Rethinking Liaison Programs for the Humanities

For generations, most research libraries have had employees with deep subject expertise. Once known as bibliographers, these scholars and librarians originally focused their efforts on selection for collection building. Today, there is real anxiety about the role of subject expertise and academic liaisons in research libraries. We argue that evidence about scholars’ practices and needs should be a key input …

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Finding a Way from the Margins to the Middle
Library Information Technology, Leadership, and Culture

Given the number and variety of significant information technology projects led or supported by research libraries, one could incorrectly assume that information technology has been successfully integrated into our organizations. Unlike other recent library service program developments—namely, information literacy and scholarly communication, which also started on the margins—information technology has not found its way to the “middle” in most of …

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Finding the Public Domain
The Copyright Review Management System

The public domain is the ultimate open access. It is key to the bargain of copyright. Rather simplistically, in order to incentivize authors to produce works, the public, through Congress, grants authors copyrights in those works. While there is a range of opinion about the purpose and nature of copyright, they all have one common idea: copyright is limited by …

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Rethinking Research Libraries in the Era of Global Universities

As our world becomes increasingly interconnected politically, economically, culturally, and socially, higher education has followed suit. The 2011 survey by the American Council of Education’s Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement found a perceived acceleration of internationalization across campuses, from doctoral to associate degree institutions.[1] The definition of what that means for each institution varies. Graham Elkin, Faiyaz …

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Due Diligence and Stewardship in a Time of Change and Uncertainty

This Issue Brief has been adapted from Deanna Marcum’s keynote address at the CRL Collections Forum held in Chicago on April 14, 2016.[1] For as long as humankind has been recording thoughts and ideas, we have been concerned about the technologies and processes that will ensure preservation of those records. Consider Cassiodorus, a high official in the Ostrogothic …

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Issues Facing Major Research Universities at a Time of Stress AND Opportunity

This Issue Brief presents the lightly edited text of William G. Bowen’s keynote address at the Rutgers University 250th Anniversary Presidential Symposium on Higher Education, delivered in New Brunswick, NJ, on April 7, 2016. I would like to begin by acknowledging some of my many debts to Rutgers. My wife and I both have Rutgers degrees, hers an earned Master’s …

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Library Leadership for the Digital Age

The National Federation of Advanced Information Systems (NFAIS) honored me at its annual meeting in February with the Miles Conrad Award. I had an opportunity to give a lecture on any topic of my choosing. Leadership for the library profession has been a career-long interest, so I focused on what kind of leadership is required for the digital environment. In …

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Research Data Management
Roles for Libraries

Background: the emerging role of data management in research libraries I first became aware of research data management as a frontier area of expertise for libraries and librarians almost 10 years ago. Tony Hey was one of the first to popularize the term ‘e-science’ and the idea that librarians had a role to play in managing research data.[1] …

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Double Trouble
Sweet Briar College and Cooper Union

Sometimes, large lessons can be learned from the travails of small institutions. This is, we believe, true of the dramatic sagas of two very different private educational institutions: Sweet Briar College in Virginia and The Cooper Union in New York. The near-demise of Sweet Briar (now attempting to renew itself, but with uncertain prospects) and the struggles of Cooper Union …

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Talent Management for Academic Libraries

When library deans and directors make public statements, they invariably acknowledge staff as the library’s most important asset. It seems that this platitude is becoming increasingly relevant as academic and research libraries make the transition from collections-centered to services-centered organizations. The staff line is the largest budget line in most library budgets, and staff will determine the success of the …

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