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SPEC Kit

Call for Proposals for SPEC Survey Topics 2015—Deadline July 18, 2014

SPEC logoSPECARL is seeking proposals for 2015 SPEC survey topics. For 40 years ARL has gathered and disseminated data through the SPEC survey program to assist libraries in the continuous improvement of their management systems. Each year, ARL works with librarians in the US and Canada to develop surveys of the ARL membership on strategic topics related to research library policies and practices. (Survey authors do not need to work at an ARL member library, but only ARL libraries are surveyed.)

 
 

Innovation and R&D, SPEC Kit 339, Published by ARL

spec-kit-339-coverInnovation and R&DARL has released Innovation and R&D, SPEC Kit 339, which investigates the current state of both innovation and research and development (R&D) in research library organizations. This SPEC Kit examines what outward-facing commitments libraries have made to innovation and R&D, and what foundations are in place to support these activities. The SPEC survey asked who is involved in innovative activities; how libraries organize themselves to create, support, and sustain innovation; and how they measure the resulting outcomes. The survey also collected data on which research libraries support R&D, at what level, for what purposes, and how these activities are organized, funded, and assessed.

 
 

SPEC Kit 339: Innovation and R&D

This SPEC Kit investigates the current state of both innovation and R&D in research library organizations. It examines what outward-facing commitments libraries have made to innovation and R&D, and what foundations are in place to support these activities. It asked who is involved in innovative activities, how libraries organize themselves to create, support, and sustain innovation, and how they measure the resulting outcomes. It also collected data on which research libraries support R&D, at what level, for what purposes, and how these activities are organized, funded, and assessed. The SPEC Kit includes examples of strategic plans and other documents that describe library support for innovation and research and development activities, organization charts, descriptions of research awards, and job descriptions of staff responsible for innovation and R&D.

This publication is available for purchase in both print and online versions. Download the spec-kit-purchase-options-2013.pdf  for complete pricing and purchase options information.

Link to the online SPEC Kit 339 on the ARL Digital Publications website.

 
 

SPEC Kit 338: Library Management of Disciplinary Repositories (November 2013)

This SPEC Kit examines the ways in which research libraries are involved in the administration of disciplinary repositories. It explores the disciplinary scope of the repository, collection policies, funding models, assessment practices, and staffing, among other information. The SPEC Kit presents case studies of 12 disciplinary repositories that are managed entirely or in part by a library and includes examples of web pages for each one that describe the repository content, features, policies, organizational structure, and how to submit resources

This publication is available for purchase in both print and online versions. Download the spec-kit-purchase-options-2013.pdf  for complete pricing and purchase options information.

Link to the online SPEC Kit 338 on the ARL Digital Publications website.

 
 

Library Management of Disciplinary Repositories, SPEC Kit 338, Published by ARL

spec-kit-338-coverLibrary Management of Disciplinary RepositoriesARL has released Library Management of Disciplinary Repositories, SPEC Kit 338, which examines the ways in which research libraries are involved in the administration of disciplinary repositories. This SPEC Kit explores the disciplinary scope of the repository, collection policies, funding models, assessment practices, and staffing, among other information.

 
 

SPEC Kit 337: Print Retention Decision Making (October 2013)

This SPEC Kit examines research libraries’ print retention decision making strategies related to storage of materials in three different types of facilities or circumstances: on-site, staff-only shelving, remote shelving, and collaborative retention agreements. The survey also examined the decision making and practices surrounding the deaccession of library material. For each retention or deaccession strategy, the survey includes questions on the on-going or project-based nature of the work, the involvement of stakeholders, the selection process and criteria for materials to be retained or deaccessioned, the communication strategy with internal and external audiences, and the responses from the libraries’ internal and external audiences to these endeavors. The SPEC Kit includes examples of collection management policies, on-site, off-site, and collaborative shelving strategies, last copy agreements, and procedures for retrieving materials from storage.

This publication is available for purchase in both print and online versions. Download the spec-kit-purchase-options-2013.pdf  for complete pricing and purchase options information.

Link to the online SPEC Kit 337 on the ARL Digital Publications website.

 
 

SPEC Kit 336: Responsible Conduct of Research Training (September 2013)

SPEC Kit 336 explores research libraries’ participation in institutional efforts to train faculty, staff, students, and other researchers in the principles of responsible conduct of research (RCR) and ethical research practices. The survey includes questions on the institution’s training activities, on training roles currently undertaken by librarians, and on librarians’ willingness to expand instruction into the arena of responsible conduct of research. The SPEC Kit includes examples of RCR websites, citation management guides, and RCR workshop and tutorial materials, and information about academic integrity and plagiarism, using copyrighted materials, data management, and research animal welfare.

