photo by Lee Anne GeorgeOn the day after the 2014 Boston Marathon, 33 participants gathered at Harvard University for the 10th regional design meeting in ARL’s strategic thinking and design process. Lee Anne George reports on the meeting and notes that it represented the turning point from one phase of the design process to a second phase: creating systems of action to close the gap between the present and the library of 2033 envisioned through this process.
photo by Lee Anne GeorgeOn the day after the 2014 Boston Marathon, 33 participants gathered at Lamont Library on the Harvard University campus for the 10th regional meeting in ARL’s strategic thinking and design process. Sarah Thomas, vice president for the Harvard Library and the Roy E. Larsen librarian of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, hosted the meeting that included librarians, faculty, and a graduate student from colleges and universities across New England, the Boston Public Library, and ARL.
image © 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:
image © 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.
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.
Brown 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.
image © 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.
image © 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’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.
image © 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.”