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Planning and Visioning

ARL Field Team Interview Guide

A sample guide for conducting faculty field interviews about new and emerging scholarly publishing models.

pdf arl-field-team-interview-guide.pdf


Institute on Scholarly Communication: Environmental Scan Exercise

Instructions for an environmental scanning exercise completed by participants in the Institute on Scholarly Communication's three day program development event.

pdf scprog-environmental-scan.pdf


Institute on Scholarly Communication: Opportunity Assessment Instrument

Instructions for completing a scholarly communications opportunity assessment, useful for identifiying previously unrecognized possibilities for library engagement with change within disciplines. The opportunity assessment also conveys the library's interest and expertise in scholarly communication issues and provides an opening for discussion and exploration of the scholarly communication landscape of a particular discipline with a faculty member in a department.

pdf scprog-opportunity-assessment.pdf


Successful Fundraising: Case Studies of Academic Libraries

Meredith Butler, ed. • 2001 • ISBN 1-918006-49-x • 147pp.

Successful Fundraising is a guide that offers well developed case studies written by experienced professionals who have embraced a variety of fundraising challenges, met with success, and are willing to share their stories with others. An extensive annotated bibliography of the last decades of literature on library fundraising is also included.

Print copies are available for $45.00 plus shipping & handling.


Future-Proofing the Research Library: Sarah Thomas Delivers Judith Nadler Vision Lecture

sarah-thomas-and-judith-nadlerSarah Thomas and Judith Nadler, image © American Library AssociationOn May 22, 2014, Sarah Thomas, vice president for the Harvard Library and Roy E. Larsen librarian for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard, presented the inaugural Judith Nadler Vision Lecture at the University of Chicago’s Joseph Regenstein Library. Thomas’s lecture, “Future-Proofing the Research Library,” explored the ways in which research libraries are adapting to change. As part of her presentation, she provided an overview of ARL's strategic thinking and design work.


April 2014 Interviews with Susan Gibbons, Tom Hickerson, Wendy Lougee

Shortly before the May 2014 ARL Membership Meeting in Columbus, Ohio, ARL interviewed three members of the Strategic Thinking and Design Working Group, reflecting on the strategic process and how it will help ARL and research libraries build their desired future.


November 2013 Interviews with Alice Pitt, Brian Schottlaender, David Gift

A couple of months into the strategic thinking and design process, ARL interviewed three participants in the process to capture their thoughts on the significance of the process itself and on the potential outcomes.


Boston Design Meeting, ARL Strategic Design, April 22

boston-strategic-design-meeting-apr2014photo 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.


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.  


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.


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.


Workforce Transformation: Communities of Practice as Tools for Organizational Change and Self-directed Professional Development

Last year, ARL’s New Role for New Times report, Transforming Liaison Roles in Research Libraries (PDF), by Janice M. Jaguszewski and Karen Williams, identified six trends in the organization and practices of leading research libraries and the changing work of liaison librarians. One of those trends is the effort by research libraries to “create and sustain a flexible workforce.” Building a flexible workforce includes a variety of methods to “transform” a library’s workforce, including hiring new staff with new expertise, as well as committing to develop a more agile “legacy workforce.” (p. 14)


Workforce Transformation: Possible Library Futures

I have held a series of administrative positions at Oklahoma State University (OSU) since 1978 and have been dean of libraries since 2004. During that time we have experienced a number of changes and in 2012 the OSU Library looked to be thriving. We had adopted technology to enhance collections and improve services. We had been a development partner with Summon and were in a similar role with Intota. We consistently received positive survey results and comments for our services and collections. Our building was heavily used by students. For most of my staff and many of my librarians, the library looked healthy and robust. We were clearly not stagnant, but I had a strong sense that many librarians had not yet acknowledged how precarious our future was in research libraries. Staff members who did not have opportunities to attend professional meetings or the time to read the professional literature were unaware of the danger we were in. They did not fully comprehend how the transformations in technology, scholarly communication, and higher education would change their work, nor did they recognize how the competitive challenges from Google and others could make our traditional services irrelevant.


Workforce Transformation: Adding Value beyond Discovery

For centuries, library work has been about building collections, and then managing them. More recently, the emphasis shifted to discovery and access, which in turn led to an emphasis on instruction and information literacy initiatives. In some sense, one could create a cogent argument that the combination of services and collections will sustain our work for the foreseeable future. However, it also seems that this same argument will not facilitate innovation or necessarily help us provide the much-needed shift to “value beyond discovery.”


Workforce Transformation: It’s about the Work

When University of Maryland professor of sociology Philip Cohen was asked recently to consult with a graduate student on a journal article revision, the student had two challenges to satisfy his reviewers. The first challenge had to do with the complex use of GIS and geocoding; the reviewers wanted to see a particular deployment of GIS in the student’s US Census tract maps. The second challenge involved the use of census data itself. Professor Cohen easily offered advice on the latter and tried to think where the student could find help with GIS. No need, the graduate student assured him. The student had visited the campus library and gotten exactly the consultation he needed to incorporate GIS in his article revision.
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