27 April 2022: Research Libraries UK is delighted to announce its support of the Technician Commitment, a university and research institution initiative which aims to ensure visibility, recognition, career development, and sustainability for technicians working in higher education and research in all disciplines.
Research libraries, archives, and information institutions hold great technical skills and expertise. While the term ‘technician' may not easily translate to the rich set of professional identities we celebrate within the research library community, we can readily identify the many diverse skills represented in academic and research libraries essential to producing new knowledge through research, innovation, and experimentation. These range from research data managers to archivists, from software developers to conservators, from photographers to open access publishing professionals.
As a consortium of 37 significant research libraries, RLUK is excited to become a named supporter of the Technician Commitment and to support and advocate for technical and specialist expertise contained across the research library community and higher education and research sectors.
Research Libraries make it happen: The Technician Commitment applied
As an embodiment of its commitment, RLUK has published a statement of support highlighting the importance of technical and specialist skills to research libraries, and the application of the Technician Commitment to roles across the research library, archive, and information communities. The statement is accompanied by a series of actions that RLUK will undertake to support the Commitment under its strategy, The Library Transforming. RLUK have also published several professional profiles, showcasing the technical and specialist skills of colleagues working across the RLUK community and how the Technician Commitment relates to their role.
In publishing this statement and professional profiles, Dr Jessica Gardner, RLUK chair said that:
RLUK is delighted to become a named supporter of the Technician Commitment and to promote its contents and values to the research library community. We look forward to working with our members, the AHRC, and the Science Council to champion the importance of technical and specialist skills contained within research libraries and the essential contribution they make to research and learning.
Professor Christopher Smith, Executive Chair, Arts and Humanities Research Council said:
I am delighted to see RLUK become a named supporter of the Technician Commitment. What's important is what comes next, a deep and serious recognition by applicants and funders that librarians and archivists are critical parts of our research ecosystem, cocreators of our best research and deserving of our full support and recognition, and AHRC has pledged to work with RLUK to this end.
Kelly Vere MBE, Programme Director of the Technician Commitment, Science Council, said
We are delighted to welcome RLUK to the Technician Commitment. We recognise the technical and specialist skills across research libraries that are so crucial to enabling research, innovation and education and we look forward to working with RLUK and AHRC to ensure increased visibility, recognition and opportunity for this vital community.
RLUK looks forward to working with its members, the AHRC, and the Science Council to realise the ambition and the vision of the Technician Commitment and to explore the ways in which this can apply across the research library, archive, and information management communities.
Research Libraries make it happen: Read RLUK's statement of support of the Technician Commitment and explore the essential role specialist and technical skills play in the work of research libraries here.