via their laptops, on- or off-campus. This is the major advantage of digital media,” explained the Danish head of information management at KLU.
The young library’s collection sets standards in the field of logistics and management. KLU provides access to over 18,000 specialized electronic works, more than 8,000 international e-journals, and access to electronic databases such as Business Source Complete, ScienceDirect, Emerald Fulltext Archive and SpringerLink. “Some publications are only available in Germany in our library,” said Jensen.
But it isn’t possible to do without paper. Over 5,000 specialized media are on the library’s shelves in book form. “Some special works are not published electronically,” said the information manager. “This is why we now have a hybrid library.” The collection also includes current business magazines and newspapers.
As a service, the library services team makes a basic inventory of course literature available to KLU students. They collect the literature for each seminar before the semester begins and display it on special shelves.
During the semester, Lene Moeller Jensen and her colleagues Friederike Richter and Jan Hartmann are primarily contact points for support with research tasks and literature searches. They also enjoy helping out when students no longer know which way to turn when searching for sources, e.g. for their theses. As Jensen says: “This process allows us to establish personal relationships with our students. You learn their stories and can meet their needs better – everyone benefits from the situation.” The “Book a Librarian” service allows students to arrange appointments with the library staff so they can receive professional assistance when starting to do their research.
Mojtaba Salem has spent hundreds of hours in the library in the past six months. “This was my favorite place to work on my thesis for the MSc in Management,” said the KLU student. “The service there is excellent. The library even procured books that are not in the collection for me – sometimes overnight. We found a solution to every problem,” said the student from Afghanistan. "I enjoyed the atmosphere in the library very much.”
The KLU Library’s collection is already used and appreciated by internal and external researchers, and is programmed for growth. “The fact that the library is still expanding makes our work especially exciting,” said librarian Friederike Richter. “We established the processes here and I know that I have held each medium in my hands at least once”. The part about their work that she and her colleagues like most is the exchange with the students. “The atmosphere at KLU is certainly very special. Although we do have a classical specialized library here, the close contact with the students and researchers is quite informal and contributes a fresh new wind. And that makes it fun”, said Jan Hartmann.