Engagement with impact: enhancing the student learning experience during year one of a functional library model

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Tamasine Ashcroft
  • Lisa Bird
  • Stephen Bull
  • Polly Harper
  • Ann-marie James
  • And 1 others
  • Catherine Robertson


In summer 2017, the University of Birmingham reconfigured from a subject librarian model of academic library support to a functional or task-based model, including the creation of a dedicated Engagement Team. Using case studies from the new team, an internal survey of staff across the University alongside a survey of librarians from other institutions, the article highlights the many perspectives on the debate: the Library management impetus for consistency and strategic engagement, academic perspectives on how well the Engagement Team works for them, and views of Library staff. The case studies demonstrate the team’s contribution to the institutional teaching and learning agenda, particularly around academic skills enhancements, creating connections with staff and students, and through improved processes of collection development. This article adds to the relatively small body of literature on the impact and value of a functional model configuration that includes a dedicated Engagement Team.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-55
Number of pages25
JournalNew Review of Academic Librarianship
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2020


  • relationship managemen, academic libraries, functional library model, academic engagement, teaching and learning