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Report Provides Recommendations for Research Libraries as Catalytic Leaders in a Changing Society

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The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) released a report today on the 2019 ARL-CNI Fall Forum, Research Libraries as Catalytic Leaders in a Society in Constant Flux.

As universities and other learning environments evolve to accommodate the needs and learning styles of their users, changes are evident in methods of knowledge production, dissemination, and access. These evolutions present an opportunity for libraries, both to evolve for today and plan for future change.

The 2019 ARL-CNI Fall Forum brought together leaders of research institutions, research support services, and research libraries from across Canada and the United States. Keynote speaker Jaron Lanier, a computer scientist, composer, artist, and author, discussed two unique opportunities for research libraries as catalytic leaders: as the keepers of context and as the last space in which people learn through manipulation-free curiosity.

Written by ARL executive director Mary Lee Kennedy and funded by EBSCO Information Services, the ARL-CNI Fall Forum report summarizes the presentations of the keynote speaker and panelists, highlights specific breakout discussions, and outlines a set of shared recommendations around four themes:

  1. Libraries as strategic institutions in societal flux
  2. Emerging opportunities for research libraries as collaborative partners in the changing research and learning ecosystem
  3. New forms of reality to advance research integrity and learning
  4. Next generation organizations, skills, and competencies needed for research libraries

In her introduction to the report, ARL president Lorraine Haricombe poses a series of questions for librarians to ponder as they plan for change in the context of artificially intelligent software, automation, and large-scale demographic shifts. Haricombe concludes that “embracing the role of catalyst requires embedding renewal from within. It also requires investing resources toward systematizing the kind of innovation that will further accelerate the pace of change.” The Fall Forum report, she says, aims to “offer a valuable resource of ideas for libraries as connectors, collaborators, and networks that will set out a clear road map for engagement and communication between the library and the communities it serves.”

Download and read Research Libraries as Catalytic Leaders in a Society in Constant Flux: A Report of the ARL-CNI Fall Forum 2019.


About the Association of Research Libraries

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 124 research libraries in Canada and the US whose mission is to advance research, learning, and scholarly communication. The Association fosters the open exchange of ideas and expertise, promotes equity and diversity, and pursues advocacy and public policy efforts that reflect the values of the library, scholarly, and higher education communities. ARL forges partnerships and catalyzes the collective efforts of research libraries to enable knowledge creation and to achieve enduring and barrier-free access to information. ARL is on the web at ARL.org.

About the Coalition for Networked Information

The Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) is a joint program of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and EDUCAUSE that promotes the use of information technology to advance scholarship and education. Some 240 organizations representing higher education, publishing, information technology, scholarly and professional organizations, foundations, and libraries and library organizations, make up CNI’s members. Learn more at www.cni.org.