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Topic: Collections and preservation

Blog Post
July 1, 2020

Transforming Library Leadership Strategy in a Time of Crisis

Introducing the Special Edition Library Survey 2020

Since the Library Survey 2019 survey was fielded, the COVID-19 pandemic—and more recently, organizing around the Black Lives Matter movement—has greatly impacted academic libraries and higher education as a whole. At the start of the pandemic, many libraries remained open with increases in safety protocols. Within weeks, it became clear that there would be a greater impact…
Blog Post
May 28, 2020

Project Launch: Canceling the Big Deal

Earlier this spring we announced that we were going to begin a new collaborative project on the impact of Big Deal cancellations on users, including their strategies for accessing content, and their perceptions of the library’s role in providing access. While at the time Ithaka S+R was only just beginning to anticipate the conditions universities and their libraries are facing now, it is already clear that the research is more important than ever. Ithaka S+R…
Blog Post
May 27, 2020

Speeding Up the Dissemination of Scholarly Information 

New Issue Brief on Preprints 

Preprints have been getting a lot of attention recently. Since the pandemic, dozens of articles have appeared in the scientific and popular press about both the role of preprints in accelerating scientific communications and the associated concerns, including in venues such as New York Times, Bloomberg, Economist, Mother Jones.  Ten years ago when I became the…
Issue Brief
May 27, 2020

Preprints in the Spotlight

Establishing Best Practices, Building Trust

Preprints have been getting a lot of attention recently. The COVID-19 pandemic—the first major health crisis since medical and biomedical preprints have become widely available online—has further underscored the importance of speedy dissemination of research outcomes. Preprints allow researchers to share results with speed, but raise questions about accuracy, misconduct, and our reliance on the “self-correcting” nature of the scientific enterprise. As scientists and health care professionals, as well as the general public, look for information about the pandemic, preprint…
Blog Post
May 12, 2020

Leading the Library by Looking Beyond the Library

Library directors face a number of leadership dilemmas. Rising from the ranks, many feel the pull—or the need, given resource constraints—to work shoulder-to-shoulder with front-line employees as a “member of the team.” At the same time, many feel the need to engage with non-library constituencies across the campus and beyond in ways that take them out of the library. Which of these leadership models best positions the library for success? Last month, we released findings from our national survey…
Blog Post
May 6, 2020

Shared Heritage, Shared Responsibility

African Memory Institutions and the Response to COVID-19 

The implications and consequences of the COVID-19  pandemic can vary greatly depending on demographic, political, social, cultural and economic factors.  Therefore the regional documentation initiatives–now being undertaken by cultural heritage institutions throughout the world–are essential to capturing local circumstances and experiences. This work is vital to help future generations understand the extent of the pandemic and its vast impact.  To this end, and in collaboration with several international preservation advocacy organizations, UNESCO recently made a public…
Blog Post
April 30, 2020

Leading a Library Today

How Library Directors Are Approaching the Challenges of the Current Moment

Over the past two weeks, Ithaka S+R has organized five roundtables for academic library leaders to help support their leadership during this time of disruption and uncertainty. In total, 40 library directors and two associate university librarians attended these sessions, representing every four-year institutional type. Participants introduced themselves by describing what has been working well for their libraries, the challenges they are facing, and their budgetary expectations. The discussion that followed–with minimum facilitation–then focused on the participants’ most…
Blog Post
April 21, 2020

Research Library Digitization Has Found Its Moment 

Long-term Investments Pay Off and Provide Lessons for the Future

Academic libraries have been on the leading edge of universities’ digital transformation for two decades. As a result, they were prepared for this moment of crisis. The broader lesson here, not just for libraries but for the entire higher education sector, is to continue investing “just in case” in enabling capacities—rather than, in this time of looming cutbacks, budgeting narrowly for today’s immediate needs only.  Recent weeks have seen the collapse of…
Blog Post
April 6, 2020

Documenting the COVID-19 Pandemic

Archiving the Present for Future Research

As we go through the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, we are inundated by articles, images, video, statistics, and graphs through our handhelds and desktops coming from a variety of channels–including social media, news outlets, journals, and preprints. The sources of information expand from governmental agencies to research institutions, from policy makers to advocacy groups. And now archivists and others are asking how we can archive these rich and diverse sources of information–not only for future generations but also for…
Blog Post
April 2, 2020

The Latest US Library Survey

Since 2010, Ithaka S+R has fielded its triennial survey of academic library directors to track evolving strategies and priorities across the sector. Today we release findings from the 2019 survey cycle, which was fielded from October to December 2019. Much has obviously changed in the world since then. Most notably, the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically altered the plans of not only academic libraries but higher education as a whole. As we face an uncertain future,…
Research Report
April 2, 2020

