Work Stream 1: Data Gathering & Analysis
The first work stream in the strategic thinking process is the data gathering and analysis phase, which is important for developing a clear understanding of current research library and higher education issues and challenges. This information will help participants in the design studio process develop recommendations for future goals and actions for the Association. This work stream has been generously supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Research fellows are conducting an environmental scan of ARL libraries and universities including IT organizations and university presses through qualitative data mining of:
- Mission statements and strategic plans
- Telephone follow-up interviews with selected ARL library directors
- Elliott Shore’s listening tour and site-visit notes including his discussions with the heads of other higher education associations
- Sources identified by ARL member libraries that describe work in progress that defines their leading-edge activities
- Recent conference proceedings
- Mission statements and strategic plans of North American higher education associations
This environmental scan will also include the review of various ARL statistical measures as well as reports produced by other relevant entities (i.e., the American Academy of Arts & Sciences’s The Heart of the Matter, and Harvard’s The Teaching of the Arts and Humanities at Harvard College: Mapping the Future) that could inform discussions about the future of research libraries. The need for additional data may be identified based on the analyses being conducted.
A survey was sent to ARL directors in August 2013 to collect accurate links and documents (i.e., mission statements and strategic plans) for the various relevant entities of the university. In addition, the survey solicited descriptions of innovative activities and the environment in which the library functions.
Deliverable from Data Gathering and Analysis
Preliminary reporting of the data gathering and analysis will inform work streams 2 and 3. A full report of work stream 1 will be completed by mid-January 2014.