Digital transformation in library processes shapes collaboration between Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and Notre Dame

Author: Bibliotecas UC

Nd Uc Rep 2

For more than thirty years, Notre Dame has been collaborating with Chilean colleagues, along with developing strategic programs in Latin America. With a shared vision to be preeminent research universities committed to both global engagement and a Catholic mission, a memorandum of understanding was signed to strengthen scholarly engagement between Notre Dame and the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UC).

This agreement established an official exchange program, encouraging faculty, doctoral students and university representatives from Notre Dame to visit, work, study, and collaborate with UC colleagues.

To support the exchange between the two universities, the Luksic Family Collaboration Grant was created to encourage faculty to find new ways to partner on research, exchanges, and conferences. The Luksic Grant, facilitated by Notre Dame International, also encourages reciprocal visits for faculty and staff from both universities. To date, this grant program has funded more than 60 projects and has allowed Notre Dame to dramatically expand the breadth of research and collaborative missions in Chile.

The Luksic Family Collaboration Grant was recently awarded to Project Directors Natalie K. Meyers, e-research librarian, and Erika Hosselkus, curator and Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Studies librarian, along with Lead Collaborator, Anna Michelle Martinez-Montavon, instructional design librarian, with the Hesburgh Libraries.

The year-long collaboration will result in a digital transformation and assessment plan for the UC Libraries that will guide library priorities and have an impact on the curriculum, research, and students at their university. It will enable the UC Libraries to take a lead role in advancing the university’s effort to implement a digital strategy that informs its vision as a 21st-century institution of higher learning.


Read the original article published in Spanish by Biblioteca UC.

Natalie Meyers and Anna Michelle Martinez-Montavon from the University of Notre Dame Hesburgh Libraries recently got to know the library system for the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UC) thanks to a growing partnership based on collaboration and exchange between the institutions.

In order to discuss the effect of digital transformation on university library processes, UC Libraries were recently visited by two librarians from the Hesburgh Libraries of the University of Notre Dame) who have actively participated in these processes at their university in the U.S.

During their time at UC, Natalie Meyers and Anna Michelle Martinez-Montavon had the opportunity to meet with the University’s provost, Guillermo Marshall, with the Director of UC Libraries, Evelyn Didier, and with representatives from many of the UC Libraries’ teams. Focusing on the implementation and impact of digital processes, they also met with the team that leads the Digital Transformation process within the UC Libraries and with each of the areas of support for Research, Publication and Instruction.

The UC Libraries talked with Natalie and Anna about their impressions from this visit and about the implications of digital transformation for the work of the library.

*Natalie Meyers (N) is an E-Research Librarian in Digital Initiatives and Scholarship at the Navari Family Center for Digital Scholarship at the Hesburgh Libraries

*Anna Michelle Martinez-Montavon (A) is an Instructional Design Librarian for the Hesburgh Libraries

Based on your experience at Notre Dame, how would you define the concept of “Digital Transformation”?

N: The digital transformation is not just doing the usual, but WITH a computer. It’s about doing things in a different way because we HAVE a computer. Thanks to digital tools and the collaboration that they allow us, our work can be accelerated, improved and expanded; positively affecting teaching, learning and research.

A: Digital transformation is the way in which technological changes create new opportunities for teams, leading them to develop new skills.

What are the new opportunities that arise for people who work in libraries thanks to digital transformation?

A: I think that for my area of focus there are new opportunities to reach students, particularly related to delivering information, training and resources online. This allows us to make our resources and support available regardless of time or day.

N: Thanks to a project we did in our library, for example, we saw how machine learning can contribute to improving the findability of some resources, helping us to better categorize our content. This is a job that consumes a lot of time, and with the incorporation of this technology we can achieve better findability for all the resources of the library, making the content more easily accessible to all.

How has the relationship between students and the Library changed thanks to digital transformation?

N: We participated in a pharmaceutical studies project in which undergraduate students from all over the world worked collaboratively. This experience allowed students to learn from a real scientific process and is an example of how digital transformation and technology can change the learning experience and benefit the advancement of science. And in this case, even contribute to save lives!

What are the challenges posed by this process in organizations such as the university library?

A: Change is really hard and that is not a new challenge. One of the greatest challenges is shifting our perspective from fear of the unfamiliar, to excitement about new opportunities. One of the strategies we use at Notre Dame to integrate this new perspective is to start incorporating agile methodology in project management; which means to try things in stages, see if it turns out and then decide if we want to continue along that path. It has been very good and helps control fear and the feeling of risk.

N: At Notre Dame we find that our students are “lifelong learners”, that is, they spend their whole lives learning new things and the University accompanies them on this path, first as students and then in their role as alumni. We understand now that the new technology will accompany you at work, as well as in your social or family life; you will need [those skills] to use a tool that will allow you to vote in elections, to use a medical device, to get a better job or to decide whether an entertainment system is really safe for your children. Digital transformation helps us in all these aspects of life because through digital education we have new ways of learning in a world that constantly demands new information and knowledge.

What has stood out to you about the process of Digital Transformation that the UC Libraries are going through?

N: I’ve been impressed by how the digital transformation plan is taking into account the needs and expectations of the people, both the work teams and the patrons, all while evaluating the current state of technology and how to progress from where the University is now to where tomorrow’s students need to be. It has been a great opportunity to see how the Library has approached this issue systematically, understanding it as part of a “whole” rather than just achieve the technological side of it.


Contact: Natalie K. Meyers, Hesburgh Libraries and Navari Family Center for Digital Scholarship, o: 574-631-1546, e:

Originally published in Spanish by Bibliotecas UC.

Originally published by Bibliotecas UC at on October 08, 2019.