Academic libraries cannot do everything. They rely on their universities’ explicit support and resources – but the investment is smart. Universities rely on alumni to be their ambassadors, and the provision of services that keep them connected both generates goodwill and equips them to be more effective on behalf of their alma mater. The ivory towers are imaginary: the academy cannot separate itself from the fate of its local community, its alumni, or wider society. “The library is the heart of the university” is the inscription that greets visitors to our main library. Increasingly, we hope, it will also beat strongly for lifelong learners in our hometown, among our alumni, and in the global community.
Read full story, especially encouraging is the idea that we continue community/relationship with people who have attended university, but also the local community – as Universities are battered on all sides, we have to think differently about how we demonstrate relevance.
Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst (Lion Hudson, 2014; second edition in process) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.