From the Other Side of the Pond: How US & UK University Libraries can learn from each other

Sponsored by BibliU
Recorded on 05/11/2021

Posted in Library Leadership and Management

What can US and UK academic librarians learn from each other?


Last year, academic libraries across the world were blindsided by the global pandemic. Lockdowns forced physical spaces to shut down and drove libraries to adopt digital content strategies rapidly. Yet, in the middle of this challenging time, many libraries found innovative ways to implement digital content and transform it to fill their students’ needs. 

Historically, academic libraries in the US and UK have served a different purpose at their institutions and have developed different strengths in their abilities to serve their students. This led to different responses during lockdowns, but librarians in both sectors responded to the challenges they faced successfully. 

US & UK Librarians could benefit from transatlantic information sharing of these responses, as many of the successful strategies from one country could be easily adapted for the other. This conversation will bring together librarians from both US and UK college libraries to discuss their recent innovations and how they can implement these strategies in their country. Topics will include: 

  • Differences between the US & UK academic libraries
  • How these differences create learning opportunities for librarians
  • How libraries have responded to the pandemic lockdown to make content more accessible for students 
  • Which of the short term solutions they’ve implemented they will continue to rely on once students are back on campus
  • The future of the academic library in each sector in a digital-first world


  • Image of Andrew Barker

    Andrew Barker

    Director of Library Services & Learning DevelopmentLancaster University

    Andrew Barker has been Director of Library Services & Learning Development at Lancaster University since September 2019. Prior to that, he held a number of senior roles within diverse university libraries, including the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University. Andrew has been Chair of UKSG since 2018 and is a member of the SCONUL Executive Board.

  • Image of Susie Kopecky

    Susie Kopecky

    Library Coordinator and Associate ProfessorAllan Hancock College

    Susie Kopecky is the library coordinator and an associate professor of library science and English at Allan Hancock College. Her research interests include information literacy, academic libraries, and embedded librarianship.

  • Image of Dave Sherwood

    Dave Sherwood


    Dave Sherwood is the CEO of BibliU. First as an undergraduate in Western Australia, and then as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, Dave had a pressing question: why are textbooks so unintuitive? Co-founding BibliU six years ago, Dave and his team have since signed over 2000 academic publishers and 140 universities across the globe with this simple message: when it comes to learning, there has to be a better, more affordable, and more accessible way of doing things.