Tuesday, July 21, 2009
[IWS] THE END OF INSTITUTIONAL REPOSITORIES & THE BEGINNING OF SOCIAL ACADEMIC RESEARCH SERVICE: AN ENHANCED ROLE FOR LIBRARIES
Institute for Workplace Studies----------------- Professor Samuel B. Bacharach
School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies
16 East 34th Street, 4th floor---------------------- Stuart Basefsky
New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau
Note: The following was presented as a keynote speech by the author at CASLIN 2009 (Czech and Slovak Library Information Network), see - http://alx.upol.cz/caslin2009/index_en.html
THE END OF INSTITUTIONAL REPOSITORIES & THE BEGINNING OF SOCIAL ACADEMIC RESEARCH SERVICE: AN ENHANCED ROLE FOR LIBRARIES
By Stuart Basefsky
Information Specialist, Lecturer, and Director of the IWS News Bureau
ILR School, Cornell University
As more and more universities establish Institutional Repositories (IR), awareness is developing about the limitations of IRs in enhancing the academic research service. The concept of an IR needs to be expanded to include the integration of the processes that transform intellectual endeavor into a broadening array of academic and research support services which are fundamentally social. These include, but are not limited to –
(1) sharing institutionally developed intellectual product (traditional IR)
(2) informing others of the availability of this product with defined purpose
(3) collecting additional academically relevant materials in digital formats using IRs
(4) disseminating timely information about what has been collected to researchers
(5) creating an environment that encourages awareness and exchange of information
(6) and more….
In brief, information gathering, dissemination, and discussion in the form of library service must become a crucial part of researchers' networks. An IR cannot and should not be viewed as a stand alone endeavor. It needs to be viewed and used as a research and communication tool in an environment that synergizes all elements of the research process. If an IR does not create discussions between librarians (information specialists) and researchers, its potential is lost both to the academy and the library. The library and its librarians must be interactive with researchers and the institution served.
With the advent of digital acquisition that IRs started, a new vision of the role of librarians can be fulfilled. The foundational concepts behind this vision are found in my article: The Library as an Agent of Change: Pushing the Client Institution Forward in Information Outlook (Journal of the Special Libraries Association), Vol. 3, No. 8, August 1999, pages 37-40.
The above is not theoretical. It is being practiced every day at the Martin P. Catherwood Library of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR) at Cornell University where I work. By combining the uses of an IR, known as the DigitalCommons@ILR – see http://www.digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/ , with a discipline-based Internet news service, see -- http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/iws/news-bureau/index.html , supported with outstanding web content, technical support for both print and digital collecting, reference, referral, and teaching, a goal has been realized. The library is seamlessly integrated into the outreach, research and teaching of the institution it serves. The library is part of the social fabric and network of the school.
This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.
Director, IWS News Bureau
Institute for Workplace Studies
16 E. 34th Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Telephone: (607) 255-2703
Fax: (607) 255-9641