This publication is available for purchase in both print and online versions. Download the spec-kit-purchase-options-2013.pdf  for complete pricing and purchase options information.

Link to the online SPEC Kit 336 on the ARL Digital Publications website.

 
 

SPEC Kit 335: Digital Image Collections and Services (August 2013)

SPEC Kit 335 examines how research libraries and their parent institutions have responded to the transition from analog to digital images and the growth of digital images available from commercial vendors and/or created within institutions or their libraries. The survey gathers information about current practices relating to the development and management of institutional digital image collections and the acquisition and use of licensed image databases. It explores the infrastructure and support provided by research libraries and/or their institutions for the creation and use of digital images in teaching, learning, and research, including systems and platforms, cataloging and metadata, access and training, services and service points, and copyright and other rights issues. It also identifies collaborative strategies among ARL member institutions for providing digital images. The SPEC Kit includes examples of digital image collection websites, finding aids, image use training materials, copyright and use rights policies, selection policies, descriptions of digital image service points, and digital collection promotional materials.

This publication is available for purchase in both print and online versions. Download the spec-kit-purchase-options-2013.pdf  for complete pricing and purchase options information.

Link to the online SPEC Kit 335 on the ARL Digital Publications website.

 
 

SPEC Kit 334: Research Data Management Services (July 2013)

SPEC Kit 334 surveys ARL member libraries on their activities related to access, management, and archiving of research data at their institutions. The survey explores the organization of research data management services (including a few questions on broader data support services), how they are staffed and funded, and what services they offer and to whom, among other questions. It includes examples of research data policies, data retention policies, data management plan tools, job descriptions, data needs assessment tools, data archive web pages, and staff resources.

This publication is available for purchase in both print and online versions. Download the spec-kit-purchase-options-2013.pdf  for complete pricing and purchase options information.

Link to the online SPEC Kit 334 on the ARL Digital Publications website.

 
 

Research Data Management Services, SPEC Kit 334, Published by ARL

ARL has published Research Data Management Services, SPEC Kit 334, which surveys ARL member libraries on their activities related to access, management, and archiving of research data at their institutions. The survey explores the organization of research data management services (including a few questions on broader data support services), how they are staffed and funded, and what services they offer and to whom, among other questions.

 
 

Call for Proposals for SPEC Survey Topics 2014—Deadline July 12, 2013

spec-logoSPEC surveysARL is seeking proposals for 2014 SPEC survey topics. For 40 years ARL has gathered and disseminated data through the SPEC survey program to assist libraries in the continuous improvement of their management systems. Each year, ARL works with librarians in the US and Canada to develop six surveys of the ARL membership on strategic topics related to research library policies and practices. (Survey authors do not need to work at an ARL member library, but only ARL libraries are surveyed.)

 
 

SPEC Kit 333: Art & Artifact Management (December 2012)

SPEC Kit 333 explores the scale and scope of art and artifact materials held by ARL member libraries, which tools and techniques they currently use to manage these collections, including those used by library staff only and those used to make information about these collections available to the public, and if there is evidence of a convergence of library, archive, and museum practices in the management of these collections. It includes collection development policies, guidelines for arranging materials, and examples of how art and artifact collections are described.

This publication is available for purchase in both online and print versions. Download the spec-kit-purchase-options-2013.pdf  for complete pricing and purchase options information.

Link to the online SPEC Kit 333 on the ARL Digital Publications website.

 
 

SPEC Kit 332: Organization of Scholarly Communication Services (November 2012)

SPEC Kit 332 explores how research institutions are currently organizing staff to support scholarly communication services, and whether their organizational structures have changed since 2007, when member libraries were surveyed about their scholarly communication education initiative. It covers who leads scholarly communication efforts inside and outside the library, the scholarly communication related services that are offered to researchers, and which staff support those services. It also looks at how the library measures the success of its scholarly communication services, including demonstrable outcomes of these services. It includes position descriptions for library leaders of scholarly communication efforts, charges for SC committees, organization charts, descriptions of SC services, assessment tools, open access policies, and SC resolutions.

This publication is available for purchase in both online and print versions. Download the spec-kit-purchase-options-2013.pdf  for complete pricing and purchase options information.

Link to the online SPEC Kit 332 on the ARL Digital Publications website.

