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Planning and Visioning

ARL Strategic Design Meeting Convenes at GWU

gwu-gelman-lib-entrance-floorimage © GWUARL’s strategic thinking and design process continues to make headway. Martha Kyrillidou reports on the regional design meeting hosted by the George Washington University (GWU) in Washington, DC, in December. She notes the Washingtonian nature of this group of participants, including staff from “federal library and archival agencies—such as the Smithsonian Libraries, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), and National Institutes of Health (NIH)—as well as the DC Public Library, Montgomery College Libraries, and the libraries of such universities as GWU, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, University of Maryland, and University of Virginia.” She observes:

 
 

Washington, DC, Design Meeting, ARL Strategic Design, December 4

gwu-gelman-lib-entrance-floorimage © GWUCrossing the recently transformed, second-floor foyer of the George Washington University (GWU) Gelman Library—now a state-of-the-art, student-oriented space—prepared us for an engaging ARL strategic thinking and design experience on December 4. Geneva Henry, vice provost for libraries and university librarian at GWU, welcomed us to the library and set the tone for an invigorating day. More than 40 participants enthusiastically took part in the discussions, being invited to imagine and articulate elements of the research library in 2033 by ARL’s strategic design consultant, Ann Pendleton-Jullian. The group was diverse and uniquely Washingtonian in character. Participants represented federal library and archival agencies—such as the Smithsonian Libraries, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), and National Institutes of Health (NIH)—as well as the DC Public Library, Montgomery College Libraries, and the libraries of such universities as GWU, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, University of Maryland, and University of Virginia. A few ARL staff members also participated in the discussions.  

 
 

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.

 
 

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.

 
 

Toronto Design Meeting, ARL Strategic Design, November 8

U Toronto Robarts Library 4th floorimage © University of TorontoOn a brisk November day, the University of Toronto hosted a regional meeting for the ARL strategic thinking and design process in the Robarts Library Blackburn Room. Constructed in honor of Robert Blackburn, chief librarian from 1954 through 1981, the room opened in the fall of 2012 as a state-of-the-art meeting and presentation room.  It provided a setting for a lively conversation among the nearly 30 participants about the potential futures for research libraries.

 
 

ARL Strategic Design Meeting Convenes in Toronto

U Toronto Robarts Library 4th floorimage © University of TorontoARL’s strategic thinking and design process continues apace. Julia Blixrud reports on the regional design meeting hosted by the University of Toronto in November. She notes:

Some of the themes subsequently drawn from the small group discussions included preparation for new competencies and skills, innovation, leverage and collaboration, partnering with others, community engagement, and library space as a means for socialization. By themselves, the words sound familiar—it will be the application and articulation that stretch the imagination for the future role of the research library.

 
 

ARL Strategic Design Process Launches

Thomas W Lawson clipper shipARL’s strategic thinking and design process kicked off with a regional design meeting led by consultant Ann Pendleton-Jullian and hosted by the University of Minnesota on October 1. There have been three subsequent regional design meetings to date: in Los Angeles on October 17, in Chicago on October 22, and in Toronto today. ARL staff are reporting on selected meetings as they happen.

 
 

Chicago Design Meeting, ARL Strategic Design, October 22

U I C Idea Commonsimage © University of IllinoisThirty-three people gathered in the University of Illinois at Chicago Student Center on October 22 to participate in a regional design meeting of the ARL strategic thinking and design process. “The future of the research library is intertwined with the future of higher education and the preservation of cultural memory broadly. It therefore made sense to the ARL Board of Directors to design the future of our association with broad community participation,” said ARL Executive Director Elliott Shore. “We are grateful to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for its generous support of these meetings.”

 
 

Minneapolis Design Meeting, ARL Strategic Design, October 1

U Minnesota pedestrian suspension bridgeimage © nathanmARL’s strategic thinking and design process kicked off with an invigorating regional design meeting, led by consultant Ann Pendleton-Jullian and hosted by the University of Minnesota on October 1. Meeting participants included almost 30 thought leaders from ARL member libraries, the broader library community, and higher education. The meeting was convened by three of the four co-chairs of the strategic design coordinating committee: Tom Hickerson (Calgary), Wendy Lougee (Minnesota), and Elliott Shore (ARL). Susan Nutter (North Carolina State), the fourth co-chair, was unable to attend but she did participate in the first design studio in Washington, DC, on October 29. Tom Hickerson opened the Minneapolis meeting, noting that this is an “exciting opportunity to engage in a creative process” that should impact the entire library profession.

