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

nrnt-grad-students-dec2012-coverARL today released Research Library Services for Graduate Students (PDF), the second report in the New Roles for New Times series. This series highlights the transformation of the library workforce to address new challenges for research libraries in serving 21st-century students, educators, scholars, and researchers.

The new report, written by Lucinda Covert-Vail and Scott Collard, both from New York University (NYU) Libraries, presents findings from interviews and other research into the current state of graduate student programming in primarily ARL libraries. The authors provide several recommendations for serving graduate students more effectively in a demonstrably changing higher education landscape.

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.

This report is freely available for download from ARL’s New Roles for New Times website.

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 125 research libraries in the US and Canada. Its mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at http://www.arl.org/.