Thomas Wales, Acquisitions Services Coordinator, Library Services

I have been involved in identifying and enabling access to key e-textbooks to support teaching and learning among the College community where previously we relied upon print only.” 

I started at Imperial in October 2005  working in the Library Acquisitions Team and the Mathematics Departmental Library. A few years later I switched to a full-time role in Acquisitions, based at the Central Library. 

My team identify, procure and facilitate access to a broad range of books, eBooks and case studies to support the Imperial community in their research, teaching and learning. Acquisitions come via direct suggestions from Library users, through our Liaison Librarians, and academics submitting reading lists for courses. 

Since the beginning of lockdown, our physical libraries have been closed, with our print books unavailable. In response, the Library has been operating remote online services to continue supporting students in their learning, revision and dissertation endeavors, alongside supporting researchers and academics. The Library has always had a strong eBook collection, but lockdown has seen a 12% increase in the number of titles we can access. We’ve had lots of thanyous from our students and academics – it’s always nice to know we are making a difference. 

In response to COVID-19, many publishers and library suppliers have given free or increased access to electronic resources. Alongside other Library teams and academics I have been involved in identifying and enabling access to key etextbooks to support teaching and learning among the College community where previously we relied upon print only.  

More recently, the focus within the team has very much shifted towards planning for the best student experience possible in a rapidly changing world by providing increased access to materials and digital options for 202021 reading lists. This has involved pouring over multitudinous spreadsheets and working with new suppliers to bolster the Library’s electronic collections. 

The Acquisitions team has really pulled together during lockdown, stepping up to take on new challenges and roles as workflows have evolved due to working from home and print collections being out of bounds. Work has been redistributed and everyone has readjusted to a world of Microsoft Teams meetings instead of turning to the person next to them to troubleshoot or collaborate. 

Discover more from Imperial people

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading