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Friday, December 2, 2011

Report: Redefining the Academic Library: Managing the Migration to Digital Information Services

Title and url: Redefining the Academic Library: Managing the Migration to Digital Information Services (51 pages/slides; PDF)

Source: Educational Advisory Board

Don Hawkins (Conference Circuit, 6 November 2011) summaries this report as follows:

Provosts’ Report on Academic Libraries (entitled “Redefining the Academic Library”) was published by the University Leadership Council in 2011.  (Provost’s are those who control the funding of academic libraries.) The report is in 2 sections: 1. Transformational Change in the Information Landscape, and 2. Managing the Migration to Digital Information Services. This is an excellent report that tells provosts how to move the library into the future. We need to help them make the right decisions. Which is more important: high profits for commercial publishers, or jobs for academic librarians?
We must think and act like an informed library activist or employee (i.e. library administrator). If we do not work as a team, we will all sink together. Find out what your university’s strategic plan is; if you are not on board, you are not on the ship. Develop goals and targets. Don’t play it safe–this fosters mediocrity which leads to decay. Leave plenty of room to take risks. There is no substitute for your talent; understand, value, and develop it.

Here are things we should stop.
  • Checking in print serials.
  • Binding print journals.
  • Maintaining serials records locally instead of centrally across the campus.
  • Local customization of bibliographic records.
  • Having a staff member distribute records for loading into local OPACs.
  • Preparing full records for everything instead of “good enough” ones.
  • Having separate local ILSs.

And here are some things we should do.
  • Spend time on collections that are uncataloged or undescribed.
  • Share responsibility for cataloging backlogs.
  • Redeploy staff to description and organization of digital resources instead of print.
  • Do all bibliographic work at the network rather than the local level.
  • Consider the life cycle of all resources and formats.

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