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Elliott Shore’s Listening Tour

Notes from Elliott Shore’s Listening Tour: Brown, Dartmouth, UMass, UConn, Yale

Brown University, Robinson HallBrown University, Robinson Hall (Old Library)

ARL executive director Elliott Shore has embarked on a "listening tour" of ARL member libraries. This is the ninth in a series of informal reports from his visits.

The week before Thanksgiving in the US, I had the pleasure of touring New England as their crisp fall was beginning to turn into winter. I visited five ARL libraries in five days, reprising in a slightly larger territory my first visit to Boston’s five ARL libraries. The concentration of fine institutions of higher education located within an easy drive of Boston is quite stunning—10 ARL libraries and many of the country’s finest liberal arts colleges populate this cradle of US American higher education. I started in Providence, Rhode Island, at Brown University, made my way north and west to Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, then south to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, farther south to the University of Connecticut, in Storrs, and ended my trip at Yale University in New Haven. This trip was characterized by gorgeous campuses, finely and faithfully restored and expanded libraries, deep engagement with the intellectual life of venerable institutions, and the exuberance of the land-grant flagships of Massachusetts and Connecticut. Coming at a time when we are deeply engaged in the strategic thinking and design process, each of these libraries demonstrated ways forward in consonance with what we are finding throughout the community of ARL.

 
 

Notes from Elliott Shore’s Listening Tour: Yellow Brick, Red Brick, Limestone: Three Days in Indiana and on the East and West Banks of the Mississippi

University of Notre Dame, Architecture LibraryARL executive director Elliott Shore has embarked on a "listening tour" of ARL member libraries. This is the eighth in a series of informal reports from his visits.

After a summer’s pause, I went back on the road again to visit Diane Parr Walker at Notre Dame, Jim Mullins at Purdue, and Brenda Johnson at Indiana University on the continuation of my listening tour. I then headed north to visit ARL president Wendy Lougee at the University of Minnesota. The pause was a generative one: in the interim I could collect and synthesize my thoughts and my notes as we started the data collection and mining research project for the ARL strategic thinking and design process with the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. At the same time, we began to put together the various pieces of the design studio that Ann Pendleton-Jullian is leading for us, also with grant support: her work and the regional meetings we are arranging are underwritten by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. A new ARL directors’ orientation in September—did you know that there have been 26 new directors appointed in the last 18 months?—afforded Ann and me the opportunity to have a productive session with 19 of the new directors as we geared up for the first design studio in Minneapolis (watch for that report soon).

 
 

Notes from Elliott Shore’s Listening Tour: Delaware, Cincinnati, Ohio U, OSU, Case Western

case-western-reserve-u-smith-library-elevator-trompe-l-oeilCase Western Reserve, Smith Library, elevator trompe l'oeilARL executive director Elliott Shore has embarked on a "listening tour" of ARL member libraries. This is the seventh in a series of informal reports from his visits.

In late June, I visited University of Delaware and then four of the five ARL member libraries in Ohio—University of Cincinnati, Ohio University, Ohio State University, and Case Western Reserve University. At each library I met with the director—Susan Brynteson, Xuemao Wang, Scott Seaman, Carol Diedrichs, and Arnold Hirshon—and their staffs. There was not enough time to visit all five Ohio ARL libraries but Jim Bracken of Kent State University graciously volunteered to meet with us at Ohio State.

 
 

Notes from Elliott Shore’s Listening Tour: Ontario, Canada

mcmaster-u-lib-staff-with-elliott-shoreMcMaster U Library staff with Elliott Shore, photo by John FinkARL executive director Elliott Shore has embarked on a "listening tour" of ARL member libraries. This is the sixth in a series of informal reports from his visits.

Last month my listening tour of ARL libraries took me to University of Toronto, York University, and McMaster University, where I met with Larry Alford, Cynthia Archer, and Vivian Lewis (a former ARL RLLF fellow) and their respective staffs.

 
 

Notes from Elliott Shore’s Listening Tour: Penn State, Rochester, Cornell, a New York Minute, Kansas, Memphis, Vanderbilt

columbia-university-low-memorial-libraryColumbia University, Low Memorial LibraryARL executive director Elliott Shore has embarked on a "listening tour" of ARL member libraries. This is the fifth in a series of informal reports from his visits.

During the week of April 8 my listening tour of ARL libraries took me to Penn State University, Rochester, and Cornell, where I met with Barbara Dewey, Mary Ann Mavrinac (a former ARL RLLF fellow), and Anne Kenney and their respective staffs. The following week I had a “New York Minute” on April 16 and visited Columbia, NYU, and NYPL with a side-trip to NYPL’s processing center in Queens. I met with Jim Neal, Carol Mandel, and Ann Thornton and their AULs in their buildings all between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. that day. And this week I am spending time with Lorraine Haricombe at Kansas and Connie Dowell at Vanderbilt, with an appearance at the ASERL meeting in Memphis sandwiched in between.

 
 
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