Ithaka S+R US Library Survey 2019

Every three years Ithaka S+R conducts our Library Survey to track the changing strategic directions and priorities of the deans and directors of academic libraries. The data are gathered during a relatively brief window of approximately four weeks. In the case of this most recent survey cycle, that moment in time was the fall of 2019, well before any of us had heard of COVID-19.
Blog Post
March 18, 2020

Cultural Organizations & COVID-19

Documenting Virtual Engagement Strategies

Efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19 have fundamentally, and in many cases permanently, transformed the landscape of cultural consumption. As of Monday, March 16th, over 400 major US museums have closed their doors and ceased their traditional programming. While this is an essential part of collectively weathering a public health crisis that is likely to overwhelm the US healthcare system in a matter of days, these closures invariably introduce a deep degree of precarity for hundreds of…
Blog Post
March 15, 2020

Academic Library Strategies Shift to Closure and Restriction

The Next 48 Hours of Academic Library Response to COVID19 

For the most recent findings see First This, Now That: A Look at 10-Day Trends in Academic Library Response to COVID19 On Wednesday, March 11, at 8:00 pm ET, we deployed the “Academic Library Response to COVID19” survey in order to gather as-it-happens data from and for the academic library community. On Friday we presented our analysis of the first 24 hours of responses (n=213). Today we…
Blog Post
February 3, 2020

The Primacy of Print Is Past

OhioLINK recently shared its vision for the library system of the future in a white paper. That vision, developed by a group of library deans and directors whose work was facilitated by Ithaka S+R, involves two key elements that have garnered some attention for what they say about the future of the library and the work performed within it. The first element is centering the library system—just like the library itself—around the user. And the second involves enabling the…
Blog Post
December 10, 2019

Perspectives on the 2018 US Faculty Survey in Against the Grain

Every three years when we release findings from our national faculty surveys, we receive a plethora of reactions and responses to the results. There was no exception when we released the 2018 results in conjunction with the ACRL conference in April 2019. While these high-level quantitative results offer strong evidence toward understanding faculty practices and perspectives, particularly for tracking change over time, many who work in academic libraries, learned societies, and…
Blog Post
December 5, 2019

What Are the Larger Implications of Ex Libris Buying Innovative?

Earlier today, news began leaking out that Ex Libris will purchase Innovative Interfaces, one of its largest competitors. The deal, which is expected to close in early 2020, further cements Ex Libris as the leader in the library systems marketplace and can be expected to put added pressure on OCLC. It will also raise concerns about Ex Libris’s dominant market position.  Library Systems Ex Libris’s core business is in library systems,…
Blog Post
October 31, 2019

Three Questions for Mark McBride

SUNY central system administration and its 64 campus libraries have been working with Ithaka S+R to develop strategies for collaboration and partnership in the context of substantial strategic and technological change. For our most recent newsletter, we spoke with Mark McBride, senior strategist in SUNY’s Office of Library and Information Services, about how this is unfolding across the system and why he thinks it is so important. What did you learn from Ithaka S+R’s analysis of publishing across SUNY’s…
Blog Post
October 21, 2019

Getting My CLAWs into Assessment

The biennial Canadian Library Assessment Workshop (CLAW) is set to take place this week at the University of Windsor. This will be my first time attending the workshop, which primarily focuses on outcome-based initiatives and decision making to better support libraries and demonstrate their impact on research, teaching, and learning. As I eagerly await for the  workshop to kick off, I’m sharing some emergent themes and takeaways from the conference…
Past Event
November 6, 2019

Legacy Missions in Times of Change: Defining and Shaping Collections in the 21st Century

Oya Rieger at the Charleston Conference

On Wednesday, November 6, from 2:00 – 3:00 pm, Oya Y. Rieger will speak on “Legacy Missions in Times of Change: Defining and Shaping Collections in the 21st Century” at the Charleston Conference. She will be joined by the University of Kentucky Libraries’ Antje Mays. For more information and to register, please see the conference website. About the session Despite the rapidly changing information and technology landscape, collections continue to be at the heart of academic libraries, signifying their…
Past Event
November 6, 2019

Library Collections: Creatively Adjusting Budgets to Invest in Open Content

Roger Schonfeld at the Charleston Conference

On Wednesday, November 6, from 2:00 – 3:10 pm , Roger Schonfeld will join Barbara Dewey (Penn State University),  Julia Gelfand (University of California, Irvine), and Dan Cohen (Northeastern University) for a panel discussion, “Library Collections: Creatively Adjusting Budgets to Invest in Open Content,” at the Charleston Conference. For more information and to register, please see the conference website. About the panel Building on the 2019 ACRL/SPARC Forum on Collective Reinvestment in Open Infrastructure, this program will explore how…