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Stony Brook University

Stony Brook University Library Strategic Design 2015 - 2018, Research & Emerging Technologies


The Stony Brook University Libraries Research & Emerging Technologies department supports the mission of the library by providing reference and research support for the community through assessment and emerging technologies. The team brings principles of research and a spirit of inquiry to internal and external initiatives to deliver excellent assistance, technology, and spaces to students, staff, and faculty members. The Research & Emerging Technologies department actively seeks out new technology tools and works to apply them across the libraries for the benefit of staff, students, and other university stakeholders.


The Research & Emerging Technologies department will help improve reference services through a cycle of innovation, experimentation, and assessment. We will introduce new technologies to the library to help support the research and study goals of our staff and the university community and work to integrate these technologies through training and continuing support. We will work to aggregate and standardize data streams from across the library to facilitate our library learning goals and improve services.

Guiding Principles with Goals

Promote Academic Engagement​

Develop New Technologies as a Platform for Learning

  • Seek out and trial new technologies that will help our community conduct more effective research and study.

  • Partner with individuals and groups internal and external to the library to generate ideas for new technologies and library projects.

  • Help identify technology gaps in current library offerings by examining specific projects and use cases presented by faculty and students.


Promote  Research Services

  • Work to develop reference collections and resources for effectively answering reference queries.

  • Ensure that the technology used to facilitate online reference is up to date and functioning properly.

  • Manage digital reference tools on the LibApps platform.

Build, Preserve, and Provide Access to Rich and Diverse Collections

Assess Collections

  • Assess and weed the reference and microforms collections in the Central Reading Room to minimize duplication and maximize study space. (Fall 2015)

  • Work towards digital resources that will ensure continuous access to essential reference collection materials from both on and off campus.


Enhance Access to Online Resources

  • Promote digital reference materials as a resource for the community.

  • Work, through training and standardization, to ensure that that issues with electronic resources are properly recognized and reported.


Embrace New Technologies

  • Integrate and assess new technologies for research and study.

  • Work with individuals and groups to ensure that current technologies meet their needs and generate ideas for future directions.

  • Help spread and encourage the use of new technologies through teaching and training.

Develop Responsive Library Spaces for Diverse Communities

Assess Current Statistics

  • Look into LibApps and door count statistics to ensure that the reference desk in the Central Reading Room is staffed with a librarian during high traffic hours.

  • Propose data-driven changes and updates to the Central Reading Room and other library spaces. (Fall 2015)

  • Conduct an observational study of space use in the Central Reading Room (Fall 2015)


Engage the Community

  • Work with individuals and groups internally and externally to conduct space use surveys. (Spring 2016)

  • Gather use cases from the community to propose new types of space and new technologies in the library.


Investigate New Services

  • Conduct surveys and assessment of available data to investigate other library areas for potential reference service points. (Fall 2015)

  • Introduce new technology spaces and partner with the Library Technology Department to assess how these spaces are being used and how we can improve them. (Spring 2016)

Foster an Innovative Culture of Learning and Assessment

Assess Technology Use

  • Use current statistics to assess use of technology by patrons and among staff.

  • Work with the community to generate predictive use cases that can help ensure that library spaces reflect current trends and future directions for service.

  • Analyze search queries to identify subjects for future LibGuides (Fall 2015).


Standardize Best Practices for Data Collection

  • Ensure that best practices are observed for data recording during reference and standardize data recording at the reference desk through training. (Spring 2016)

  • Expand the scope of data collection and aggregate data collected by several departments to draw conclusions about reference space and time allocation across the libraries.