Building Digital Assets or Digital Edsels? New Insight for Campus Executives

subject: CLIRinghouse
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CLIR Press Release

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release August 27, 2001

Contact: Kathlin Smith 202-939-4754

Building Digital Assets or Digital Edsels? New Insight for Campus Executives

WASHINGTON, D.C.—University presidents and chief academic officers, faced with potentially expensive decisions about investing in digital technologies for scholarship and education, are receiving a new source of guidance at no cost.

The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) has launched a new monthly executive bulletin called CLIRinghouse, a one-page briefing designed to provide quick insight into information-investment issues for presidents, CAOs, and other campus leaders nationwide.

CLIR is a private, nonprofit organization, independent of commercial, political, or factional interest. For 45 years, CLIR and its predecessor organizations have helped libraries and their universities solve problems and improve services to scholarship and education. CLIRinghouse draws widely on experts in the field including members of the Digital Library Federation, whose staff CLIR houses. The new publication is financed by a grant from the H. W. Wilson Foundation.

The bulletin notes that wise investments in digital technologies for enriching scholarship and education can help a university attract top scholars and students, win grants and research contracts, gain support from important communities, and raise institutional stature. “But,” add the editors, “opportunities also proliferate for losing control, squandering funds, and creating digital Edsels.”

The first issue offers general advice for finding “the way to wise choices.” Succeeding bulletins will alert executives to critical issues in specific areas such as developing online resources, preserving them, and making them genuinely useful. Each bulletin will outline an executive issue, pose questions to ask before investing, describe options to consider, make recommendations, and identify good sources of additional information.

“We’re doing this for two connected reasons,” said CLIR President Deanna Marcum in announcing the new publication. “First, digital developments of great import for the future of research and teaching are moving so fast that even the most technologically inclined campus executives have trouble keeping up. But at the same time, campus librarians, information-technology officers, and others are telling us that guidance from the top is essential because of the campus-wide effects and sizeable investments involved in decisions about information technologies. CLIRinghouse provides one-page briefings in non-technical English to help busy presidents and provosts provide that leadership.”

CLIRinghouse is available through CLIR’s Web site as well as in print: https://clir.wordpress.clir.org.