Purpose: The paper aims to explore the new and changing role of the research librarian with specific reference to Charles Darwin University (CDU), Australia. In response to the changing research landscape in Australia, Charles Darwin University Library in the Northern Territory has developed a series of services and resources to meet the special needs of its growing research community.
Design/methodology/approach: The impact of the support being provided to researchers by CDU Library has been measured through two survey questionnaires followed by focus group discussions. Feedback is also obtained regularly from workshop participants through an evaluation form. In order to meet researchers' needs, Library staff have successfully used both formal and informal methods of professional development on an ongoing basis in order to bridge any gaps that are identified through the evaluation exercises.
Findings: In the face of the changing research landscape in Australia, the research librarian needs to ensure that in turn, his or her skills and qualifications will need to be continually updated to ensure that researchers' needs are being met. Librarians have to become involved in new roles, roles that are not traditionally associated with librarians, such as data management and curation.
Practical implications: The practical implications will include: Continuing Professional Development for the research librarian; possible reorganisation of the functional units of the Library; and the relationship between the librarian and the researcher in a changing environment.
Social implications: This paper asks questions of LIS providers in relation to opportunities for upgrading the skills and status of librarians engaged with the research community.
Originality/value: This paper provides a discussion on recent literature on research librarianship and it deals with an issue that is currently of interest to a number of academic libraries. The strategies adopted by CDU will be of interest to smaller, isolated and less well resourced university libraries in similar situations.