 
 

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).

 
 

ARL Awarded IMLS and Mellon Grants for Strategic Thinking and Design

System of action exemplified by El SistemaARL has been awarded two grants to support a strategic thinking and design process in 2013–2014. This strategic process will frame the critical work of the Association and define the role ARL plays in higher education and research to maximize its ability to be agile and responsive to rapidly changing priorities and member institution needs. To accomplish this goal, the ARL membership and members of the higher education and library communities will engage in a three-part iterative process of strategic thinking:

 
 

Radical Change in Library Assessment Called for by Elliott Shore at Northumbria Conference

Elliott Shore, photo by Jon EricksonElliott Shore, ARL executive director, delivered a clarion call in the opening keynote address at the 10th Northumbria International Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries and Information Services, held in late July in York, England. Shore’s presentation, titled “The Role of the Library in the Transformative Higher Education Environment: Or Fitting Our Measures to Our Goals,” challenged the library assessment community to radically change the measures it collects and uses. He proposed that libraries shift their assessment focus from description to prediction, from inputs to outputs, from quantity to quality.

 
 

ARL Membership to Convene Oct. 9–10 in Arlington, Virginia

image © Milko RomeroARL President Wendy Lougee, university librarian at University of Minnesota, will convene the 163rd ARL Membership Meeting in Arlington, Virginia, on the afternoon of Wednesday, October 9. Several programs that build on recent discussions about strategic thinking and the future framework for ARL are in development. The meeting will adjourn on Thursday afternoon, October 10, just before the start of the ARL Fall Forum on “Mobilizing the Research Enterprise.” Please see the Membership Meeting schedule for complete details, including information on the committee meetings to be held Wednesday morning before the Membership Meeting convenes.

 
 

Membership Meeting 2013 (Spring): Doing Less with Less

Presented at the 162nd ARL Membership Meeting, May 2013, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, by Martha Whitehead

pdf mm13sp-whitehead.pdf

 
 

ARL Membership Meeting Spring 2013 Slides Available Online

dogwood blossomsDogwood, image © tanakawhoSpeakers’ slides from the ARL Membership Meeting held May 1–3 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, are now on the ARL website. Available slides include:

 
   

Balanced Scorecard Initiative: ARL Issues Call for Participation

balanced-scorecard-woman-books-apple-crop-140x105ARL has issued a call for participation in the third Balanced Scorecard (BSC) Initiative cohort. The year-long initiative will engage a small number of research libraries in a systematic way to consider the benefits of applying a locally developed library scorecard. Libraries with a keen interest in continuous improvement and strategic assessment are invited to apply.

 
 

New Roles for New Times: Research Library Services for Graduate Students

The report proposes that the growing number, and heterogeneity, of graduate students and programs presents opportunities for research libraries to provide segmented services targeted for students at different stages of their academic and demographic life-cycle.

Through their interviews, Covert-Vail and Collard found an enthusiasm for a broad range of new services, from advanced data manipulation and visualization to softer skills-based instruction in time management and writer’s block. They also report that new configurations of library space, housing aggregated services into research or scholarly commons, for example, can both create and leverage collaborations within the larger institution.

Finally, the authors present different strategies for staffing graduate student services, from dedicated positions and committees to more loosely structured teams comprising subject liaisons, technologists, data librarians, and others, who work together to deliver a suite of complex solutions to meet the needs of graduate students in research institutions.

 pdf nrnt-grad-roles-20dec12.pdf

 
   

If You Were in Charge What Would You Do? Survey of Students at Penn State Worthington Scranton Library

Poster presented at the LCDP Luminary Class, June 2012. Students living off-campus are the majority of today's college student population. If a library is to be a success, librarians must understand the needs of this population base. This study attempts to determine if students at the all commuter campus of Penn State Worthington Scranton are satisfied with services and facilities of the library and to determine if their needs are being addressed. Results from the survey are analyzed to develop a profile of the needs of these particular students.

pdf lcdp-2012-poster-walker-billie.pdf

 
         

Research Library Issues, no. 274 (Feb. 2011)

RLI issue 274 includes:

  • The Future of the US Research University
  • Joining in the Enterprise of Response in the Wake of the NSF Data Management Planning Requirement
 
           
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