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Association of Research Libraries (ARL®)

  Transforming Research Libraries Contact:
Judy Ruttenberg
Planning and Visioning

Resources for Planning and Visioning

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Environmental Scans and Thought Pieces

No Brief Candle: Reconceiving Research Libraries for the 21st Century,” CLIR Publication 142, 2008

Commissioned to provide context for a meeting on the future of the research library, essays in this collection identify leading issues to be considered when imagining the roles and functions of the academic library in the 21st century. They address implications of online access to content, new forms of scholarly publishing, and evolving and leveraging digital library service frameworks. Other essays address new library roles in e-research; collaboration with and outreach to academic faculty, researchers, end users, and content providers; and educating “by design,” or with an emphasis on undergraduate research methodologies.

Transformational Times: An Environmental Scan Prepared for the ARL Strategic Plan Review Task Force,” 2009 [PDF]

Prepared to support ARL’s strategic planning initiative, the document identifies key trends affecting public policy issues, scholarly communication, and emerging roles for libraries in research, teaching, and learning.

Horizon Analysis in ARL’s recent report, “The Research Library’s Role in Digital Repository Services,” 2009 [PDF]

The chapter in the report describes key environmental conditions the task force identified as likely to prevail by the year 2015. The scan considered four general arenas within the digital repository environment: library users, the general technology environment, library collections and services, and key policy developments at the national and institutional levels.

ACRL 2009 Strategic Thinking Guide for Academic Librarians in the New Economy” [PDF]

This brief document identifies three key drivers for change: the economy’s effects on higher education, the needs of students, and technology. It includes strategic questions for librarians to consider in each area.

The Horizon Report: 2009 Edition” [PDF]

"Apprehending the Future: Emerging Technologies, from Science Fiction to Campus Reality" in EDUCAUSE Review, May/June 2009.

An ongoing series of annual reports produced jointly through a joint project of the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative and the New Media Consortium. The project focuses on identifying emerging technologies that will significantly shape the research, teaching, and learning activities of the higher education enterprise.

Additional Resources

Liaison Librarian Roles: A special issue of Research Library Issues, no. 265 (Aug. 2009)

ARL’s Statistics and Measurement Program: Annual Surveys and New Measures

ARL collects a broad range of descriptive data annually through its statistics program that can be used to do longitudinal analyses. In addition, data collected through such new measures as LibQUAL+ provide rich data that extends beyond the ARL membership.

Scholarly Information Practices in the Online Environment,” OCLC, 2009 [PDF]

The report reviews studies that have characterized the scholarly information practices of faculty in various disciplines, and to stimulate discussion of the implications of these findings for the research library community. It lays out differences among and between disciplines, and “provides an empirical basis for identifying promising directions…and priorities for development of digital information services to support and advance scholarship.” The literature on scholarly information work is framed around five topics: searching, collecting, reading, writing, and collaborating.

Next Generation of Academics: A Report on a Study at the University of Rochester” [PDF]

The University of Rochester has conducted a study of PhD students who are completing their dissertations to support development of a suite of authoring tools for integration into their institutional repository. The report summarizes the overarching study, describes research methodology, reviews findings, and presents a number of applications, some already completed or in progress.

Ithaka’s 2006 Studies of Key Stakeholders in the Digital Transformation in Higher Education” [PDF]

The report provides the full findings from Ithaka’s 2006 surveys of the behavior and attitudes of faculty members and academic librarians on the use of information services in the research and teaching processes. Ithaka has deposited the data sets with ICPSR.