James W. Miller Learning Resources Center,
St. Cloud State University, USA
Background. Academic libraries, and the students and faculty that they serve, have different definitions of safe space. The attempts of both parties to construct a safe space for digital scholarship in the library can clash based on these divergent perspectives. While the number of academic libraries providing some form of digital scholarship support is increasing, the library definition of safe space, as well as the working culture of the library, has the potential to render libraries unsafe spaces for innovation and digital scholarship.
Objectives. The author of this paper will address the challenges that academic libraries face in creating safe spaces for digital scholarship. Major challenges include differences in working and leadership styles among different librarians, as well as the library’s assumption that academic libraries automatically function as safe spaces.
Results. To date no safe space assessment tool exists specifically for academic libraries or any organization that wishes to provide STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) related education. Using models for organizational change and strategic planning, the author proposes a series of recommendations and questions that academic libraries seeking to implement or improve digital scholarship services should investigate.
Cite: Wexelbaum, R. (2016). Assessing safe spaces for digital scholarship in the library. LIBRES, 26(1), 14-30.