Publication

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 …


Blog

Looking at Library Information Technology, Leadership, and Culture
New Issue Brief from Dale Askey and Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe

Last year, I wrote on the changing organizational structure of academic libraries. Across my interviews with the former and current directors of large research libraries, I found a number of areas where these leaders were taking similar approaches—in redefining the role of the AUL, reallocating the staffing and materials budgets for general collections, and experimenting with new approaches to outreach and engagement roles. Their approach, however, was not as uniform…

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Publication

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 …


Blog

Talking About Library Organization
Webinar Recording Now Available

Earlier this week, I was invited by John Burger and Joni Blake to present recent research findings to a webinar hosted by ASERL and GWLA. I focused on the recent Ithaka S+R study on Organizing the Work of the Academic Library. My presentation and the resulting q&a are recorded and available for download. More than 100 librarians joined in to participate in the webinar, and the questions were energetic and…

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Blog

How Should We Organize the Academic Library?
The View from the Director’s Chair

Library leaders are faced with no shortage of imperatives. They are building new strategies to align the library in support of the research enterprise and student success. They are grappling with the challenges of stagnant budgets and rising costs. They are rethinking their tangible collections and renovating their facilities. In support of these types of efforts, library leaders are beginning to take on new approaches to management and organization. Especially…

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Publication

Organizing the Work of the Research Library

Established in an era when the collection was truly at the heart of the library, and when building and maintaining it was the focus of its work, the research library is today moving away from organizational structures centered around building and supporting the general collection. Research libraries are undertaking a number of radical transformations: from print towards electronic, from …