September 1, 2015
What does it take to attract, develop, and retain employees who can adapt, grow, and thrive in the fast-changing world of academic libraries? In our latest issue brief, Deanna Marcum explores why libraries should consider a “talent management” approach as they seek to fill new positions and leverage the skills of their current staff. It’s a change that calls for a new mindset not only in the human resources department, but truly across the organization. Interested? Download…
August 3, 2015
Alisa Rod and I had the pleasure of attending the 11th Northumbria International Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries and Information Services, a biennial meeting held this year in Edinburgh, Scotland. Many people think of the Northumbria Conference as the British complement to the ARL Library Assessment Conference held in the US. The conference venue, Our Dynamic Earth, put us in the middle of excited children exploring oceans and rainforests on the one side and a spectacular view…
July 8, 2015
How do we ensure the long-term preservation of our print heritage even as our collections move more fully online? In “Taking Stock: Sharing Responsibility for Print Preservation,” Roger Schonfeld surveys the progress our community has made in the past decade, but warns against the conflation of collaborative print management and improved access to collections with preservation. While “we may have developed a strong network for managing down print, Schonfeld argues, “whether that will yield long-term preservation goals is quite…
May 7, 2015
Are We Falling Short?
Arguing that the enormous changes occurring in research libraries are not matched by the pace of change in library program curricula, Deanna Marcum explores the gap between teaching and practice in our latest issue brief. We hope that this brief will stimulate others to think about what we should expect from our MLIS programs. Please use our blog as a forum to share your ideas for reform and change. Interested? Download “Educating the Research Librarian: Are…
January 26, 2015
Nancy Fried Foster, with co-authors Patricia Steele, David Cronrath, and Sandra Parsons Vicchio, has a new book: The Living Library: An Intellectual Ecosystem. From the publisher’s website: The Living Library describes the evolution of one possible future for academic libraries: as laboratories for cross-disciplinary investigation. At the University of Maryland, a collaboration among the Libraries, the School of Architecture and the Department of Anthropology led to the participation of students, faculty and staff in an initiative to design a full…
December 19, 2014
Last year the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) released a statement on the freedom to teach which asserts several rights for faculty, including the right to determine the texts and assessments within their courses. While recognizing that “common course syllabi and examinations are… typical,” the statement emphasizes that these “should not be imposed by departmental or administrative fiat.” Our newest issue brief, “Exploring the Contours of the Freedom to Teach,” considers the potential impact of AAUP’s statement on the…
December 17, 2014
Liberal arts colleges are known for low professor to student ratios, intimate seminar classes and highly personalized undergraduate experiences. On the surface, it is not obvious how online learning fits with this picture. But these days liberal arts colleges face many of the same pressures as larger universities – resource constraints, the growth of non-traditional students with more extracurricular responsibilities, even uncertainty about how a liberal arts education should evolve to stay relevant in a digital world. There is an…
November 13, 2014
Yesterday, ACRL released the third draft of the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education and called upon the community to provide additional feedback. Against this backdrop, our latest issue brief is particularly timely. In “Information Literacy and Research Practices,” Nancy Fried Foster, Ithaka S+R’s senior anthropologist, demonstrates how “researchers in the wild” are adhering to many of the goals described in the draft Framework. While recognizing that the move away from the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, in place…
October 13, 2014
Technology: Its Potential Impact on the National Need to Improve Educational Outcomes and Control Costs
On Monday, October 13, 2014, William G. Bowen delivered the opening address at Rice University’s De Lange Conference, “Technology: Its Potential Impact On The National Need To Improve Educational Outcomes And Control Costs.” We are pleased to publish it here as an Ithaka S+R issue brief. Bowen, who is president emeritus of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and also president emeritus of Princeton University, was the founding chairman of JSTOR/ITHAKA and continues to serve on ITHAKA’s board. The paper explores…
August 27, 2014
Can a Digital-Centric Workflow Transform the Book Review?