 
 

SPEC Kit 331: Changing Role of Senior Administrators (October 2012)

SPEC Kit 331 focuses on the professional, administrative, and management positions that report directly to the library director (or in some ARL member libraries the position that serves as the representative to the association), positions that have not been examined by a SPEC survey since 1984. It explores the responsibilities of these positions, and the skills, qualifications, and competencies necessary for these administrators to successfully lead a transforming 21st century research library. It looks at whether and how position requirements have changed in the past five years, whether the number of direct reports has changed, whether these administrators have assumed new areas of organizational responsibility, and how they acquire the new skills to fulfill those responsibilities. It includes documents that compare organization charts and position descriptions from 2007 and 2012.

This publication is available for purchase in both online and print versions. Download the spec-kit-purchase-options-2013.pdf  for complete pricing and purchase options information.

Link to the online SPEC Kit 331 on the ARL Digital Publications website.

 
 

SPEC Kit 330: Library Contribution to Accreditation (September 2012)

SPEC Kit 330 explores the scope of accreditation standards,the data provided by research libraries to meet the requirements of accrediting bodies, and which library staff participate in preparing reports and site visits. The survey results may help libraries identify and understand what standards exist, and how their contributions lead to successful accreditation and reaccreditation for their parent institutions. Additionally, this survey sought to identify how deeply ARL libraries are involved in the accreditation process at the institutional level. As libraries strive to establish their impact and value in higher education, this measure is one way to gauge how institutional leaders perceive their libraries’ contributions. This SPEC Kit includes examples of programmatic and regional accrediting agency reports from respondents and descriptions of the accreditation process.

This publication is available for purchase in both online and print versions. Download the spec-kit-purchase-options-2013.pdf  for complete pricing and purchase options information.

Link to the online SPEC Kit 330 on the ARL Digital Publications website.

 
 

SPEC Kit 329: Managing Born-Digital Special Collections and Archival Materials (August 2012)

SPEC Kit 329 explores the tools, workflow, and policies special collections and archives staff use to process, manage, and provide access to born-digital materials they collect. It also looks at which staff process and manage born-digital materials and how they acquire the skills they need for these activities, and how libraries have responded to the challenges that managing born-digital materials present. It includes documentation from respondents that describe digital specialists’ job responsibilities, collection policies, gift/purchase agreements, format policies, and workflows.

This publication is available for purchase in both online and print versions. Download the spec-kit-purchase-options-2013.pdf  for complete pricing and purchase options information.

Link to the online SPEC Kit 329 on the ARL Digital Publications website.

 
 

SPEC Kit 328: Collaborative Teaching and Learning Tools (July 2012)

SPEC Kit 328 gathers information about what collaborative teaching and learning tools are currently being offered to users in ARL member libraries. It covers questions on which kinds of tools are offered, how many, and why, where they are located, who may use them, the sources of funding, who provides training and support, and what techniques are used to promote and evaluate the tools. For the purpose of this survey, “collaborative teaching and learning tools” are limited to the equipment, devices, or systems being offered to research library users in a self-service environment including, but not limited to, the following: interactive whiteboards (IWBs, e.g., SMART Board), touchscreen tablet computers (e.g., iPads), classroom/audience response system (e.g., clickers), interactive learning centers (e.g., TouchTables), and Wii gaming systems. This SPEC Kit includes documentation from respondents that describe available equipment and services, loan policies, instructions for using equipment, and materials promoting the services.

This publication is available for purchase in both online and print versions. Download the spec-kit-purchase-options-2013.pdf  for complete pricing and purchase options information.

Link to the online SPEC Kit 328 on the ARL Digital Publications website.

 
 

SPEC Kit 327: Reconfiguring Service Delivery (December 2011)

SPEC Kit 327 investigates whether and how ARL member libraries have reconfigured staffed service delivery points in the main library and in any branches that report to the main library. It explores whether service points and/or branches have been added, closed, or consolidated; the drivers for those decisions; the impacts on staff; the changes in delivery methods; and whether there have been any collaborations with other institutions or consortia, or outsourcing of service delivery. It also explores user involvement in the planning for service changes and whether the effectiveness of new service configurations has been assessed. The survey used a case study approach to reveal developing patterns, unique applications, and anticipated changes in the physical or organizational arrangement of service delivery that may be widely adaptable in other libraries so that they can continue to be the primary information providers for their constituents. This SPEC Kit includes documentation from respondents that describes the service philosophy, services offered, planning process, and communications about service changes. Also included are floorplans and images of redesigned spaces.

This publication is available for purchase in both online and print versions. Download the spec-kit-purchase-options-2013.pdf  for complete pricing and purchase options information.

Link to the online SPEC Kit 327 on the ARL Digital Publications website.

