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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:

 
 

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.

 
 

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.

 
 

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.

 
 
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