Academic authors in the humanities and social sciences often wait three or more years to see the first reviews of their scholarly monographs. Why does it take so long? As Oona Schmid, director of publishing at the American Anthropological Association (AAA), describes in our latest issue brief, it is because book reviewing still relies on a print-centric system. Thanks to funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the AAA is now developing a prototype to completely re-imagine the book review…
May 28, 2014
A Roadmap for Evidence-Based Decision Making in Academic Libraries
COUNTER-compliant usage statistics, service assessments, peer benchmarking—librarians have been gathering different types of data for some time, using data to measure the usage of their resources, the quality of their services, and how they stack up against similar institutions. But could library leaders collect data differently? In this Issue Brief Deanna Marcum and Roger Schonfeld suggest an approach where library leaders start not with the data that are easy to gather, but with the problems they are trying to solve. What does…
April 14, 2014
Can Technology-Enhanced Education Help Public Flagship Universities Meet Their Challenges?
How might public flagships meet some of their most pressing challenges? Earlier this month, Ithaka S+R completed a study on behalf of Lumina Foundation to understand the growing but contested role of technology-enhanced education at these universities. In this issue brief, Deanna Marcum, Ithaka S+R’s Managing Director, offers an abbreviated look at the study’s findings on how public flagships are addressing the need to increase access to education, contain costs, improve student learning outcomes, and increase institutional efficiency.
March 25, 2014
From Defining 21st Century Research Libraries to Implementing 21st Century Research Universities
What role might librarians play in building the 21st Century research university? How can librarians effectively assess the impact of the expertise, services, and resources they deliver to the academic community? In our latest issue brief, Anne Kenney, the Carl A. Kroch University Librarian at Cornell University, explores how librarians can leverage the liaison model to demonstrate “that the library is more than a purveyor of content and that its expertise is an essential component of the academic knowledge infrastructure…
March 6, 2014
New Opportunities for Libraries and Publishers?
What solutions might we find within our community to solve the problem of rising textbook prices? In our latest issue brief, Nancy Maron, Ithaka S+R’s Program Director for Sustainability and Scholarly Communications, looks at recent trends in textbook publishing and suggests that collaborations between university presses and academic libraries might yield a new breed of textbook more aligned to the needs of faculty and students. Interested? Download “Opening the Textbook: New Opportunities for Libraries and Publishers?”…
March 6, 2014
New Opportunities for Libraries and Publishers?
What solutions might we find within our community to solve the problem of rising textbook prices? In this issue brief, Nancy Maron, Ithaka S+R’s program director for sustainability and scholarly communications, looks at recent trends in textbook publishing and suggests that collaborations between university presses and academic libraries might yield a new breed of textbook more aligned to the needs of faculty and students.
February 14, 2014
In our latest issue brief, Ithaka S+R Senior Anthropologist Nancy Fried Foster asks what it would be like to design academic libraries based not on precedent, but rather on everything we can learn right now about the work practices of the people who already use them. Foster demonstrates how through participatory design we can build a new type of library that considers both the practical needs of the community and the higher ideals of cultural institutions. Interested?…
December 10, 2013
Is the monograph headed toward an e-only future?
Stop the Presses: Is the monograph headed toward an e-only future? Can we expect the print monograph to disappear anytime soon? While the road to a fully digital future for scholarly monographs is not clearly in sight, the widespread availability of ebooks is already transforming researchers’ reading habits. As librarians and publishers consider their options, they must take into account how the usage behavior of academics is evolving. In this Issue Brief, Roger Schonfeld explores the challenges and possibilities if…
October 28, 2013
Rebecca Griffiths explores an intriguing and potentially high impact application of online learning: MOOCs in the Classroom? What happens when faculty are encouraged to adapt MOOCs intended for large global audiences for use in traditional classroom settings and curriculum? Can this “off label use” bring benefits like improved learning outcomes or the ability to educate more students in a given course? How can institutions make informed, evidence-based choices about the use of these technology enabled courses on their own campuses?…
August 29, 2013
Our latest Ithaka S+R Issue Brief pinpoints where US faculty members and UK academics diverge and asks why?
The well-known Ithaka S+R Faculty Survey expanded beyond US faculty members in 2012 to include academics in the UK. We now have a fascinating window for assessing a variety of aspects of national higher education systems, affording us the opportunity to examine their comparative positioning and to consider a variety of possible policy interventions. Interested? Download “The Space Between”…
August 1, 2013
Rick Anderson kicks off new Ithaka S+R Issue Briefs series
The use of large, comprehensive collections of printed books and journals has seen a massive decline at North American research libraries in recent years—an effect of the shift in scholarly publishing from an analog and print-based model to a digital and networked one. However, during these past two decades of radical change and energetic response, I believe we have missed a much more important shift, one that poses a more direct and existential threat than the one posed by the…