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Holistic Librarianship Highlighted in Research Library Issues

image CC-BY-NC by Thomas Hawk

The latest issue of Research Library Issues (RLI) explores different models and approaches to holistic librarianship and the convergence among librarians in a variety of roles. The articles in this issue speak to how three libraries are transforming what has traditionally been more fragmented or specialized service.

In the first article, a team from Cornell University discusses their library’s decentralized approach to scholarly communication, which means library liaisons are often juggling multiple and competing priorities. Library staff formed a Scholarly Communication Working Group to raise awareness of issues, tools, methods, and services for scholarly communication. The working group has facilitated the identification of projects and project teams and has helped the library reach its scholarly communication goals.

Next, two librarians from the University of Toronto explore intrapreneurship as a model for fostering innovation. Calling this an organic approach that can work within existing structures and processes, the authors describe the benefits of this model to the organization, the librarian, and the end user. Short- and longer-term outcomes highlight a number of changes in roles and responsibilities as well as organizational changes. The authors offer advice on ways to use intrapreneurship to promote holistic librarianship.

Finally, two co-authors from the University of Rochester consider the value of a holistic approach for liaison and special collections librarians in realizing a stronger model of service in support of research and teaching. They describe the challenges that perpetuate a divide between liaison and special collections librarians and offer strategies and approaches for building a different model. The authors emphasize the importance of creating an environment that is conducive to collaboration—through the organization’s culture, internal personal communication, and staff engagement on projects—while moving away from fragmentation.

The complete table of contents with links to the articles follows:

Research Library Issues no. 291 (2017) is freely available from ARL Digital Publications.

About the Association of Research Libraries

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 123 research libraries in the US and Canada. ARL’s 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 ARL.org.

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