 
 

SPEC Kit 326: Digital Humanities (November 2011)

SPEC Kit 326 provides a snapshot of research library experiences with digital scholarship centers or services that support the humanities (e.g., history, art, music, film, literature, philosophy, religion, etc.) and the benefits and challenges of hosting them. The survey asked ARL libraries about the organization of these services, how they are staffed and funded, what services they offer and to whom, what technical infrastructure is provided, whether the library manages or archives the digital resources produced, and how services are assessed, among other questions. This SPEC Kit includes documentation from respondents that describes the mission or purpose of digital humanities centers, the services offered, policies and procedures, examples of digital projects, fellowship and grant opportunities, promotional materials, and repositories for digital projects.

This publication is available for purchase in both online and print versions. Download the spec-kit-purchase-options-2013.pdf  for complete pricing and purchase options information.

Link to the online SPEC Kit 326 on the ARL Digital Publications website.

 
 

SPEC Kit 325: Digital Preservation (October 2011)

SPEC Kit 325 explores the strategies that ARL member institutions use to protect evolving research collections and the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders. The survey asked ARL libraries about their digital content, their strategies for preserving that content, and the staff, time, and funding they currently devote to digital preservation. It also asked each responding library to compare its digital preservation activities of three years ago to current activities and project three years into the future. In addition, to better understand the roles of research libraries in the emergent field of digital curation, the survey sought to identify issues that are and are not being addressed through current practices and policies. This SPEC Kit includes documentation from respondents that describes policies, procedures, and guidelines for digital preservation, cooperative agreements, job descriptions, and data management services.

This publication is available for purchase in both online and print versions. Download the spec-kit-purchase-options-2013.pdf  for complete pricing and purchase options information.

Link to the online SPEC Kit 325 on the ARL Digital Publications website.

 
 

SPEC Kit 324: Collecting Global Resources (September 2011)

SPEC Kit 324 explores the trends, practices, and challenges in collecting global resources in North American research libraries at a time of political and economic change, on the one hand, and of significant change in scholarly communication and collection management strategies, on the other. It covers global resources collections (including an overview of expenditures, collecting trends, sources of funding, and acquisition strategies), staff and organizational structure, preservation strategies, and discovery, public service, and outreach. It includes documentation from respondents that describes print and digital global collections, collection development policies, examples of research guides, and organization charts.

This publication is available for purchase in both online and print versions. Download the spec-kit-purchase-options-2013.pdf  for complete pricing and purchase options information.

Link to the online SPEC Kit 324 on the ARL Digital Publications website.

 
 

SPEC Kit 323: Socializing New Hires (August 2011)

SPEC Kit 323 investigates the progress made in ARL member organizations to establish or enhance socialization programs and activities (such as orientation programs, mentoring, residency appointments, and staff development sessions directed at organizational acculturation) for all newly hired, paid employees. It explores the availability and types of programs, activities, and resources currently offered in ARL institutions; staff involved in designing and coordinating socialization programs and activities; goals and budget for socialization programs; length of participation in programs and activities; evaluation and assessment of programs; and benefits of socialization programs, activities and resources. It includes documentation from respondents that describes orientation, mentoring, and peer socialization programs, and provides examples of orientation websites, orientation/socialization checklists, program evaluation methods, and staff development resources.

This publication is available for purchase in both online and print versions. Download the spec-kit-purchase-options-2013.pdf  for complete pricing and purchase options information.

Link to the online SPEC Kit 323 on the ARL Digital Publications website.

 
 

SPEC Kit 322: Library User Experience (July 2011)

SPEC Kit 322 explores recent and planned user experience activities at ARL member libraries and the impact these efforts have on helping the libraries transform to meet evolving user needs. The survey elicited examples of successful user experience activities to serve as benchmarks for libraries looking to create or expand efforts in this area. It also explored whether libraries have created positions or entire departments focused on user engagement and the user experience. This SPEC Kit includes documentation from respondents that describe user experience planning and organization, specific projects, how volunteers are recruited, the role of advisory boards, and job requirements for user experience coordinators, among others.

This publication is available for purchase in both online and print versions. Download the spec-kit-purchase-options-2013.pdf  for complete pricing and purchase options information.

Link to the online SPEC Kit 322 on the ARL Digital Publications website.

 
 

SPEC Kit 321: Services for Users with Disabilities (December 2010)

SPEC Kit 321 explores what services are being provided and how users are made aware of them; what assistive technologies are being offered today and who maintains them; which library staff have responsibility for providing services and how are they trained; and what service policies and procedures are in place for users with disabilities. It includes documentation from respondents that describe the services offered, the assistive technology that is available, service policies, user needs assessment, staff training materials, and job requirements for service coordinators.

