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For Staff

Library Reps

A Libguide dedicated to all things MU Staff, bringing together useful resources, tools and services available to MU Staff in one place.


Welcome to the Library Rep webpage! Library Reps are one of the links between MU Library and each department or institute.

Library Reps are there to help if the staff in your department want to:

The role of a Library Rep can vary greatly between departments. Library Reps manage the budget allocated to the department for purchasing books and co-ordinate book ordering. Reps either have help from administrative staff when ordering books or they do all the ordering themselves. In some departments the Library Rep can be involved in a more strategic approach and can work with the Library to make sure resources align closely with the needs of students and researchers.

Contact the Academic Engagement Librarian if you have a question about any aspect of the Library Rep role.

*We have a dedicated MS Teams' space for Library Reps for discussion and notifications from the library. If you'd like to be added to it as Library Rep, contact the Academic Engagement Librarian for access.

Keeping up-to-date on issues

We need to know of initiatives, changes and needs in your department in order to meet your researchers and students needs. Let the Academic Engagement Librarian know of any of the following:

  • New or cancelled modules
  • New or departing members of staff, especially if the have an impact on modules/research
  • Reading list queries
  • Opportunities for us to provide Information Literacy and Information Skills classes to your students and staff
  • Need for new subscriptions to certain e-Journals or databases, or to set up a trial
  • Need for training or webinars on using particular databases or e-Journals
  • Invites to your departmental meeting to explain MU Library issues or developments
  • Deficits or issues with any aspect of MU Library services or collections

The Academic Engagement Librarian will keep you up to date on: 

  • Deadlines for ordering and information on the process
  • Supporting information on using our collections
  • Short-term changes to library services that might impact your users
  • New resources and trials that might be of use to your department
  • Deselection of any resources that might impact your department
  • Ways of maximising your budget
  • Information that will support your colleagues & students' use of the library

The Academic Engagement Librarian also occasionally communicates via the all-faculty email lists (which of course, may not include all staff, so it would be useful if Library Reps could ensure these staff also receive library communications) on major Library announcements and collated updates of overall relevance to faculty. 


Library Rep MS Teams' channel

Are you a new Library Rep? 

Join our dedicated MS Teams' channel for Library Reps now; email the Academic Engagement Librarian and she will add you to the team. 

It's an active space where you'll be able to discuss issues with other Library Reps, ask questions of the Academic Engagement Librarian, a place to find resources for your role as rep, and receive updates from MU Library. 

Want to know what eJournals and databases your department subscribes to?

Most departments have subscriptions to specific databases and eJournals. Some of these subscriptions are paid for by MU Library, and others are paid for by the university consortium, IReL that MU Library is a member of.

If you'd like to know what databases and eJournals your department subscribes to or if you want to cancel certain subscriptions, trial new ones, or find out how much a new subscription will be, contact the Academic Engagement Librarian.

"Deselection" is the term used for unsubscribing to a particular database / e-journal / journal and it can be very positive, as it can free up part of your departmental allocation to allow it to be used on more relevant subscriptions that align with current research and teaching and learning needs. Deselection should be considered periodically (every couple of years) by departments, to ensure the relevance of our collections. 

Updating your department's handbook: MU Library 22-23

We created short written pieces for MU Departments to use in their student handbooks for UG's, PG's and PhD's. Download them here

If you don’t want to use our full handbook piece, the following short paragraph might also be of use to you:

The Library has a dedicated team to help and support you with your assignments and research. They will be delivering a variety of supports to students throughout the semester. Details will be available from the Library website and our Supporting Online Teaching & Learning guide. You can always reach help at or by phone on 01-7083884. The library homepage has an anonymous chat-box for questions too. Make sure to follow MU Library on social media channels to get updates throughout the year on access & news, services and resources Instagram @library_mu, Facebook @MaynoothUniLibrary or on Twitter @mu_library 

Resources to help you source new material for ordering

These websites are a useful source of academic book reviews and ordering information:

  • Book Data Online - good for looking up ISBN's, book details, availability and formats. 

  • British National Bibliography - good for looking up all UK/Irish titles since 1950's, UK library holdings, and details of forthcoming titles too. 

  • Whatever eJournal you use regularly to keep current in your subject area. 

Many of our eJournals and databases provide regular academic book reviews; you can even set up an alert in many of these online sites that will email you when a new book review is added. Email the Academic Engagement Librarian for more information about this service. Because scholarly reviews tend to place the work in the context of current scholarship, they can sometimes take several years to appear after the book was published. I've chosen three major databases below to show you how to find reviews. You can then use this search to set up an email alert for updates. If you use JournalTOCs, the online table of contents alert service, your chosen journals will include book reviews as direct links too. 

  • JStor Use Advanced Search and limit to "Reviews". You can also limit by discipline.
  • Social Science Premium Collection Open Advanced Search. Enter "Book review" AND [your subject area]. 
  • Web of Science Conduct your search for book or author, and then limit to "Book Reviews".

The role of the Library Rep: what it means for you

Library Reps work in a number of key areas, liaising with MU Library staff and staff in their department. This means working on:

  1. Managing the book budget (including eBooks) for their department
  2. Sharing MU Library information with colleagues and students
  3. Attending Library Rep meetings in MU Library (usually twice a year)
  4. Keeping the Academic Engagement Librarian up to date on issues for your department
  5. Working with MU Library to ensure e-Journals and databases are subscribed to that support the research & teaching and learning needs of your department. 

More specifically this can include working on:

  • Helping develop your library collection (print and electronic), both current and retrospective, ensuring that all members of your department have an opportunity to make suggestions. This will ensure you have a collection that matches your student and research needs
  • Informing the Academic Engagement Librarian of any new staff starting in your department so that she can send them a welcome pack from the library, with relevant services and information
  • Providing information to the Academic Engagement Librarian regarding new modules, new academics, new research interests or collaborations etc., in order to ensure that necessary collections and services are available in the library for users
  • Working with the Academic Engagement Librarian to tailor your departmental Subject Guide to your students' needs, which will improve their learning experience, skills and increase engagement with approved sources.
  • Liaising with the Academic Engagement Librarian and e-Resources Librarian's to run trials for relevant electronic products, encouraging other department members to review them, and providing input to the library on their potential and usefulness to the research of your department. Promoting training on electronic products with colleagues and students
  • Ensuring that members of your department are aware of services offered by the library, including classes, training, Special Collections, research support, the Institutional Repository and digital services
  • Possibly including the library as regular agenda item for your departmental meetings to provide an opportunity for members of your department to give their input on library collections, discuss library issues as a group and solicit feedback to bring to your liaison librarian
  • Inviting the Academic Engagement Librarian to your departmental meetings (perhaps once a year, or every two) to update your department and gather information on what needs you have, as well as troubleshooting issues for faculty.
  • Distributing, to all members of your department, information sent to you by the Academic Engagement Librarian regarding library issues, services, changes in policy, new resources, webinars, training, events, etc. Some Reps find it easiest to set up a dedicated Teams' space for their colleagues, where they share these updates. Others prefer to forward this email to colleagues in their departments, and some cherry-pick relevant information to alert colleagues and/or students to upcoming events, resources or information. 
  • Informing the Academic Engagement Librarian of any issues that your students have with the library or library services, so that MU Library can optimise our services, in order to respond to needs. 

Who should I contact in MU Library?

Print off this infographic (September 2023 version) in A4 / colour, and pin it on your bulletin board for easy reference:

Who is your departmental Library Rep?

To find out who your departmental Library Rep is email Helen Farrell, Academic Engagement Librarian.

Library Rep Meetings

We aim to meet Library Reps in a group setting (online via Teams / in person / hybrid - depending on feedback from Reps) about twice every academic year. These meetings are not mandatory, but can be helpful for Reps. They're also a good opportunity to network, as meetings are typically attended by a wide selection of cross-faculty departments. Library Reps can be Head's of Departments, faculty, or to Professional Services personnel.
The Academic Engagement Librarian uses these meetings to tell Library Reps of initiatives, projects, new supports, new resources, and discuss issues and plans in the Library, relevant to academic staff and students. The Library Reps have a chance to share issues and developments with each other. Suggestions for improvements are recorded and followed up on by the Library. Library Reps bring information back to their colleagues, departments and students for dissemination. We supply Library Reps with promotional material, where we can, to facilitate this sharing of information.

Managing the book budget

Library Reps are responsible for monitoring the library budget for your department and ordering books & e-books from it. Tasks can include:

  • Monitoring budgets throughout the year, to ensure the budget is spent within the academic year and communicating budget updates with the Head of your department
  • Organising book orders for your colleagues and the department
  • Ensuring that you organise orders to support new modules and reading lists
  • Keeping an eye on the development of your collection in MU Library and communicating with the Academic Engagement Librarian on this
  • Using resources from MU Library to set up alerts in your subject area that contain book reviews (see JournalTOC's - book review articles often appear in e-journals) to ensure you're ordering up to date material on your departmental topics
  • Alerting the Academic Engagement Librarian to any issues with the overall budget

You're no longer the Library Rep or there's a new Library Rep

We want to know if your Library Rep is changing or has changed. Email us with the information and we will amend our contacts.

Your Department's password for orders

If you need access to your department password to order a book, contact your Library Rep or Head of Department. Both should have that information. If you are unable get access to either, contact the Academic Engagement Librarian.