This publication is available for purchase in both online and print versions. Download the spec-kit-purchase-options-2013.pdf  for complete pricing and purchase options information.

Link to the online SPEC Kit 321 on the ARL Digital Publications website.

 
 

SPEC Kit 320: Core Benefits (November 2010)

SPEC Kit 320 explores the core employment benefits of retirement, and life, health, and other insurance —benefits that are typically decided by the parent institution and often have significant governmental regulation. It includes documentation from respondents that describe the benefits offered to library staff, provide details about retirement plans and life and health insurance options, and describe job requirements for staff who administer benefits programs.

This publication is available for purchase in both online and print versions. Download the spec-kit-purchase-options-2013.pdf  for complete pricing and purchase options information.

Link to the online SPEC Kit 320 on the ARL Digital Publications website.

 
 

SPEC Kit 319: Diversity Plans and Programs (October 2010)

SPEC Kit 319 explores what progress has been made in ARL member libraries to recruit and retain a diverse workforce; the strategies they use to increase the number of ethnically/culturally diverse librarians in the profession and in their libraries; the elements of programs that successfully support an inclusive workplace; the people, groups, and/or committees responsible for overseeing the programs; and how libraries are assessing the effectiveness and success of such programs. It includes documentation from respondents in the form of diversity statements, diversity plans, and descriptions of diversity and recruitment programs.

This publication is available for purchase in both online and print versions. Download the spec-kit-purchase-options-2013.pdf  for complete pricing and purchase options information.

Link to the online SPEC Kit 319

 
 

SPEC Kit 318: Impact Measures in Research Libraries (September 2010)

SPEC Kit 318 explores the tools and methods libraries use to gauge the difference they make for their user community, the topics assessment practitioners probe and the results they obtain, the effects of impact assessment, and whether institutions that publicize positive impact evidence see a difference in the level of financial or political support from their parent institutions. It includes documentation from respondents in the form of impact assessment goals, user surveys, and calculations of library value.

This publication is available for purchase in both online and print versions. Download the spec-kit-purchase-options-2013.pdf  for complete pricing and purchase options information.

Link to the online SPEC Kit 318 on the ARL Digital Publications website.

 
 

SPEC Kit 317: Special Collections Engagement (August 2010)

SPEC Kit 317 examines exhibits, events, instruction, and other activities that are targeted to engage students, faculty, and other scholars/researchers with special collections for research and education. It investigates who coordinates these activities, where they are held, how they are promoted, and how they are evaluated. It includes documentation from respondents in the form of policies and procedures, class request procedures, descriptions of class assignments and resources, job descriptions, and exhibit and event promotional methods.

This publication is available for purchase in both online and print versions. Download the spec-kit-purchase-options-2013.pdf  for complete pricing and purchase options information.

Link to the online SPEC Kit 317 on the ARL Digital Publications website.

 
 

SPEC Kit 316: Evaluating E-resources (July 2010)

SPEC Kit 316 re-examines the ways in which ARL member libraries have (re)structured themselves to identify the availability of new e-resources in the market; evaluate them as candidates for acquisition; decide to acquire/purchase the e-resources; evaluate them prior to their renewal to determine their continued utility; and publicize or market the new e-resources. Nearly identical questions were posed regarding purchases/licensing by consortia and by individual libraries, enabling comparisons in process to be made. This SPEC Kit includes documentation from respondents in the form of e-resource selection policies, e-resource request and evaluation procedures, descriptions of library and consortia e-resource selectors, job descriptions, and promotional methods.

This publication is available for purchase in both online and print versions. Download the spec-kit-purchase-options-2013.pdf  for complete pricing and purchase options information.

Link to the online SPEC Kit 316 on the ARL Digital Publications website.

 
 

SPEC Kit 315: Leave and Professional Development Benefits (December 2009)

SPEC Kit 315 investigates two broad categories of benefit plans currently offered to professional library staff at ARL member libraries: leave time and support for professional development activities. Topics include benefits eligibility; holiday and intersession leave; plan designs and accrual rates for paid time off (PTO), vacation, and sick leave; and professional development leaves such as dedicated research time and sabbaticals. Other professional development topics include financial support and relief from duties for conference attendance; funding for professional association memberships; and financial and other support for college credit course work, internships, and certifications. It includes documentation from respondents in the form of policies on travel support, professional development leave and funding, sabbaticals, education, and tuition assistance and an example of an individual development award program.

This publication is available for purchase in both online and print versions. Download the spec-kit-purchase-options-2013.pdf  for complete pricing and purchase options information.

Link to the online SPEC Kit 315 on the ARL Digital Publications website.

 
 
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